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Olympique Marseille

Sampaoli unveiled as new Marseille coach as Ligue 1 club also replace president

20:46 GMT 26/02/2021
Jorge Sampaoli Marseille GFX
The Argentine returns to European football for the first time since leaving Sevilla in 2017 to take up the Albiceleste post

Marseille have confirmed that former Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli will take over as the club's new coach, while also revealing changes in the board room. 

Sampaoli had been expected to be named as Andre Villas-Boas' replacement after he resigned from Brazil's Atletico Mineiro. 

And he will get to work immediately under a new president, as director of football Pablo Longoria was promoted to the top job by l'OM owner Frank McCourt. 

What did Marseille say? 

"Frank McCourt announces profound changes, opening a new chapter for Olympique de Marseille," the club revealed in a statement published on Friday .

"Pablo Longoria is appointed president of the management board of Olympique de Marseille. Internationally renowned coach Jorge Sampaoli is appointed head of the first team."

What did Sampaoli say? 

“I've been told all my life that l'OM is a passion. Let the Orange Velodrome light up when the team goes to the stadium," the Argentine told Marseille's official website. 

“Marseille is a people's club and I feel myself in this heat. We are not here to hide: we will play hard.

"When I received this proposal, I dreamed of being able to party in the city. In the world, there are quiet places and intense places. These are the ones I want and I accepted without hesitation. This club has a soul that's why we are here. We are ready. "

The story so far for Sampaoli

The 60-year-old has enjoyed a long, well-travelled career in coaching, which began in his early 30s after injury put paid to his hopes of playing professionally.

Sampaoli achieved moderate success in the lower reaches of the Argentine football pyramid and during several spells in Peru, Chile and Ecuador, but his breakthrough moment on the bench came at the helm of Universidad de Chile, whom he led to three league titles and the Copa Sudamericana crown. 

That impressive record caught the eye of the Chile national team, who hired him to replace Claudio Borghi at the end of 2012. Under Sampaoli's stewardship the Roja won their first ever major title at the 2015 Copa America and also achieved qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. 

The trainer went on to coach Sevilla in the 2016-17 season before taking up the Argentina job. Despite high expectations, however, the Albiceleste failed to click, scraping qualification for Russia 2018 before going out to France in the last 16 having won just once in four games. 

Sampaoli bore the brunt of fan and pundits' criticism amid accusations that he lost the dressing room in Russia, but bounced back to record two successful seasons in Brazil. He took Santos to second place in the 2019 Serie A and then led Atletico Mineiro to third the following term.

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