'Passion, positivity, pride' - Marc Roca's first words after swapping Leeds United for Real Betis

Marc Roca of Real Betis is reacting to a missed opportunity during the La Liga EA Sports match between Real Betis and Granada CF at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville, Spain, on January 13, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by DAX Images/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Former Leeds United midfielder Marc Roca has broken his silence after leaving the club for La Liga outfit Real Betis earlier this week by sending a message to the White supporters.

Having arrived at Elland Road under Jesse Marsch for £10m from Bayern Munich two years ago, it was hoped that the Spaniard would be able to bolster up the central area of the pitch alongside Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams but it never truly came to be. Roca struggled in the Premier League and after the club was condemned to relegation back down to the Championship, the star jumped ship and landed a loan move at Betis last season.

In his season-long stint with them, he scored four goals in 37 appearances, three more than he managed for the Whites in the same amount of matches, and has now completed a permanent move despite having two more years on his current contract with Leeds.

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While it's still unclear how much Betis paid for the star, LeedsLive understands that it must be a fee of at least £5m due to the deal not being marked down as a loss on the club's Profitability and Sustainability (PSR) projections. Ahead of his move to La Liga, Roca couldn't hide his delight at joining his new club but failed to mention anything about Leeds in the 'goodbye' message.

"I am very happy to be able to share with you the immense joy I feel to remain associated with this great club," the star wrote on his Instagram page. "During this season, I have had the opportunity to get to know first hand the values that Real Betis Balompie represents and I am honoured to say that they are aligned with mine.

"Perseverance, positive energy and pride of belonging are some of the most outstanding principles of this big family. I am convinced that the effort, passion and ambition coupled with the communication between the team and the fans, will lead us to achieve the highest objectives. I sincerely appreciate the support I received from the wonderful Verdiblanca family. Let’s go for it all."

Roca's former teammates Junior Firpo and Joel Robles both wished the star farewell, with Firpo commenting three green love-heart emojis while Robles sent a hands-up emoji and two love-heart-eyes. Meanwhile, numerous Betis players welcomed him including Assane Diao, Aitor Ruibal Garcia and Nabil Fekir.

Roca was the club's first exit of the summer which commanded a fee, although several free moves and loan spells were confirmed beforehand including Sonny Perkins loan move to Leyton Orient, Luke Ayling's permanent switch to Middlesborough, Ian Poveda entering free agency and Lewis Bate leaving for Stockport County.