January 4 – Just over a year after being shown the door by Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino is back in football as head coach at Paris St-Germain, his spiritual home.
The 48-year-old Argentine enjoyed his best years as a player when he captained PSG and now returns with the aim of capturing the all-important Champions League following the dismissal of Thomas Tuchel.
Discussions with PSG’s Middle East owners are reported to have gone on for some time after Pochettino, who transformed the fortunes of Tottenham by turning them into regular top-four Premier League finishers and taking them to the Champions League final, apparently rejected a number of other offers. He has signed a contract at the Parc des Princes until June 2022, with the option for an extra year.
Tuchel was dismissed four months after steering big-spending PSG to their first Champions League final where they lost to Bayern Munich and Pochettino, whose departure from Spurs came after a similar near-miss, will be expected to go one better with arguably Europe’s most under-achieving star-studded club, whether this season or next.
“I am really happy and honoured to become the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain,” said Pochettino, who played for PSG from 2001 to 2003. “I would like to thank the club’s management for the trust they have placed in me.
“As you know, this club has always held a special place in my heart. I have wonderful memories, especially of the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes. I return to the club today with a lot of ambition and humility, and am eager to work with some of the world’s most talented players.
“This team has fantastic potential and my staff and I will do everything we can to get the best for Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions. We will also do our utmost to give our team the combative and attacking playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved.”
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