Veteran Middlesbrough defender Sol Bamba has hinted at retirement if Boro can achieve promotion this season.
The 37-year-old has made 20 appearances for Middlesbrough this campaign after joining the club last summer.
Middlesbrough sat 7th in the Championship prior to kick-off with Huddersfield Town today, and Bamba says promotion with the club may be the perfect high on which to finish his career.
“I think the play-offs are in our hands. We are a hungry group who want to do well and there is an opportunity there.” Bamba told the Daily Mirror (18/04/22).
“It would be massive for me if we could win promotion and I may stop there actually. I am 37. I keep myself fit and train hard. I will stop before football stops me.”
“If I cannot move any more then I will hold my hands up but at the moment that is not the case and I feel good.”
“My body has kept me going but I don’t think I could finish on a bigger high.”
Bamba has had a tremendously difficult time away from football in recent years after being diagnosed with non-Hodkin lymphoma in January 2021.
After being cleared of cancer, just seven months later he signed for Middlesbrough, whom were under the control of Bamba’s former Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock at the time.
Bamba did not want to reflect on his illness too much, but said it would be an emotional moment for his family if Boro could achieve promotion and that he will never forget the way Boro fans took him to their hearts.
“If we can do it then for the team it would be huge. I think the players and the club deserves that and for me personally, it would be massive.” Bamba continued.
Only die-hard Cardiff City supporters will get at least 20/25 on this higher or lower quiz
“I don’t want to go back too much on what I have been through. But for me and my family it would be massive.”
“I think everyone will cry together, the kids, the missus, my mum and dad.”
“We have come so far so it is normal to be emotional about things like that.”
“I don’t take it for granted because I have played for a lot of clubs – but the way these fans have taken to me from minute one. I will never forget that.”
Sol Bamba hanging up his boots following a Premier League promotion would cap what has been a fine career for the defender.
After everything he has overcome in the last two years, no one would begrudge Bamba of the dream ending to his playing days.
Boro are well placed to finish inside the top six at present so there is every chance we will see them and Bamba n the play-offs come the end of the campaign.
If they can get there, Chris Wilder’s side would have as good a chance as any team of winning the play-offs and achieving a dream return to the top-flight.