The long road back to fitness unfortunately ended in disappointment for Damia Abella who parted company with Boro last week, but the defender says he couldn't be more grateful to those on Teesside for his time at the club.

After joining from Osasuna in the summer of 2014, Abella's career started well for Aitor Karanka's side after making his debut against Leeds United.

Damia played seven times during the 2014/15 season before suffering a major injury blow at Cardiff City and was ultimately unable to find a way back to full fitness after four lots of surgery on his knee.

Despite not making a first team appearance during the 2015/16 campaign, Damia admits he felt he had joined a 'big and lovely' club when he arrived two years ago and says promotion was the dream for everyone.

"My first thoughts were that it was a big club in terms of the facilities and everything that surrounds the place," he recalls. 

"I was convinced to join because it was a great project to be involved in and in the end we achieved it. It was a dream for everybody winning promotion.

"I knew it was a big and lovely club, the way all of the people working at the club helped the players in many different ways.

"It was amazing and I really felt like I had landed on my feet joining Boro. I got into the team and it was a shame that I wasn't able to keep going but it was just how things worked out.

"The atmosphere was perfect in the dressing room in terms of the ambition, belief and trust within each other. 

"We all believed in reaching the goal of promotion, as well as the fact that everyone was so friendly. 

"I think Middlesbrough is one of the biggest clubs I've been to. Obviously Barcelona is a different thing altogether, but Middlesbrough have been a big team for a lot of years. 

"I really felt I was with a good team playing in the Championship and that's not where the club belonged.

"I just want to say how grateful I am for how everyone has treated me during my time at Middlesbrough. Thank you to everyone. 

"Everyone who works at the club, thank you very much to everyone and of course thank you to the fans. The fans always wanted me to come back and were always on my side."

The defender has now returned to his native Spain and although he would like to keep playing, Damia insists he will be in no rush to join a new club. 

"I'm back in Spain now but I don't know what's next," he said. "I have to feel right with what I do. 

"I'm building my fitness levels up and trying everything. My knee has responded pretty well so I'm going to try to play again. 

"I don't know if I'll be able to or not because you can't know that until you're in full training.

"I don't want to sign for anyone because I want to go on trial wherever I feel is a good place for me. If I'm given that option then I would like to try that."