CHERRIES’ Diego Rico has penned a heartfelt farewell message to supporters after his move to La Liga side Real Sociedad was confirmed on Monday, writing “ I felt that you were something more than a team.”

The 28-year-old left-back’s transfer was sealed with the signing of a two-year deal, after he had travelled to Marbella for the warm-weather training camp but didn’t feature in either friendly.

He was understood to be nursing a slight injury during the camp, but Rico did feature 83 times for Cherries since joining for a fee of £10.7m in summer 2018.

Sociedad finished La Liga in fifth last season after a really promising start to the campaign in which the likes of former Man City wizard David Silva turned them into top-end contenders, and they’ll compete in the Europa League again next term as a result.

Bournemouth Echo:

Rico posted the message on his personal Instagram account and said: “So... it is always hard to say goodbye to a club that has become a family for me.

“Since the first time I signed with Bournemouth I felt that you were something more than a team and I was right! I found here an amazing place to live with fantastic fans that are always supporting the team despite the difficulties.

“Now I need to fly away but I will always be a Cherry! Hope you can be back to the top as soon as possible! My heart is black and red now!

“Thanks a lot AFC Bournemouth. Best Wishes!”

Although the move didn’t quite work out for Rico in England, his application to Cherries can't and hasn't been called into question.