Sergio Ramos has revealed that he tried to accept Real Madrid's offer of a new contract, only to be told he had taken too long and the proposal had expired.
When talks over a new deal first started, Ramos was looking for a two-year contract but found that Real were only prepared to offer him 12 months. The centre-back turned that down, only to eventually change his stance and inform the club he wanted to take them up on their initial offer.
"The first thing I want to say is that I never wanted to leave," he began. "In recent months, the club made me an offer of one year with a salary reduction. There was no financial problem. I wanted two years and peace of mind for me and my family.
"In the last talks, I accepted the offer of one year, but was told that it was no longer possible. It had an expiration date and I had not been told. It is what it is. I accepted the proposal but they told me it expired.
"I don't regret anything. In the end, with Sergio Ramos comes my virtues and my defects. I always like to be me. My relationship with the president has always been good. He is the person who brought me here. I will never make a statement against him, but in families, there are also fights.
"My meetings with the president will be kept private. There are things that are very personal. I was informed through my agent that the offer had expired and we were surprised. I let the president know that I accepted his last offer, although it was late. I don't want any kind of grudge. I will stay part of this family. This is a 'see you later', and they will always be in my heart."
Ramos stressed his love for the club, admitting he hopes to return in the future and describing it as 'the most wonderful stage of his life'.
He concluded: "I am one of those people who like to be defined by others. If I had to say a word about my career, it would be purity. I have left my soul on the pitch for this team. That is how I want to be remembered, as a person of integrity.
"I have lived 16 years of joy. Madrid will always be my home."