Coach Jorge Sampaoli quit on Friday after getting Marseille back into the Champions League and getting the team’s hard-to-please fans behind him. This left the team’s preseason plans in shambles.
After Marseille told him he was leaving, Sampaoli said the club hadn’t met his goals, even though there didn’t seem to be any bad blood between him and club president Pablo Longoria. Sampaoli didn’t even ask for money, so it seemed like it was just a matter of principle.
“He broke his three contracts and didn’t pay. He was polite when he arrived and when he left “Longoria said. “Marseille is a club that is always in trouble. The group needs to build a project around a coach.”
The sudden resignation of Marcelo Bielsa at the start of the 2015–16 season is similar to what Sampaoli is doing.
Longoria also said that the club has candidates in mind and hopes to have the chosen one arrive by the end of this week. The players will miss Sampaoli when training starts on Monday.
He was liked by the demanding fans of the club, and he automatically qualified the winner of the Champions League in 1993 by leading Marseille to second place in the French league, behind Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentine, who is 62 years old, told Longoria that he wanted him to make a big push to sign players this summer. So far, Longoria hasn’t been able to do that.
“My pace and goals are different from those of the directors. Sampaoli wrote on his Instagram page, “There’s no harm in trying for different things.” “What matters is that you strive for excellence and want the best for Marseille.”
But Longoria said that the club, which is owned by Frank McCourt, an American businessman and former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, does not lack ambition.
“Everyone wants the same things, but the way they want to get there is different,” Longoria said at a last-minute news conference. “The transfer market is like Christmas presents; everyone is waiting for theirs. I don’t think they don’t want to.”
In a statement, Marseille said that Sampaoli was leaving and that it was a “mutual decision.”
He was praised by the club, which said, “He put in his all to create a style of play and a fighting spirit that matched Marseille.”
Andre Villas-Boas was replaced by Sampaoli in the middle of the 2020-21 season. The former Argentina coach quickly turned the club’s luck around.
As people started to feel better, the team’s work rate went up sharply, and he started to get the best out of veteran playmaker Dimitri Payet again.
Sampaoli said that the 67,000-seat Stade Velodrome in Marseille has a passionate atmosphere that ranges from extreme devotion to open hostility.
“Marseille is a passion. He said, “Every time I went into the Velodrome, my heart was going as fast as it could.” “The last season was great. It was fun for me to lead this club. I was overjoyed… Thanks to the fans, because without you, nothing has any meaning.”
Longoria said nice things about him.
He said, “I’d like to thank Jorge for the times we spent together.” “He came at a hard time and acted in a trustworthy and professional way until the end.”
Even though they couldn’t get along, Longoria always treated him with respect, even though they couldn’t get along.
“There were disagreements at work that were not personal. “There was a lot of feeling in what he said in his statement,” Longoria said. “It was hard to say goodbye to a good coach and person.”
He told the fans of Marseille to be patient during a “slow” transfer window, even though they are not known for being patient.
“Ticket sales will go up because of the Champions League. We can keep important players on the team because of this,” he said. “It will be a good time to make transfers. We want to raise the level of the team and make it more competitive.”
On a bad day for Marseille fans, there was one bright spot.
France midfielder Matteo Guendouzi signed permanently. He was on loan from Arsenal last season, and Marseille bought him for 11 million euros ($11.4 million) when they had the chance.