(Paris) Paris Saint-Germain announced on Wednesday the appointment until 2025 of Luis Enrique, former coach of FC Barcelona and the Spanish selection, to replace Christophe Galtier, whose departure had been formalized earlier.
“It’s a new cycle, a new way of playing, one of the best coaches in the world, not for what he has won, but for his style of football, attacking,” President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said alongside of the 53-year-old technician during a press conference held at the new training center in Poissy (Yvelines).
Luis Enrique becomes the eighth coach of PSG since the arrival of the Qatari fund QSI (Qatar Sports Investments) at the head of the club in 2011.
“I can guarantee you that we will work as a team”, promised the new coach, eager to “seek titles”, “the common goal” with the players.
“Lucho”, known for his strong character, had been on the market since December and his dismissal by the Spanish Federation in the wake of the elimination of La Roja in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup against Morocco.
He takes over from Galtier, criticized for the boring game, without desire or creation of his players, whose record shows a Champions Trophy and a title of champion of France, won with a point ahead of Lens.
With the Spaniard, the Parisian club managed to emerge from the top of a hectic and very disappointing exercise, unearthing a big name in international football with a prestigious career.
The former international midfielder, who worked for AS Roma (2011-2012), Celta Vigo (2013-2014) and FC Barcelona (2014-2017), has the mission of finally offering PSG a first Champions League, the dream of Qatari owners.
Luis Enrique has already won the prestigious European Cup, with Barça in 2015, the year in which he also won the championship and the Spanish Cup. He also led the Blaugrana formation on the evening of the famous “remontada”, the 6-1 inflicted on PSG in the 1/8 final second leg of C1 (after a 4-0 defeat in the first leg) in 2017.
In Paris, he will find one of the major architects of these successes, the Brazilian Neymar whom he had under his orders in Catalonia, provided that the N.10 continues his adventure in the red and blue jersey.
With his firm convictions and his outspokenness, Luis Enrique was recruited for his ability to instil an attacking philosophy in his formations, with a lot of possession, which PSG have particularly lacked in recent seasons.
The management of the Kylian Mbappé case will be his first major project while the hazy future of the Parisian star, wishing to leave the free club at the end of his contract in 2024, risks being the soap opera of the summer.
Paris Saint-Germain formalized earlier on Wednesday the end of coach Christophe Galtier’s contract, a year before its term, in a press release in which it praises the “professionalism” of the 56-year-old technician who arrived in the summer of 2022.
“At the end of the 2022-2023 financial year, Paris Saint-Germain and Christophe Galtier have decided to terminate his contract as first team coach”, announced the red and black club, emphasizing “his professionalism and commitment”.
The two parties had finalized the agreement sealing their divorce in the morning, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
The former technician of Saint-Étienne, Lille and Nice leaves the capital after only one season, the title in Ligue 1 having not been enough to hide the failures in the Coupe de France and the Champions League.
Disappointing level of play, truncated career in C1 and long divorce, against a backdrop of legal troubles: the Galtier experience at PSG ends with a statement of failure, despite the conquest of an eleventh French championship title for the club , a second for the technician after the one with Lille in front of PSG, in 2021.
For the first time since the start of the QSI (Qatar Sports Investments) era in 2011, a technician will only have stayed on the Paris bench for one season. Galtier will not perform his second year of contract, the transplant attempted in the summer of 2022 – a coach stamped Ligue 1 and supposed to impose more discipline – having not taken.
The end of the year was particularly difficult with the accusations of racism and Islamophobia from Nice, his previous club, which he ardently denies, but which earned him police custody, at the end of June, before a trial for harassment. morale and discrimination in December.
But already, sportingly, “Galette” had lost his touch. After a successful first half of the season, and a thunderous start (21 goals scored in his first four games), his record has completely collapsed, with ten defeats in 2023.
Eliminated in the 1/8 finals of the Coupe de France and the Champions League, PSG de Galtier even trembled a little for their title of champion of France, when Lens came back to three points, after counting a comfortable lead over his pursuers.
Finally, it is with a small lead over Lens that PSG obtained its eleventh national crown, a record.
The leaders have decided and put an end to the adventure of the 56-year-old Provençal, chosen by football adviser Luis Campos, with whom he had formed a formidable effective duo in Lille.
Even if Galtier had little experience in C1, a single group stage disputed with Losc, taking only one point out of 18, he was supposed to embody with Campos a new project, far from glitter, with the discipline as a key word.
His journey ends in confusion, even though he himself felt he “deserved” a second season. His defense conceded too many goals, his midfield did not filter much, and the “MNM” (Messi, Neymar, Mbappé) did not produce the expected sparks.