Paris Saint-Germain have sacked Mauricio Pochettino as their manager and confirmed Christophe Galtier as his replacement.
Pochettino has departed after 18 months, during which he won his first trophies as a manager: the Ligue 1 title last season and, before that, the 2020-21 Coupe de France and 2020 Trophée des Champions.
However, the former Tottenham manager fell short in the Champions League, losing in the semi-finals to Manchester City in 2021 and more damagingly to Real Madrid last season, and the football that took them to the title was widely criticised as an unexciting and unconvincing.
Galtier has left his job at Nice after one season to take the post and inherits a squad that includes Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar. Mbappé caused surprised in May by rejecting Madrid to sign a new contract.
“You have to find a balance in the side, but I have a very precise idea about what I’m expecting from Neymar,” said Galtier. “Of course I want him to stay. It’s better to have world-class players with you.”
The 55-year-old is PSG’s first French manager since Laurent Blanc left in 2016. “When you’re here [at the Parc des Princes] you feel the expectations,” Galtier said. “I appreciate the responsibility that I have so that PSG can have a great season. I have been getting ready for it. If I have accepted his job it is because I am capable of it. But we have to do it all together.”
Galtier led Nice to fifth place after three and a half years at Lille, where he lifted the club clear of relegation, finished second in his first full season, fourth a year later and then won the title before resigning. It was Lille’s first Ligue 1 triumph in 10 years.
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A former defender with clubs including Marseille and Lille, Galtier had previously been manager of Saint-Étienne from 2009-17. In 2013 he won the Coupe de la Ligue, the club’s first trophy since 1981. The appointment comes two weeks after PSG’s president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, told Le Parisien: “Today we must be realistic; we don’t want flashy, bling-bling any more, it’s the end of the glitter.”
On Tuesday Khelaifi outlined his expectations when he said: “No one is above the club. If a player doesn’t want to respect the rules in place then he has no place here.”
He denied that PSG had tried to appoint Zinedine Zidane. “We never talked with Zidane,” he said. “I love the player and the coach but we never talked with him. Christophe Galtier was always our first option.”