Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Paris Saint-Germain replace head coach Galtier with Luis Enrique

Paris Saint-Germain have hired former Spain and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique as their new head coach a few hours after the French champions fired Christophe Galtier bringing a premature end to his two-year contract with one year remaining.

Enrique penned a two-year contract with PSG on Wednesday, which makes him the fourth head coach for the Qatari-owned club since Thomas Tuchel took over in 2018. Tuchel was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino in January 2021, before the Argentine was fired last summer and Galtier was given the reins.

“I’m delighted to be joining Paris to enjoy a new experience,” Enrique said on Wednesday. “It’s so exciting to meet new people, to live in this city, to learn a new language and, above all, to manage PSG.”

The 53-year-old Spaniard led Barcelona to the treble in 2015, also winning the European Super Cup and Club World Cup that same year. He won another La Liga title with them in 2016 and also has two more Copa del Rey titles with the Catalan side.

Enrique then led Spain’s national team to the semifinals of Euro 2020 and has had two stints in charge of Spain since 2018, interrupted by the illness and subsequent death of his young daughter. At the World Cup in Qatar last year, Enrique steered La Roja out of a tough group featuring Germany, Japan and Costa Rica, only to suffer a shock defeat by Morocco in the Round of 16.

Before his Barca days, Enrique, who also won a gold medal with Spain at the 1992 Olympic Games, also coached Roma and Celta Vigo.

In an earlier statement, PSG had announced the dismissal of Galtier, who had one year left to run on his contract.

The 56-year-old helped PSG defend their Ligue 1 title last season, but the team’s exit in the round of 16 in the Champions League, followed by a humiliating knockout in the same stage at French Cup, saw the club’s owners and supporters lose patience with him.

Asked whether he had been given any guarantees that superstar forward Kylian Mbappe would remain at the club for the coming campaign, Enrique was evasive.

The Spaniard later insisted he was “counting on all the players who are under contract”.

However, PSG president Nasser El-Khelaifi stated that Mbappe, 24, “must sign a new contract” if he wants to remain at the club in the coming season.

“The position is very clear. If Kylian wants to stay, he must sign a new contract. We can’t let the best player in the world today leave for free. It’s impossible,” Al-Khelaifi said. “He said he would not leave for free. If somebody has changed his mind, that is not my fault.”

Mbappe declared last month that he would not extend his contract, which expires next year.

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