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André Villas Boas in heartfelt farewell to Marseille

On Tuesday, Marseille and André Villas Boas’ lawyers finalised the paperwork for the termination of the Portuguese coach and his assistants’ contracts. In a heartfelt message posted on Instagram, Villas Boas was full of love for the club:

Always… together. I open the doors of the Hôtel Dieu and find myself facing Notre Dame de la Garde. Walk from the Old Port along the Corniche to the Vallon des Auffes. Returning I am rinsed by the sun but cooled by the wind to Mucem. It was my first morning as a Marseillais.”

In a year and a half, I have learned to feel this city and the love its citizens have for their club. At the Vélodrome volcano, I shook with you to celebrate every goal and every victory. I used to watch both ends to appreciate the flags of each group and those streamers amid the sounds and whispers of your prayers for your l’OM! Being part of the history of this club is a jewel in a coach’s journey. This jewel is unique in France. It’s impossible not to love this club and their supporters without falling in love with its past, the rich memories that inhabit this club and the stories that are passed down from generation to generation. I treated the club like it was my own, standing up for anything that felt right and against anything unfair, truth or lie. I have always carried with me the honour and dignity that I thought you deserved. I take with me the best memories, sensations and indescribable emotions with me, with a singular love for a club and a unique region. La Sainte Victoire was my friend for 18 months. I’m proud to have been able to know all of her folds and thank her for inspiring me to do the best as a person.”

To all my players and to the OM staff, thank you for your toil and your efforts. We are linked to each other emotionally and I will miss you very much. I wish each of you the best professionally and personally. With the sadness that we can’t embrace each other anymore but with the encouragement and empathy we have for each other and knowing that we will be together again soon.”

Saudade is a Portuguese word. Strong, visceral, linked to roots. It reflects our sadness for something we miss, a piece of ourselves that we have left behind. “There is no Saudade without a return …” Olympique de Marseille see you later.”

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