Cesare Prandelli has bid a fond farewell to Italy's Football Federation ahead of his official unveiling as Galatasaray coach.
Prandelli resigned after the Italians' group-stage elimination from the FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil, despite having two years left on his contract. The 56-year-old then accepted an offer to guide Turkish giants Gala and will be presented today in Istanbul.
"So many things happen in four years," Prandelli wrote on the federation's website. "You meet so many people and create so many bonds while creating a project.
"I would like to thank each and every one of those people who have accompanied me, advised me and supported me in my journey. It isn't possible to thank them individually because there are so many.
"I will do it with these few lines: It has been a privilege to work with you and I will always be proud of it. I know how much love and passion you have dedicated to the Azzurri jersey.
"I must give particular thanks to the president, Giancarlo Abete, a key figure in this four-year tenure. He always knew how to say the right things to me at the right moments.
"I hope that our experience, both the positives and the negatives, can be a starting point in order for football in our country to earn the dignity and respect it deserves."
Prandelli coached Roma and Fiorentina before replacing Marcello Lippi in charge of the national team in 2010. He led Gli Azzurri to the final of UEFA EURO 2012, where they lost to Spain, and a third-place finish in last year's FIFA Confederations Cup.
Galatasaray were looking for a new coach after parting company with Italian tactician Roberto Mancini last month. Mancini led Gala to second place in the Super Lig, behind Fenerbahce, and also won the Turkish Cup, but left after nine months at the helm.