The wholesome moment Fernandinho thanked Pep Guardiola for "making him fall in love with football again"
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Fernandinho thanked Pep Guardiola for "making him fall in love with football again" in a wholesome final exchange with the Manchester City boss.
The Brazilian joined City in a £34 million move from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 and even waived a £4 million bonus payment such was his desire to sign.
Fernandinho won the league and Carabao Cup double in his first season under Manuel Pellegrini but it was under Guardiola where he went up another gear and cemented his place as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.
He spent just short of a decade at the Etihad Stadium and even filled in at right-back, left-back and centre-back during his tenure.
Fernandinho won five Premier League titles and 12 trophies overall - captaining City to his final two - before heading back to first club Atletico Paranaense at the age of 37.
Guardiola was surprised by Fernandinho's decision but the pair's last conversation was a wholesome one, where the latter told his manager of his complete and utter appreciation.
"Thank you for everything. For me it was a big pleasure. You don't know how much I learned in this time. I'm going to tell you something I've never told anyone before. You made me fall in love with football again.
"I was tired. I had learned to play a different way. But I learned that football is much more simple than anyone says. People will tell you that football is complex, it's this, it's that. But it isn't."
Guardiola revealed to Fernandinho how the late Johan Cruyff opened his eyes to how football should be played and shaped the way he saw the game as a result.
Fernandinho explained how he became a student of Guardiola's, adding: "Many of these things I will take with me for the rest of my life and I will try to apply that message so others can learn too."
Guardiola asked Fernandinho if he wanted to become a manager and his response was that it wasn't something he was ready to jump into at that very moment.
He's played 29 times back at Atletico and has recently expressed a desire to have a sporting director-type role rather than a coaching position when he retires.