Nuno saddened by Valencia departure

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Nuno Espirito Santo stepped down as Valencia coach following Sunday's 1-0 loss at Sevilla.

Nuno Espirito Santo said he is upset to leave Valencia, but he has urged fans to support the youthful Spanish outfit as they attempt to compete with Europe's elite.

Nuno ended his reign as coach following nine-man Valencia's 1-0 loss at La Liga rivals Sevilla on Sunday, with the club ninth in the standings.

The 41-year-old announced his decision during the post-match media conference after just one full season at the Mestalla, having led Valencia to a fourth-place finish last term.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, an emotional Nuno said: "I ask that the fans continue to support the youngest squad in La Liga. Tomorrow we will give more details.

"I understand that the issue is pertinent, but I do not want to say too much in this regard. It is important that the Valencianismo continues to be united and believes in this project for the present and the future.

"Tomorrow we will have a meeting with the owner to decide about the future. The players did not know anything about the matter. I have only spoken with the owner and the chairwoman. In the game, we were adversely affected by the sending off. We found things hard after that."

The Portuguese boss, who has rejected rumours of discontent within the squad this season, added: "Nobody gives up here, and the players are a solid, cooperative unit. We have been a reflection of that during this period. We have three very talented goalkeepers at the club. I am sad, as I have always felt a strong identification with Valencia CF.

"We have achieved important things for the club, including the highest points total in Valencia CF's history. I hope that I have given the players something to improve them and benefit their futures.

"I want to thank everybody for every day that I have spent at Valencia CF. It has been an honour and a source of pride for me. I have spoken personally with the owner and the chairwoman, and we are all in agreement that this is a project for both the present and the future. I do not want this to stop; I want VCF to get back amongst the biggest sides in Europe."