By Doug Woodburn
Borja Golan’s warrior-like attributes – as well as his trademark boast – have been praised by his fellow professionals following the Spaniard’s decision to retire.
In an Instagram post, the 40-year-old confirmed that he is hanging up his racket after 22 years on the PSA World tour.
Calling time on his professional career was “not easy, but it is necessary”, wrote Golan, who reached as high as number 5 in the rankings (in 2014) and now runs a squash academy in Santiago.
Golan played 572 PSA matches, scoring 33 titles. He also bagged 17 national titles.
Fellow competitors were quick to praise the unique game and personality of Spain’s most successful player ever, with former world number 9 Daryl Selby branding him “a warrior on the court and gentleman off it”.
“Borja I salute you, a fantastic ambassador for squash and I’m sure you will continue the amazing work you did on the court over the last 30 years by helping many more players in the future,” Selby wrote.
Former world number 1 Gregory Gaultier recalled Golan’s proclivity for using the side walls to work his opponents around the court, meanwhile.
“Congrats amigo on such a great career. Was great to share the court with you so many times and run after your boast 100 times per game,” Gaultier remarked.
Tarek Momen, Mazen Hesham and Mohamed Abouelghar, as well as Nele and Tinne Gilis and Haley Mendez (who herself announced her retirement last week), were among the other pros who paid tribute to Golan’s career.
“Writing this has cost me a lot. I thought this day would never come. Those of you who know me know how important squash is to me, training daily and competing to the maximum in each match. It is a unique sensation that has made me happy and that I have been able to experience for 30 years now, 22 of them as a professional player. That is why leaving all that behind is not easy, but it is necessary.”
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