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Andre Villas-Boas Hulk, Axel Witsel bid Zenit farewell

Andre Villas-Boas is set to take a year out from coaching, and Zenit duo Hulk and Axel Witsel paid homage to the Portuguese.

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Hulk and Axel Witsel led the well wishes to Andre Villas-Boas as he bids farewell to Zenit.

Head coach Villas-Boas announced in September that he would be departing the club at the end of the Russian Premier League season, which concluded on Saturday.

Zenit overcame CSKA Moscow to win the Russian Cup this month but were unable to prevent Leonid Slutsky's team deposing them as league champions.

Former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Villas-Boas had been linked with the coaching positions at Marseille and Valencia, but confirmed in April he would be taking a year out.

Hulk - Zenit's highest scoring player during the Russian Premier League title triumph under Villas-Boas in 2014-15 - thanked the Portuguese in an Instagram post.

"I wish you good health, peace and success. I was fortunate to work with you and know you. Thanks for everything," he wrote.

Witsel also paid homage to the outgoing Villas-Boas.

"One of the best coaches I've worked with. I have learned many thing and it's been a pleasure to play under your management. I wish you all the best in the future," the Belgian posted on Instagram.

The former Tottenham boss delivered a parting message to the Zenit players, thanking them for their comments.

"The biggest reward for a football coach is to be recognised by his own players," wrote Villas-Boas on Facebook.

"Nothing compares to the feeling that in some way we have made them better. Thank you all."

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