Marcelino did not want to wait long to announce that he is stepping aside, that he is leaving Athletic of his own free will, yes, driven by the messages he has been receiving from the three presidential candidates, although they have not been transferred directly. In a mass appearance before the media in San Mamés, surrounded by the captain of the Muniain team, the ambassador of the Iribar club, the general director Berasategi, the sports director Alkorta, the board of directors, the delegate Sendoa and his coaching staff, which has been constituted in management commission, he elaborated for a little over half an hour to close this intense journey that ends abruptly. He has acknowledged that he made the decision the day before yesterday, although he publicly marked that date as the important one.
The Asturian coach, visibly moved and tearful, started reading a statement and ended to applause from the first three rows, those of representatives of the entity. “I look back and only see the good”, he launched with a half smile. The coach of the four finals is leaving, although one was inherited. His stay has been short, since January 3, 2021, that is, for 17 months in which they have felt that he has had a “privilege”. “Over time, the experience has been much better than we could imagine at that time,” he went back to that time when he took over from Garitano. .
Going into the numbers of this last exercise, he highlighted that they have achieved nine points more than the previous season and that they have added the best harvest of the last five seasons. “Athletic is far above the people who are punctually in it. After an in-depth analysis of the situation, evaluating the pros and cons, we have made a decision, the time has come to step aside and close a beautiful story, ”he defined. The inside of him churned. “I had a great war, not a battle, my heart told me to stay and my head can’t.” The future does not exist beyond making the move, going to Gijón, “enjoying family and friends” and “some entertainment that will distract me”.
García Toral was “proud” of “having enjoyed the privilege of having coached Athletic.”The time has come to give thanks and say goodbye. Eskerrik asko! (thank you very much) and agur (goodbye)”. When he was handing out thanks, he remembered the president, the board of directors and the general manager. And the sports director, Alkorta, “who understood our way of working from day one and understood our ideas inside and outside the club; so difficult, such an honest worker and a good partner”. He especially affected the captains “who from the first day showed us all their support and made it easier for us to coexist with the whole group”. And he did not forget the squad, “he took us to the top and made us champions, it has been the best group I have worked with during my almost 20 years as a professional. We are going to be grateful to this squad for life, as human group have offered us all the best. It is not a goodbye, you will always be in our hearts”, he launched to his players, represented by Muniain”. Very generous words that he also gave to the media, since they have had a good deal with him .
The fans did not have much affection for him when he arrived and he leaves with all the congratulations. “As no people went to the field at the beginning… We were orphans while the pandemic attacked us, then I learned the true meaning of being in San Mamés as coach of Athletic, we have lived unforgettable moments”, he collapsed. “This decision hurts our souls, but it is what was appropriate for all the circumstances that exist.”
He took a couple of breaths to calm down and continue with his speech detailing the reasons for his resignation. “If the leaders who hired us and let us work with absolute freedom had continued, we would have accepted the renewalbecause we had full confidence and a project. I feel that the club no longer gives me the confidence I need, the support to build something in the medium or long term. In recent weeks I have not perceived the unequivocal support or the confidence in the future to continue being Athletic’s coach”. All this supposes the arguments “to confirm that I was right when the renewal was offered on several occasions”. In any case, he considers that the team will continue to progress with him out. “When you want and believe, the improvement will come.”
In a month there will be a substitute for that bench and he does not want to make any recommendations to the one who takes over: “I am sure he will find the solutions to make Athletic better”. He leaves without holding a grudge against Arechabaleta, Barkala and Uriarte, who have left him in the background. “I do not consider that I have been disrespected. When you are going to be the president of such a big club, every step you take you have to measure it a lot. The facts show me that we made the right decision, so that they acted with complete freedom. I am not hurt, those of us who are in the offer know that the best thing is that they can choose from a multitude of opportunities, the facts and the conversations tell you where you are and what you suppose”. Throw the blind with 75 games, 28 wins, 26 draws and 21 losses. With four finals, the Super Cup and the feeling of having failed at important moments.
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