Paris Saint-Germain have officially named Mauricio Pochettino as new head coach for an initial 18-month contract to replace Thomas Tuchel in the management seat at Parc des Princes.
Pochettino had been out of work since his dismissal by Tottenham in November 2019, just six months after guiding the club to their first-ever Champions League final, and has long been considered the best manager available in the world of world football.
It marks a return to Paris exactly 20 years after joining PSG as a player in January 2001, making 95 appearances for the club when he left for Bordeaux in the summer of 2003.
“I am extremely happy and honored to become the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain,” Pochettino said, via the club’s official website.
“I thank the leaders of the Club for the trust they place in me. As you know, this club has always had a special place in my heart. I have wonderful memories of it, especially of the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.
“I come back to the Club today with a lot of ambition and humility, while being very keen to work with some of the most talented players in the world. This team has fantastic potential and I will do everything with my staff to optimize the results of Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions.
“We will also do our utmost to give our team that combative and offensive playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved.”
With long-standing national dominance in Ligue 1, Pochettino – whose deal with PSG runs until summer 2022 with a one-year extension option – is the latest in a long line of busy coaches to conquer Europe and win the Champions League.
Tuchel came closest as he took PSG to the Champions League final last season, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich to crown the unique mini-tournament in Lisbon. Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Unai Emery have also tried and failed to deliver continental glory since the Qatari takeover in 2011.
PSG won their Champions League group earlier this season and have been drawn against Barcelona in the last 16 games, a first meeting since the combined score line 6-5 at the same stadium in 2016/17.
Pochettino has previously been linked with a raid on his former club, with a potential approach for veteran Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The 34-year-old, who no longer has a contract in 2022, was the captain of World Cup-winning France and has not played club football in his country since 2012.
Dele Alli is another Spurs player who has been linked with PSG, with interest from the reigning French champions for the first time last summer. Dele has made a name for himself under Pochettino at Spurs and it has become increasingly clear in recent months that he needs a move to resurrect his career.
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