PSG hires Galtier as new coach after sacking Pochettino

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Christophe Galtier became Paris Saint-Germain’s seventh coach in 11 years under the club’s Qatari-backed ownership after Mauricio Pochettino was fired on Tuesday.

PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi presented Galtier to media at a news conference and said, “We have a new era to start, a new atmosphere, new objectives. I’m very happy.”

Galtier said he felt emotional and proud to take charge on a two-year contract.

“We have to work in the right way to make people happy,” Galtier said. “I am aware of the responsibilities I have. I am prepared. If I accepted this job and this responsibility, it’s because I’m capable of it.”

Pochettino had one year left on his contract and is the fourth straight coach to be fired by PSG.

“Paris Saint-Germain confirms it has ended its collaboration with Mauricio Pochettino, the club said in a statement. The club wishes to thank Mauricio Pochettino and his staff for their work and wish them the best for the future.”

Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel, Unai Emery and Laurent Blanc have all been fired since 2016.

Pochettino won the French league but ultimately paid the price for the club’s humiliating exit from the Champions League to Real Madrid in the round of 16. PSG led 2-0 on aggregate and conceded three goals inside 20 minutes.

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Galtier led Lille to the French title in 2021 and joined Nice last season, finishing fifth but knocking PSG out of the French Cup. Nice drew with and beat PSG in the league last season. Nice did not concede a goal and Galtier’s astute tactical sense stood out.

When he guided Lille to the 2021 title, his side drew at home with PSG and won away, again without conceding a goal. Galtier figured out how to shut out PSG’s attacking armada of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi.

The 55-year-old Galtier played for Marseille, where he was born, during two spells as a journeyman defender. His career ended in 1998 amid the obscurity of Italian club Monza.

He improved Saint-Etienne’s fortunes when he coached there, winning the League Cup in 2013 the year he was voted the French league’s best coach along with PSG’s Carlo Ancelotti.

Since cash-rich Qatari investors QSI took over in June 2011, Ancelotti is the only coach not to be fired, leaving for Real Madrid in 2013. But Ancelotti was hired only after Antoine Kombouare was astonishingly axed in December 2011, despite PSG being three points clear at the top.

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