Julen Lopetegui was relieved of his duties as Sevilla FC first-team coach last night. Today, he took the opportunity to bid a final farewell to the club and its fans at the Ramón Sáncez-Pizuán.
The event was attended by club President José Castro, the Vice-Presidents, a good portion of the club's board and part of the technical staff, as well as the director of football Monchi and his assistants Fernando Navarro and Emilio de Dios.
After the presentation by club journalist Germán Mora, the coach's farewell video was shown, after which, he spoke somewhat emotionally, saying: "I'm not one for preparing speeches, I much prefer speaking from the heart."
"When you watch the video, the first thing you notice is that we looked much younger and the past few years of football have taken a toll on us. Most likely because you have to give your all to this job. That's what being a football manager is like, it's 24 hours every day of the week, body and soul."
"Commitment and sacrifice like that wears you down and leaves physical traces, but also leaves you with lasting memories. Truly unforgettable memories such as those we've just watched and it is for those I am eternally grateful."
"That was such a beautiful video and a tribute that I will honestly hold dear with me forever. The memories I will take from this experience cannot be erased, memories of the good times, of tougher times that we have all been able to overcome, of having the true honour of managing a club like Sevilla FC from a sporting point of view is something extraordinary."
"I am very grateful to Monchi for the day you came to Madrid to meet me, we had lunch and I paid. You convinced me that it was a really beautiful and worthwhile project, that we could be part of something extraordinary and that we could build it together."
Lopetegui continued: "I kept this mentality throughout my whole time here. I also have to thank the President, Vice-President and the whole board. My thanks also extend to everyone who has given me the opportunity to be coach of Sevilla, to all the workers at the club, who are fantastic."
"The best thing anyone can take away is the recognition and friendship of many of you, which is sincere and forever, and the respect of my players and my fans. What more could anyone ask for? I have no other feeling than gratitude."
"I'm the luckiest guy in the world to have been able to experience such beautiful moments, to have been able to have the opportunity to help make Sevilla FC a little bit bigger and to finally wish the best in the world to my club, because it will always be my club, and to my people, because you will always be my people."
"I have no doubt that the team will turn the situation around, there is still time for everything and with a few small adjustments and when the players get back to the level they can achieve, the team will be where it needs to be."
"I'll be cheering them on and feeling proud and a part of all of this. Thank you all very much from the bottom of my heart, there will be one more Sevillista for life, and thank you once again for this opportunity and this beautiful tribute."