'Crusader 252 forever' - Pablo Matera posts emotional farewell

Source: 1News

Pablo Matera has penned an emotional farewell to the Crusaders in te reo Māori, Spanish and English after wrapping up his time with the club on Tuesday.

Pablo Matera.

Matera flew back to Argentina on Tuesday but not before taking to social media to thank the Crusaders for the past season, which ended on the ultimate high on Saturday night with a Super Rugby title in front of a sold-out Eden Park.

"Grateful for having had the opportunity to pursue a dream," Matera said.

"Enjoyed every day in this incredible country and I am immensely proud to have been part of this great team full of magical people that we will never forget.

"It was short but I lived it to the fullest."

Matera signed off the short message with "Crusader 252 forever".

Alongside the message, the 28-year-old shared 10 images from Saturday night, including one of him clearly emotional with his head resting on coach Scott Robertson's shoulder.

Pablo Matera shares a moment with Scott Robertson after the final.

There were also pictures of him and his son with the Super Rugby Pacific trophy, which was the first in Matera's career.

"[Winning] could be the biggest thing I could ever dream of," an emotional Matera told 1News prior to Saturday's final.

"Like, I honestly have never won anything - no competition and I’ve been playing for 10 years round the world. I’ve never won nothing."

Matera's post was flooded with congratulatory messages in response, including from the official Crusaders Instagram account and his teammate Sevu Reece.

"Safe travels back home to you and Alina and Darta," Reece wrote.

"We miss you guys."

Pablo Matera finally got his wish - now he's leaving the Crusaders for a more lucrative contract.

It's understood Matera is looking to move to Japan to take up a lucrative deal, a decision Robertson told 1News he fully respected.

“He’s talked about how important it is for kids in Argentina and how they can transcend… how they can go to other teams and play at a high level," Robertson said.

"He asked to come here to win a championship but to do it is another thing, so we’re pleased for him.

“It’s sad, we’d loved to have kept him, but he’s decided to take another opportunity.”