Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Paris Saint-Germain appoints Mauricio Pochettino as coach | Football News

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Pochettino, who played for PSG as a defender and also team captain, has been unemployed since his dismissal by Spurs in November 2019.

Paris Saint-Germain, French football champions, have announced the hiring of coach Mauricio Pochettino to replace the recently dismissed Thomas Tuchel.

Pochettino, who took Tottenham Hotspur to the Champions League final in 2019, has signed a contract to coach PSG until June 2022 with an option for another year, the club have said.

48-year-old Argentine Pochettino inherits a talented but underperforming squad – by PSG standards. He begins the new year in third place behind Lyon and Lille. His first game at the helm will take place on Wednesday in Saint-Etienne.

“I return to the club today with a lot of ambition and humility, and I look forward to working with some of the most talented players in the world,” Pochettino said in a statement on Saturday.

“This team has fantastic potential and my team and I will do everything possible to get the best of Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions,” said Pochettino. “We will also do our utmost to give our team the combative and offensive playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved.”

Pochettino played 95 games for PSG as a robust center-back from 2001 to 2003 and was appreciated by fans.

“I have wonderful memories, especially of the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes,” said the former PSG captain.

Tottenham sacked Pochettino in November 2019, just months after the last Champions League appearance, where Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool.

Likewise, Tuchel was sacked four months after leading PSG to the Champions League final – losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

“Mauricio’s return is perfectly in line with our ambitions and it will be another exciting chapter for the club and I am sure the fans will appreciate it,” said PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi.

“With the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino, Paris Saint-Germain is committed to continuing to build and advance the club over the next few years,” he added.

PSG finished 2020 just one point off the top of the league in third place after beating Strasbourg 4-0 on December 23, but Tuchel was asked after the game about comments he made to the German channel SPORT1.

The German coach allegedly claimed that managing PSG was more akin to being a politician or sports minister, such was the difficulty level, and that he had not received enough recognition for leading the club to his first Champions League final.

PSG have sometimes struggled this season with four defeats in the league. They fell short against their main rivals, losing 1-0 at home to Lyon and Marseille and drawing 0-0 at Lille. They also lost two of the Champions League’s opening three games but ended up advancing to the knockout stage ahead of the group.

The start of the season has been delayed after several players, including Neymar and captain Marquinhos, tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from a club-sanctioned trip to the Spanish resort town of Ibiza.


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