Leeds United give tearful Mateusz Klich guard of honour at Elland Road farewell
Mateusz Klich was in tears on the pitch as his Leeds United teammates donned shirts in his name and gave him a guard of honour to mark his departure from Elland Road.
The Polish midfielder was overcome with emotion after coming off the bench in the 2-2 draw at home with West Ham on Wednesday, 4 January, as players and coaches said their goodbyes.
The squad and American manager Jesse Marsch paid tribute by wearing t-shirts with a photo of Klich smoking a cigar – taken after Leeds won promotion to the Premier League in 2020.
The 32-year-old is widely regarded as integral to the squad that saw the club's return to the top flight under Marcelo Bielsa.
His four-and-a-half year spell at Leeds came to end pending an offer to play in Major League Soccer in the United States. He is expected to join Wayne Rooney's DC United.
Klich posted on Twitter after the match that he had been reluctant to end his time at Elland Road which had "been a dream."
He said: "I wish I could stay, but I have never enjoyed being on the bench and I want to play as much as I can in the coming years and that is why I am closing this chapter. But I will never forget my time in Yorkshire."
Boss Jesse Marsch was still wearing the farewell t-shirt as he paid tribute to Klich in the post-match press conference.
He said "We have enough quality in the team but his personality, his courage, his bravado will be tough to replace.
"I even said to the team, we have to find a way to find our inner 'Klichy' in all of us to make sure that we're ready to perform in every match."
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