His stellar career may have finished with heartbreaking defeat on Saturday in the Liga final, but there are no regrets for former Murcia FS and Spain defender Enrique Boned Guillot, universally known simply as Kike.
The 36-year-old, at Murcia since 2001 after a move from home-town club Valencia FS, let it be known that his career would end at the conclusion of this season, and despite leading his team past UEFA Futsal Cup winners FC Barcelona to the Spanish final, they lost all three games of the decisive series to old rivals Interviú Madrid. Kike at least opened the scoring in Saturday's 4-2 home defeat in what proved his farewell match.
Still, in his 19-year career Kike won four league titles and three Spanish Cups with Murcia, as well as helping them to the 2008 UEFA Futsal Cup final, not to mention 140 caps, two FIFA Futsal World Cups and five UEFA Futsal EUROs for Spain. Considered a fitting ambassador for the sport, Kike looked back on his playing days with UEFA.com and explained why it was time to stop.
UEFA.com: Is there any going back in terms of your decision to bow out?
Kike: No. Decisions as important as this must be taken with absolute certainty. For that reason, mine was a decision that was well thought out. Although it was a hard choice, I'm convinced I'm stopping at the right time. It's the correct moment to step to one side and let the next generation come through. I would simply like to thank all those who accompanied me on my sporting journey, those people who have been by my side for 20 years. I feel tremendously fortunate to have been a futsal player.
UEFA.com: What changes have you seen in futsal over the past 20 years?
Kike: Many things have evolved, above all the level of organisation and professionalism. Also, there have been fundamental changes to the rules of the game. Those organisational changes have been the most important. When I made my debut in 1995, futsal was almost an amateur sport. Everything has got better since. In terms of the game, the players' physical condition has evolved while the technical and tactical levels are also improved. That said, the main essence of the game is still there.
UEFA.com: How important has it been to develop as a person as well as as a player?
Kike: I try not to separate the two. I don't share that thing of, "on the pitch he's a certain way, but off it he's a great person". There is no reason to separate the player from the man. As well as being sportsmen, we are also people and as such have our worries and concerns. We have to be aware of the responsibilities of being professionals, which go beyond just being on a futsal court. We have a responsibility within society, especially with the youngsters who can see you as someone to look up to. Sport is a vehicle to transmit positive values. We mustn't forget that one day our playing days will come to an end so we must look at the other facets of our lives.
UEFA.com: Was the tactical intelligence you demonstrated over the years worked on or something innate?
Kike: Every player has his qualities and fortunately not everybody has the same ones. If that were the case, ours would be a dull sport. Players complement each other and you look to find a balance. In my case, I certainly wasn't the best in certain aspects but I did have that capacity to read and understand the game. An understanding of the game comes over time. It's true that every game has its own story, but there are common themes, situations that repeat themselves. If you are capable of analysing those moments and drawing conclusions, this will help a lot. Sometimes it's not a question of what's occurring, but why it is occurring. When you are capable of understanding why things happen on court, you begin to have an advantage over your rival.
UEFA.com: It's obvious what you have done for futsal, but what has futsal done for you?
Kike: This sport has given me many gifts. Everything I have been lucky to have lived, the feelings I have had, can only be felt in the sporting world: a hug from a team-mate in victory, their tears in defeat, the places I have been fortunate to travel to. I have gained respect and affection from everyone connected with the world of futsal, not just in Murcia. I could never have imagined I'd receive so much. It has been a real privilege. I have done what I most like to do, there are no words to describe that.
UEFA.com: Of all of the teams you have faced over the years, who was most difficult to score against?
Kike: That's a tricky question; we're talking about 19 seasons. I played against many great sides and it wouldn't be fair to single out just one. The best thing was to be able to learn from them all while enjoying their play. I have always said I was lucky to play with and against the best. I played with the best at club and international levels. I shared a dressing room with the likes of Paulo Roberto, Vinicius, Lenisio, Luis Amado, Vicentín. I shared generations. I was a link between the first generation who won the  World Cup in Guatemala and those who came later. I played with really good players.
UEFA.com: You have a trophy cabinet filled with titles but is there a single thorn in your side?
Kike: I have been thinking about that and I'll tell you something – I have no right to have or to feel such a thing. I have been so fortunate to experience what I have experienced, to see the places I have seen. Without futsal, it would all have been impossible. From the disasters to the immense happiness, from those with whom I shared a dressing room to the opponents I have faced, I cannot complain, can't reproach anybody or anything. There are always moments, of course, when you say: "Here's hoping one day we will be in the Olympic Games" or "I dream of winning the UEFA Futsal Cup with Murcia FS" – things which evaded us. But
I have had so much luck that I can't complain.
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