Leonardo Pavoletti pens an emotional goodbye letter to Genoa after sealing a move to Napoli.
It was officially announced by Partenopei President Aurelio De Laurentiis today that the 28-year-old has signed for the club, with the deal thought to be worth around €13m.
Since signing for the Grifone in January 2015, Pavoletti has scored 23 Serie A goals in 44 games and he has bid a fond farewell to the port city club.
“A simple speech, like me,” Pavoletti began on his Facebook page.
“I’m saying goodbye to Genoa and to Genova after two intense years full of excitement, enthusiasm and hard work.
“I remember the beginning: January 2015. I was at home in Livorno when suddenly I got a phonecall: ‘Come to Milan tomorrow, you’re signing for Genoa’.
“I couldn’t sleep that night because of the excitement, a big club which have decorated the history of football with their own colours.
“I felt it was the right place, a new home in which to grow and become great.
“I arrived on tiptoe, ready to make myself available to the Coach and the team. It was tough on the bench at first, but I was determined to win confidence, affection and a starting spot.
“Then came the goal against Parma. I remember the joy, my first celebration in Rossoblu, the knowledge that work pays-off. Always.
“Since then the memories have become a patchwork of faces, smiles, autographs, training sessions, defeats, wins, sadness, joy, words, goals.
“Until the last two months of the season, the most beautiful moments: the victory in the derby [against Sampdoria] and the win over Inter at home.
“A salvation won by the group, to the sound of football and goals. A deserved happy ending.
“Now this story has reached the end credits, but the love for this city and this shirt hasn’t. Love affairs don’t end, they just take a new form.
“Today I’m being called to a new adventure, but I won’t forget those I loved and who loved me, because they’re part of me.
“In life we all change jobs, change company, leave for new experiences and it’s no different for me. In life you can speak incorrectly, if some of my statements have offended or misled anyone then I apologise.
“I understand the bitterness of many, I recognise that bluntness and sincerity which is typical of people of the sea. But there is no betrayal, only a change. That doesn’t justify the resentment, threats and insults which some have hurled my way.
“It’s the path of everyone, our paths are splitting and there’s a new fanbase to embrace: passionate like the Rossoblu, and always friends to the Genoana.
“We’re travelling companions who are saying goodbye to each other, maybe to meet again one day, who knows?
“If I’m breaking my silence now it’s only to avoid further misunderstandings and confusion. I decided to write today after a period of reflection, not to feed new controversies.
“I want to close by thanking everyone. Thanks to the President, the club, the Coach - present and past - , teammates, fans, staff, gardeners, janitors at the training ground and the stadium…
“I’m grateful for every word, the criticism, praise and pats on the shoulder you have given me.
“I was born on the sea, in Livorno. I was born by the sea again, in Genoa. Now I’ll find another sea, for another adventure.”