Abelardo bade a tearful farewell to Sporting Gijon and showed tremendous generosity by writing off a €4m payoff he was due to receive.
The 46-year-old’s contract at El Molinon was due to run through until 2020 but he said that such was his love for the club, he would refuse any money for the cancellation of the deal.
“I cry for these people, for this club and for the fans, who I love so much,” Abelardo said, through tears, as he officially made his departure.
“As a Sporting fan, even though I had a contract until 2020, I couldn’t do that to the club I love. I did the same at other clubs and it wasn’t going to be any different here.
“I don’t have a problem writing off the money. There are more important things, loyalty to my club above all.
“It has been my fault, not the players – I could see that what I wanted on the pitch wasn’t being transmitted to the players. That’s why I spoke to Javi and decided to leave. My family, and particularly my son, have had a rough time during this.
“I want to thank the players. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to be here for two and a half years.”