Well, the long expected announcement has been made and Ernesto Valverde will be retiring from Olympiakos at the end of the season. This news had been widely rumoured over the last two weeks but had been formally announced today in a press conference between Ernesto and the chairman Vangelis Marinakis. Ernesto's reasons for leaving the club are personal but it is thought to be family orientated - he wants to see his son grow up and his family never moved across to Greece to be with him in either of his stints with us. Marinakis for his part stated that Ernesto is always welcome to return and thanked the manager for the last two years with the club.
The full statement is a little too long to type out but there was nothing more than mutual thanks and goodwill from both sides. During his time with us, Ernesto Valverde has returned the club back to the champions of the Greek Superleague after a catastrophic year under Ketsbaia, Zico and Bandovic and a european exit under Lienan. We have won two league titles under his reign and are in the final for the Greek Cup this year. In Europe, we managed to beat the reigning Bundesliga champions, the Ligue 1 runners up, thrash Arsenal at home and pass the formidable Rubin Kazan in a subarctic Moscow. All in all (despite some iffy player choices at times) Ernesto Valverde has been nothing but a revelation for us.
We let him leave with nothing but our gratitude and our best wishes for his future.