Way back in August 2019, fledgling English football manager Robí di Lathamé took the reigns of Sporting Lisbon. Now, 21 years later at the age of 56, I was preparing for my final match as a football manager.
Twelve games into a first title defence since 2004, Valencia CF were unbeaten and just one point off pacesetters Barcelona moving into November 2028.
Our third season in Spain, and ninth of this save in total, was an unmitigated success as Valencia CF lifted their first La Liga trophy for 24 years. Not only that, we also won the club's first Copa del Rey title since 2019.
A second season in Valencia saw us lead Los Cules to an unexpected second place finish, only behind an increasingly ridiculously good Real Madrid. We'll take a quick look back at the season just gone and our key players throughout the campaign.
We headed into the second half of our second season with Valencia sandwiched by Spanish giants Barcelona and the increasingly untouchable Real Madrid.
Heading into the first international break of our second season with Valencia, we were sitting pretty at the top of the league with the evergreen Son Heung-Min in top form.
We came into season two in Spain in need of a fairly substantial rebuilding effort to strengthen a threadbare squad and replace several Valencia CF stalwarts and one big-name departure.
Our first season with Valencia after six years of glory in Sporting was an unprecedented success, wrapping up third place in La Liga and winning the Europa League.
Valencia went into the final ten games of La Liga in 2025/26 locked in a four-way battle for the final two Champions League places with Espanyol, Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.