Brisbane Roar have today confirmed the departure of long-time club servant Reinaldo, who will leave the River City after signing a two year deal with Al-Ahli in the Qatar Stars League.
Alongside Head Coach Ange Postecoglou and Club Chairman Chris Bombolas, Reinaldo was emotional when he spoke of the difficulty in leaving the club he signed for back in December 2005.
However, the chance to ensure the long-term security of his family was too good an opportunity for the Brazilian-born marksman to let pass.
“Every moment I-ve had with Brisbane Roar was great,” Reinaldo said.
“I-ve made a lot of friends here, my coach Ange and the staff – they looked after me all the time.
“Even when I was injured, they supported me a lot.
“It-s a tough moment for me to leave my home and my friends but it-s a great opportunity and I can-t lose that because it-s for the future of my family.”
After making 92 appearances in the orange jersey, the big striker-s decision was made even harder given Brisbane-s lead in the race for this year-s Hyundai A-League premiership.
He was quick to pay tribute to the support given to him by the Roar staff and said his adoptive hometown club would never be far from his thoughts.
“I know I did my best for the Roar, I always worked hard and I wish the Roar all the best now,” he said.
“Hopefully we can win this championship this year because I know I-m a part of that as well.
“I-m going to be here, not playing, but in my heart and I will think of the boys all the time.
“When I spoke to Ange and the staff about the offer I had, they supported me and said it is your decision, we will agree if you stay or if you go, we just want to see you happy.
“That-s what Brisbane Roar is, it-s a family and I just want to let everyone to know I appreciate what they did for me.”
Coach Postecoglou thanked Reinaldo for his contributions during his five year stint with the club, saying he was a tremendous Brisbane Roar ambassador both on and off the field.
“From our point of view, it-s with mixed emotions that we watch the big fellow depart,” Postecoglou said.
“In the last 12 months since I-ve taken over, he-s played a key role in what we-ve tried to rebuild.
“He will always be welcome back here and hopefully he feels a part of what we-re building here at the Roar.
“The way he-s presented himself and the way he-s represented the club, these are the type of things that don-t come along too often.”
Chairman Bombolas echoed Postecoglou-s sentiments, saying it was not in the nature of the club to stand in the way of a player wanting to further their career.
“We-re excited for Reinaldo and his new venture but we hate to see one of our favourite sons go,” he said.
“The best way we can describe is a great bloke, well respected by his teammates and he will be missed at the club.
“He-s definitely had an impact at the club but we like to encourage players to seek their dreams and especially to look after their families and we wish him the best.”
Reinaldo, who became a naturalised Australian citizen earlier this year, found back of the net on 24 occasions for Brisbane and scored arguably the club-s most memorable goal against traditional rivals Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 finals series.
Tickets for Brisbane Roar-s next home against Gold Coast United are available through Ticketek. Kick-off for the match is 6pm at Suncorp Stadium.