Rafael Benitez has said he did not sign a new contract with Newcastle because the club did not share his vision.
Benitez has left the Premier League club after just over three years in charge at St James’ Park.
He said in a statement on his Twitter account: “I wanted to stay, but I didn’t just want to sign an extended contract, I wanted to be part of a project.
“I’m very sad about that, but I do not regret for one moment my decision to come to Tyneside and I’m very proud about what we achieved together.”
Rafa Benitez letter in full
Dear NUFC fans.
Thank you for three fantastic, exciting and, at times, challenging years.
What we have had here – your support, your affection and your passion – has been unbelievable for me.
St James’ Park has been always special, the 5-1 win against Tottenham , 15-05-2016, was so emotional that since that day I have always felt as though I belonged at Newcastle and I thank you for making me feel so welcome and at home.
Thank you to everyone at the club who has helped the team and of course to the fine players who grew and fought with us and to the staff (One of the best I have ever shared time with).
From winning the Championship, to our two season in the Premier League, fans, staff and players have all been United. I wanted to stay, but I didn’t just want to sign an extended contract, I wanted to be part of a project.
Unfortunately, it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the Club did not share the same vision.
I’m very sad about that, but I do not regret for one moment my decision to come to Tyneside and I’m very proud about what we achieved together.
I will always have you in my heart. Best of luck for the future. C’mon Toons!
Get the latest personalised Magpies products on our new TEAMtalk Newcastle shop!