Not gonna thank him at all.
I can appreciate his class whilst at the club, but to be honest, we made him as a player. We gave him the platform to play in 2 European Cup finals and win his first major trophies here. Under Benitez he went from a promising and talented midfielder, to one of the very best in the game. Even when he had his poor run and through his injuries, we stayed loyal and he constantly had his name sung, week in, week out by an army of dedicated and loyal fans. We backed him to the hilt, even when it was in protest against our own manager! Not only that we've parted, with happiness it must be said, with £1000's of our hard earned money, to follow him around the world and sing his name.
I know for a fact how people have on numerous times helped him and his family settle in this city and how we took him in as one of our own.
So for him, to leave in the manner he did, to join a whores market at Real Madrid, does leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
I respect and admire him for his class on and off the field and also for the many, many great memories he's gave me as a fan over the years and yes, of course, it is sad to lose a player of his ability.
However, thank him?
He's the one who should be thanking us.