Mihajlovic-Bologna, welcome letter to the Gazzetta: “Forever one of you”

The Serbian coach at the Gazeta writes a long and poignant farewell to thank the fans, the club (with some exceptions…) and the city for three years of on-pitch matches and life’s challenges.

I often welcomed fans, players, clubs and cities to say goodbye or goodbye. It is part of the career of a footballer and coach to leave sooner or later. Sports cycles are born, develop, give satisfaction, sometimes disappointments, and then inevitably end. Nothing is eternal. But this time the taste that leaves me coming back one last time is sadder.

Why don’t I just salute the fans who loved and supported me in these three and a half years full of football and life, tears of joy and pain, successes, falls and starts. Greetings from the brothers and fellow citizens. My adventure in Bologna wasn’t just football, it wasn’t just a sport… It was a union of souls, together we walk through a dark tunnel to see the light again. I felt the coach appreciated and this is for the guy. Warm me your warmth in the most difficult moments. I tried to return all this affection with my full commitment and my suspension in the jersey: I do not spare myself on the field or from the hospital bed.

The many years in Italy and the suffering I went through have relieved me, but it has not completely changed. I rounded some corners, but still a Serbian who is often finicky, candid, and blunt: I wasn’t always able to express feelings of gratitude. Perhaps I do not know how to give so many kind words, nor do I know how to throw myself into so many hugs: but I answered “the present” with my keen sense of duty, neglecting nothing of my work, and fulfilling a role to the fullest, even in the most dramatic circumstance, to give the fans And Bologna the satisfaction they deserve. I hope I succeeded at least in part. In the three and a half years we’ve been together, we’ve ranked an astonishing tenth, then twice the twelfth and finally thirteenth. Always arrive, in spite of everything – and you know what that ‘all’ was – a peaceful deliverance: trying to take a proactive and offensive kick, throwing young players and allowing the club to earn a lot from the outgoing transfer market, as evidenced by past sessions. Could I have done a better job? Probably. Did I do all I had? Yes, without a doubt. This allows me to look at everyone with my head held high and not blame myself for anything.

However, if it succeeds, it is also thanks to the fans and all the members of Bologna. I will never forget your processions to San Luca sanctuary for me, the cheerleading, “the unrequited force of Senisa” when you met me on the street, in Casteldepol, in the stadium. My feeling when I received the honorary citizenship feels like I am a Bolognese among Bolognese.

I was never a hypocrite, nor will I be a hypocrite this time: I don’t understand this exemption. I accept that, as a professional should do, but I thought the situation was completely under control and could be improved. The company was not of the same opinion as me. We’re only on day 5, and I find it hard to think that all of this is based solely on the most recent results or rankings and not a decision made for the longest time. Pity. However, I would like to say that my health conditions are good and constantly improving. I no longer care about myself, I’m just doing more and more occasional checkups. I’ve been following all the courses at Casteldebole in recent weeks: my only temporary drawback is the inability to expose myself to strong sunlight for long hours. But I never missed a day. Nothing prevents me from working and going on the bench. This is not the time to analyze football in the past period, in the market, about managing some situations that I did not agree with. Now, in remembering so many unique and unforgettable moments, I just want to say thank you.

Thanks to ardent Bologna fans. To society, with some legitimate exclusion from me. I told the President that he had allowed me to work here for three and a half years, and he had shown me long-term confidence. To the old managers of these years, from Claudio Vinucci to Walter Sabatini to Riccardo Begon, who have always been close to me, on and off the field. To the medical and telecommunications sectors and to all the components that work in Bologna every day with love and passion. To my staff, who have always supported me. To my players who have never been late in these seasons: I hope they improve and develop. They have endured my reproach, sometimes harsh, and have shown me on several occasions, what led me to love me as I sincerely desired each one of them.

Finally, I thank Sant’Orsola Hospital, one of the happy owners of this wonderful city and I quote to all, Dr. Francesca Bonifazi.

I wish Bologna and all the fans the best of sporting success: to leave behind a healthy group and work culture, and I believe the important values ​​we share with this environment.

I hope we meet again in the field soon. Whatever shirt I wear, I will never be an opponent, but always one of you.