Milan Badelj has announced that he will leave Fiorentina this summer in an open letter. “I’m not in a position to dedicate myself forever.”
Badelj has spent the past four years at Fiorentina, making 140 appearances for the Viola in that time, but the midfielder’s contract expires in June and he admits the time has come to move on.
“There aren’t always easy choices in life, even when they seem to be, but we’re all different and those who know me know that I’m a person who always tries to go further,” he began on the club’s official website.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d also like to go further today, leaving the place I consider my home, a place where I found serenity, balance and happiness: in a word, stability.
“However, I also have to deal with reality: the life of a player isn’t very long and unfortunately I’m not in a position to dedicate myself to Fiorentina forever: I still have the desire and enthusiasm to test myself.
“I have many thoughts in my mind, so I’d like to say a lot to each of you, apologise and try to explain myself, like I’m trying to do, because you all deserve it and deserve much more for all your loyalty, passionate love and great sensitivity and privacy at times of difficulty!
“Allow me to say only ‘THANK YOU’, written as big as possible: THANKS FLORENCE! I’ve had some unforgettable moments here, both good and bad, but we’ve always stuck together, and that makes me proud and makes me feel part of YOU.
“I’d also like to say ‘thank you’ to all the people who have always been close to me, to all my former Coaches with their staff, to all the former players with whom I celebrated in front of the curvas and Viola stands and to all those with whom I left the field with my head down after defeats but always with the desire to lift it back up.
“Above all, let me say ‘thank you’ to my teammates, without explaining why....... [referring to Davide Astori’s death]
“I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to the medical staff working in the shadows, for all they’ve done...
“[Thank you] to the kit-men who care about us as if we were their children, to the club for believing in me and allowing me to play in Serie A and to all the people I met even for a short time. Sorry if I forgot anyone...
“It’s not always easy to be clear-headed and express everything you feel, but I’m certain of one thing – all the years I’ve spent with all of you have made me grow as a man.”