Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri has announced his resignation from the club following the 2-1 loss to Serie A rival Roma.
The 51-year-old decided to part ways with this season's runners-up after four years of guiding the club, but admitted it was not an easy decision to make.
However, the former Livorno and Sampdoria manager believed it was the right time the players were taken in a new direction.
"The moment has come for me to reflect," Mazzarri told the club's official website, sscnapoli.it. "Napoli is a marvellous place but I am leaving after four years because the players need some new stimulation.
"I've talked to the lads in the changing room and the president, I was emotional and I hugged everybody.
"I thank the fans... and all of those who've been close to me in these wonderful years.
"I took this decision some time ago. Out of respect, though, I wanted the players to be able to give their all right to the end, which they did."
Mazzarri joined the club in 20009 as a replacement for current Parma coach Roberto Donadoni and lifted his charges to a sixth-place finish in his debut season.
He then bettered that result the following season, Napoli finishing third and securing a spot in the 2011/12 Champions League, that competition seeing the Italian team progress to the last-16 before being felled by eventual champions Chelsea.
And with the club finishing second behind Juventus in the Serie A this season, Mazzarri has made a habit of building success upon success.
But Mazzarri believes that success has finally come to an end, admitting he has done all he can for the Naples-based club.
However, the news of his resignation will have pricked the ears of many of Italy's best clubs, with Roma and both Milan clubs already rumoured to be interested in his services.
"I've taken Napoli as far as I can and I've put all my strength into this team and I think I have fulfilled the mandate in the right way," he added.
"I thank (president Aurelio) De Laurentiis and (director of sport Riccardo) Bigon who tried to change my mind, but I think it's time to go and sit still for a few months or even try a new challenge.
"It depends on the offers. Naples has a precious treasure and a solid club which is very healthy, and I think they will have a bright future."
Napoli president De Laurentiis took to social media to thank Mazzarri for his services and told fans of the club that his successor would soon be named.
"We salute Mazzarri for everything he has done," he wrote on Twitter. "We turn the page and keep on growing. You will know who the new coach is through Twitter."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.