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PSG appoints Christophe Galtier as new coach after sacking Mauricio Pochettino

12 Jul 2022 | 08:19 | Football


New Paris St Germain coach, Christophe Galtier

Football Football – Ligue 1 – Paris St Germain Press Conference – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – 5 July 2022 New Paris St Germain coach Christophe Galtier during the press conference REUTERS / Benoit Tessier

Christophe Galtier says he is ready to impose himself in the dressing room of Paris Saint-Germain’s superstars after being named the club’s new manager on Tuesday to replace sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

Galtier, who left PSG’s Ligue 1 rivals Nice last month, signed a two-year contract at the Parc des Princes with the French champions confirming the appointment shortly after the announcement of Pochettino’s departure.

“Yes, I am very emotional, yes, I am proud,” Galtier told a news conference in the French capital.

“I realize very well the responsibility that has been assigned to me but I am prepared for this. I wouldn’t have accepted this job if I didn’t think I was capable of it.”

Galtier may not be as well known internationally as some of the other names that have been associated with PSG’s work – most notably Zinedine Zidane – but he has a prominent reputation in France, where he won the Ligue 1 title with Lille last year.

He insists he is not afraid to make his mark in a PSG dressing room full of star names, even surpassing Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar.

“It’s a privilege to have a dressing room full of world-class players,” he said.

“You have to talk to them but you also have to impose yourself. There can be no compromise.

“We must have a common project but there will not be a revolution. I will watch and listen, and I know I will have the backing of the board if there is a player that does not fit the project of the club.”

The club had earlier released a short statement confirming what had been widely advertised for weeks – the departure of Pochettino with one year remaining on his contract.

“Paris Saint-Germain can confirm that Mauricio Pochettino has ended his role at the club,” a club statement said as the former Tottenham Hotspur manager left Parc des Princes after 18 months at the helm.

Pochettino and his behind-the-scenes staff are gone after winning the Ligue 1 title last season but the campaign is better remembered for the disappointment of exiting the Champions League in the last 16 at the hands of Real Madrid.

‘Never spoke to Zidane’

“The club would like to thank Mauricio Pochettino and his staff for their work and wish them all the best for the future,” the PSG statement added.

It was Pochettino’s turn to post a farewell message on Instagram.

“I want to wish everyone at PSG the best for the future,” he said.

“We have enjoyed great moments and big wins together and as a coaching staff, with every experience, we are always learning to fuel our growth for the future. “

The PSG transfer of Galtier has been a secret for several weeks and club president Nasser al-Khelaifi has dismissed any offers he initially wanted to appoint Zidane.

“We never spoke to Zidane. I love him as a player and a coach but for all the respect I have for him, we have never spoken to him,” Khelaifi said.

“Christophe Galtier has always been the first choice for us. Here he is, and I hope that is the last question on the matter.”

Galtier is PSG’s seventh coach since Qatar took over the club in 2011 and hopes to become the first to deliver Champions League success.

The 55-year-old has developed a reputation as a top coach in the French club’s games over the past decade.

He enjoyed eight successful years at Saint-Etienne, where he won the League Cup in 2013, before spending four years at Lille and crowned with the Ligue 1 title in 2021, when they overcame PSG.

He left Lille after that success and joined the ambitious Nice, a company owned by Ineos, which is chaired by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.

Galtier led Nice to fifth place in Ligue 1 last season as well as to the final of the French Cup, losing to Nantes.

The former Portsmouth assistant previously worked with Luis Campos, the Portuguese super scout who was recently appointed PSG football adviser and who built the league-winning Lille team under Galtier .

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