Dos Santos is leaving for Villarreal / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE

Jonathan dos Santos has published a farewell to the fans on his Twitter account, in which he thanks the “team-mates, coaches, medical team, utility staff, directors, journalists, fans and family” for how they have treated him in what he describes as 12 marvellous years at Barça, where he had progressed from the youth system into the first team.

The following is the complete letter published by Jonathan dos Santos on his Twitter account (@jona2santos):

"Dear Barça:

You took me in when I was just 12 years old and we have spent no less than half of my life together! They’ve been 12 marvellous years, where I have grown both as a footballer and as a person. From the moment I landed in this magical city I have never stopped learning, making friends and enjoying life, but also working hard to achieve a dream that only a few privileged people in this world can enjoy – playing for the Barça first team.

A dream that has come true on the back of hard work, sacrifice and also the utmost determination. The same determination that led me to turn down the different offers I received, because my obsession was always to give everything I have got to you.

Your land has always felt like home to me, and I only have words of thanks for everyone who made it possible for this dream to come true: my team-mates, coaches, medical team, utility staff, directors, journalists, fans and my family, and in general everyone involved with Barça. I want to thank them all for this fantastic adventure and making it all possible.

But the time has come for a new professional challenge at Villarreal, which I am looking forward to and I am ready to face new responsibilities. New challenges await me there, but whatever happens, you will always be in my heart.

Visca el Barça!"

Thank you Barça! pic.twitter.com/lPdLDqfoDB

— Jonathan dos Santos (@jona2santos) July 12, 2014