Bojan Krkic has admitted that his time at Stoke City was a difficult one for him, because he had ‘cut the umbilical cord’ with Barcelona.

The striker announced his retirement this week, bringing an end to a career that has seen him turn out for the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax among others and holding a press conference at Barcelona.

He had been backed for a huge career after emerging from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, where he had earned rave reviews for his performances.

He was quickly put into the senior team and continued to impress there, scoring 41 goals and registering 19 assists in 163 games for the club.

By 2014, though, the relationship had begun to sour and he found himself joining Stoke City in a surprise €1.8m deal.

He remained in the Potteries for three years, scoring 16 goals and registering three assists in 85 games before departing on loan in 2017 and eventually leaving on a permanent basis in 2019.

That part of his career is one he, and everyone else for that matter, largely forgets about and he admits that spell was one of his ‘toughest moments’ after cutting the cord from lifelong club Barcelona.

“At the age of 8, 9 I joined this club, which is my family, and at 32 and after many experiences I want to announce that I have finished a stage,” Sport report him saying.

“I am grateful for everything I have experienced. You have to be honest and I think my time has come I have decided to put an end to this stage.

“I have overcome many fears in my career. The stage of leaving Barça was painful but it was important to close some doors and open others. It was fantastic.

“There are many years. The most gratifying part was the first night at the Camp Nou, the first goal, entering the professional world.

“There have been several hardest moments. Surely when I signed for Stoke City it was hard, because I cut the umbilical cord that attached me to the club.”