July 6 – French giants Paris Saint-Germain have unveiled Luis Enrique as their new head coach in a bid to reinvent themselves yet again.
PSG dismissed Christophe Galtier after just a single season in charge and swiftly replacing him with former Spain and FC Barcelona boss Enrique. Galtier won PSG an eleventh Ligue 1 title, but that was never going to be enough.
“The attacking identity is non-negotiable – it’s my philosophy,” said Enrique during his presentation on Wednesday.
“You have to adapt to your players, my job is to get the best out of my players individually and collectively. I am committed to putting a winning team together and I have no doubt that I will be able to do that and give PSG fans something they will like.”
The arrival of the Spaniard will be the start of a “new cycle, with a new style of play” according to PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
Since the acquisition of the club by Qatar Sports Investments, PSG have amassed one Ligue 1 crown after another but failed to win the Champions League, the prize the owners are after, despite attracting some of the biggest names in management, including Carlo Ancelotti, Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino, and global stars on the pitch.
But this summer might still see an exodus of players following the departure of Lionel Messi. Neymar is open to exiting, but Al-Khelaifi said talisman Kylian Mbappé must sign a contract if he wants to stay because the club will not let him go for free next year.
Drawing on previous experience, he is not afraid to deal with the big stars and their egos.“I’ve been to Barcelona, I’ve coached big clubs, I’ve had stars; the players are selfish and smart,” he said. “They engage with you if they know you’re there to help them. You have to give them a stage so they can perform at their best.”
Enrique will face the pressure of having to win the European Cup, a prize he won when delivering the treble for FC Barcelona in 2015. “I love this pressure,” said Enrique. “Dozens of teams have this same dream, sometimes teams that have more experience than us. The Champions League is almost unfair because one bad match and you exit the competition, but that’s no excuse for us.”
Enrique has also coached Spain’s national team but with less success, exiting the 2018 and 2022 World Cup with his team twice in the round of sixteen.
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