"This is the victory of Palermo and its people" - said captain Mario Alberto Santana. "I believe I have given back a part of what I have received, during the many years in Palermo, to the people of this city. I have always tried to give more than my best with immense love and respect for these colors. I will always be grateful to those who gave me the chance to live this dream. I said that this would be the most important season of my career - the captain continues - I wasn't wrong. I have learned more during this year than in the past twenty in professional soccer. Thanks to the Club and my teammates from whom I’ve learned something day by day, I’ve grown as a soccer player and as a man. I want to thank them also because it's not easy to put up with me. Nevertheless, I tried, with all my heart, to impart my soccer experience, passion, the desire to improve and, above all, the desire to help.
"The early end of the championship has inevitably also demanded great effort from the Club which, despite this, has always kept all commitments made to us players. Unfortunately unlike, for example, what happened to many of our colleagues in other D League teams.
For this reason, in agreement with all of my teammates, we also want to do our part for the city we have the honor of representing. We therefore intend to renounce the €250.000,00 reward made available to us by the Club for this year's promotion. A figure not owed and not initially planned for, yet the Club wanted to offer it to us in January and reconfirm today, despite the serious post-Covid economic crisis which has radically changed everything. A further and prestigious starting point to achieve the only goal we had: win the championship and put the D league behind us.
Specifically, we decided to leave €200.000,00 in the Club's funds and donate the remaining €50.000,00 of the planned reward to needy families in Palermo, to show our support and gratitude. A reward that, being of these proportions, already represents an extraordinary instance for the D League and beyond.
Considering the remarkable enthusiasm with which many fans and sponsors are showing their willingness to give up on any reimbursements, we also loudly say that "we won't back down". With our choice, we are contributing "as a team", even off the field, to build an increasingly strong group. We are a family, we are Palermo."
"Finally, I would personally like to send a very loving thank you to my partner Federica, her support has been essential throughout this difficult year. I dedicate this important milestone to her and to my children Mia, Mathy, Alis and Emily. It is a pleasure for me to mention and thank all the staff members whose work was also fundamental: the coach and his deputy, the trainers, the doctors, the physiotherapists, the team manager and the warehousemen. My dream now is to end my career as a soccer player with this jersey. Surely every future choice will be agreed upon with the Club", the captain concluded.