Olympique de Marseille (OM) announced on Friday the signing of Argentine Jorge Sampaoli as new coach to replace Portuguese André Villas-Boas, dismissed, while the hitherto sports director, the Spanish Pablo Longoria, becomes the new president.
In a statement, the owner of the French club, the American Frank McCourt, presented “profound changes that open a new chapter” for the team, mired in a deep crisis and advanced that this week it will arrive in the city.
Sampaoli has signed until June 2023. Olympique justified his hiring for his tactical qualities, for his experience as “coach at the highest level” and for privileging an attack game.
The Argentine, who has been in charge of the national team, but also that of Chile, has also directed the bench of Sevilla, in Spain, and Santos FC and Clube Atlético Mineiro, in Brazil.
Sampaoli, who recalled the passion with which football is lived in Marseille, promised that for his part there will be no half measures: “VWe love to play hard. “
“In the world,” he added, “there are quiet places and intense places. I want the latter and I have accepted without hesitation. This club has a spirit and that is why we are here. We are ready.”
Longoria is immediately in charge of OM. He replaces Jacques-Henri Eyraud, who had been highly criticized even by a significant part of the fans and will be on the supervisory board.
The Spaniard, who was sports director since August 3, will be responsible for the management both in the sports field and in the economic field.
In their statement, Olympique recalled their long experience in signing players. He had been in charge of that at Newcastle United FC, in England, at Recreativo de Huelva, in Spain, at Sassuolo Calcio, in the United States, as well as at Atalanta BC, in Italy.
Between 2015 and 2018 he was in charge of hiring at Juventus in Turin and was Valencia’s sporting director, precisely when that team managed to return to the UEFA Champions League.
Longoria said that his appointment was an honor for him and showed his intention to “contribute to the construction of a style of play that corresponds to the passion of our fans.”
Also that he will pay attention so that all players agree with that project: “It will be a precondition for our future contracts. Courage and passion are essential values for OM and for the people of Marseille. The club is ahead of everything, whatever happens.”