Luis Enrique has given his farewell press conference at Roma. “It was a wonderful adventure and some fans didn't understand me, but I am so very tired.”
The Coach confirmed this week he is leaving the club after just one season, having failed to make his mark in Serie A.
“I start with a small criticism, as two days ago I held a meeting with the team to say what I thought. I spoke in Spanish, because it was a farewell from the heart,” said the former Barcelona B manager. “Some things that weren’t true came out in the media with regards to what I had said to my players.
“The truth is that it was a great pleasure to be the Coach of this team and I never regretted coming here. I am leaving because I am so very tired, having given 100 per cent this season. I certainly will not work as a Coach next term.
“For me being here was a wonderful adventure and I gave all of my energy for this squad. The results are what count and that is how it should be, but in my view it wasn’t such an awful season.
“This team has improved so much thanks to the hard work put in by the lads. A section of the fans did not understand me, but I think I was always honest with everyone.”
Luis Enrique also denied rumours of a split with captain Francesco Totti.
“It was a very special rapport right from the start. At the start of the training session after leaving him out, I’d assure him there was absolutely no problem. Quite the opposite.
“I made mistakes, of course. As a Coach I tried to make it easier for the players by preparing them for the game they had to face. There are many things that could be improved on and I am enormously disappointed when they didn’t go well.
“I wish Roma a journey full of success. I have no complaints and if I made some mistakes, then I apologise. I’m convinced in Italy you can play beautiful football based on attack and I promise that I will improve in terms of defending. If I had stayed next season, I would’ve worked the same way. I continue to believe in this style of football.
“A Coach is always a fundamental part of the team and I don’t think Italian football is different in that sense. It wasn’t so difficult for me to work in Italy, although it was a tough season and strange. When you give 100 per cent it cannot be considered a failure. My colleagues complimented me after a win or a defeat.
“Would I have remained if we’d finished third? I don’t know, but this is the reality of the situation and this is my decision. I don’t think I need to give advice to the next Coach. I just ask for a patience and calm to help them achieve their aims.
“It was wonderful and a source of great pride to have been the Coach of Roma. It’s not right to talk about this as a resignation. It was simply the right time to leave so the club can find a replacement. I am not angry, nor am I paying for anything. There is no scapegoat, as Roma simply need to improve to give their fans great satisfaction.”
Luis Enrique has been linked with another Serie A bench, namely that of Fiorentina, but first he wants to take a Pep Guardiola-style sabbatical.
“I really like Italy, especially Rome. Would I try again here? We’ll see, but first it’s better to recuperate a bit.
“Thank you for everything and Forza Roma.”