Marcelino has announced his resignation as coach of Athletic Bilbao.
The Asturias native praised the club and its philosophy while saying the current first-team is the best group of people he has ever managed.
“I have enjoyed the privilege of coaching Athletic Club. This is the best group of people I have ever coached in my 20 years in this profession," Marcelino said.
“The work, the belief and the love that they have shown us from the beginning has been incredible. We're very close to them and we'll be very grateful for the rest of our lives. They gave us the best, took us to the top and made us champions."
He continued: “I am convinced the team will continue to improve. There are good people and great players with experience, a lot of quality and talent as well as players with promising futures coming through the ranks."
The experienced manager admitted his decision to leave the Club had not been an easy one, saying it came about after an in-depth discussion with his coaching staff on what was best for them and Athletic.
“Athletic is a club that is above anyone who might be here at any given moment," he said.
“After a carrying out a thorough analysis of the situation with my coaching staff, we believe the time has come to step aside and bring an end to a beautiful story."
Marcelino had words of thanks for the Board of Directors that brought him to Bilbao, especially for Aitor Elizeg, now member of the interim managing commission and former president.
He said: “They trusted us and offered us the chance to coach at this great club with an impressive history."
Marcelino also paid tribute to Rafa Alkorta, Athletic's director of sport: “He understood our way of working from day one, and defended our ideas inside and outside the Club."
And of course, the Asturian thanked Club legend Jose Angel Iribar: “Thank you Ángel, for being there every day at Lezama."
The former Athletic manager coach confessed that the imminent elections and the upcoming change in Athletic's leadership meant he did not perceive “the trust or the necessary backing to build a medium or long-term project".
He added: “In the last few weeks I haven't sensed the clear interest or trust needed to continue as Athletic's coach in the future."
To conclude, Marcelino addressed all Athletic fans, saying: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We were orphans while the pandemic attacked us. Then I discovered what it really means to be at San Mamés as Athletic's coach. We had some magical nights that I will never forget."
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