Levante icon José Luis Morales announced his departure from the club via a video on his social media accounts.
The forward left the door open for a future return to the club in an emotional video, captioned “See you soon”.
Recorded in the stands and within the changing rooms of Levante’s home stadium, Ciutat de Valencia, Morales explained his departure in a heartfelt monologue, as transcribed by Las Provincias.
“I never thought I would have to write these words. It’s time to say goodbye, or rather, see you soon. I’ve always said that Levante is everything to me because Levante has given me the opportunity to be who I am today. And as you’ve heard me say many times before, Levante is my home.”
“There have been bad moments, like the ones we’ve experienced this season, but there have been many more good moments which I will carry in my memory and my heart forever.”
Morales had been vocal about his desire to stay with Levante and fight their way back to the top flight but referred to the sudden turn of events as the reason behind his departure. Known fondly as ‘El Comandante’ among Levante fans, Morales addressed the passionate Granota fanbase.
“Thanks especially to the fans. I know some of you are disappointed by my decision to leave the club, and even by the way events have unfolded. I assure you that it was not the desired one, but circumstances led us to it. When I told you that I would stay, I spoke with my Levante soul and I really felt that way. I ask all of you for forgiveness and understanding for everything I have done, said, felt, suffered and even cried. I have always tried to give infinite love to this club.”
“I hope that Levante will soon be in its rightful place, the Primera División, a division in which I lived, with you, the best years of my life.”
Morales reassured that money was not the reason behind his decision to leave. The 34-year-old is expected to join Villarreal in the coming days.
He leaves the club as second in their all-time top-scoring charts, having racked up 69 goals in 311 competitive games, winning the 2016/17 Segunda División title as well.