FC Barcelona and Netherlands defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst is leaving Spanish football after four seasons to go back to his hometown club Feyenoord.
FC Barcelona defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst is leaving Spanish football after four seasons to return to his first club Feyenoord.
The 32-year-old Dutch international has been at Camp Nou for four seasons, winning the league twice, the Copa del Rey on two occasions and the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League. Last December, Van Bronckhorst had agreed to extend his stay at Barcelona, who have just signed Thierry Henry and Yaya Touré, until summer 2008 but both club and player have now agreed to part by mutual consent. Van Bronckhorst is a free agent and has been given a three-year deal at De Kuip in his native Rotterdam.
A club statement said: "With the return of Van Bronckhorst to Feyenoord a long-standing, eagerly-awaited wish for both player and club has been fulfilled." Feyenoord, who have already signed left-back Tim de Cler this summer, are rebuilding under new coach Bert van Marwijk, although they will not have European football to look forward to next season. Van Bronckhorst, capped 67 times by his country, first played for Feyenoord between 1993 and 1998 before moving to Scotland's Rangers FC ahead of a switch three years later to Arsenal FC in England.