Emotional farewell from departing legend.
Pablo Hernandez has given an emotional farewell to Leeds United in an exclusive interview with LUTV, sitting down to discuss his five years at Elland Road.
The midfielder was able to say goodbye to a small section of the fanbase in the final day win over West Bromwich Albion and will now embark on a new journey.
“I have different emotions. One part of me is sad, one part of me is happy because I go home now with my family after a long time without them,” Pablo told LUTV.
“It is difficult emotions but obviously I know I have been here for five years and these five years I live a lot of experiences, both positive and negative but mostly positive.
“I now just try to think about the positive things when I lived here, in this city, in the club, the people around the club, the fans, the people whop work in the club and my teammates.
“This is the most important thing for me, always. It’s always these positive things that are with me, I will never forget.”
Hernandez arrived at the club in 2016 and was an instant success. Throughout this five year spell, the midfielder made 175 appearances in the famous white shirt.
“When I came here, a lot of people talked to me about the club, about the history and about the fans,” Hernandez explained.
“I said ok, this is good for me, I am going to a big club but I never imaged the impact this club can have in England or outside in other countries.
“When I came, I knew that it’s a big challenge to get promotion to the Premier League but I think when I arrived, the club had started to work very well and with some changes it has grown a little bit and put the efforts in to get better and to improve.
“Then finally, we got the achievements and I think this is the best experience I have lived in my career, the promotion with Leeds United.
“Obviously I am not 100% happy because of the situation with Covid, it didn’t allow the fans and allow us to celebrate in the best conditions.
“But, after 16 years not playing in the Premier League, for this club to come back is amazing for this city and for the players too, it was an amazing experience.
“This group is amazing, this group of players is unbelievable, I have played for 16 years in professional football and I can say I have never lived in one group like this.
“It is special now when you see the fans always supporting the players, always supporting you, you feel the love they feel for you.
"It is special emotions and it is impossible that to go on the field and not give 100% because behind you, you have a lot of people supporting you. They don’t stop singing at all the games, it is an amazing feeling.”
There are many special moments that will stand out for supporters and players alike, but the main memory El Mago will take away with him is winning promotion and being able to make friends for life.
He said: “I think we have a lot of positive moments, but I think the day we got promoted to the Premier League, we can’t forget this moment in our life.
“It is an amazing feeling like I said before, we can’t celebrate this in the best way with the fans but this day is amazing. I never forget it.
“I think I arrived here as a player, I knew the boys as players and like a teammate, but I leave this club like a friend.
“I know I have friends and family here for the rest of my life. In Spain, in Castellon, they all have a family. If they need something or go to Spain, they have a family there.
“All the moments we’ve shared in this club over the last five years, all the work and bad days behind, it gave the possibility to us to build a good relationship, not just like teammates but like friends.”
Pablo’s final message was a thank you to the fans, along with his fellow departing teammate and friend, Gaetano Berardi.
“Thank you to all the fans for these five years and thank you to Bera, it was a pleasure to share the dressing room with him and learn from him.
“I think he’s an example for all the players, his spirit, his behaviour on and off the pitch is an example for everybody and like I said before, I know you like a teammate but now I can say goodbye like a friend.
“I hope in the future you can continue with your career in a good way with your new club and who knows, maybe in the future we can enjoy it together again, in football anything can happen! It was a pleasure.”