Paris Saint-Germain fired coach Christophe Galtier after a disappointing season on Wednesday and replaced him with former Spain and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.

Enrique was introduced at a press conference hours after Galtier was dismissed. Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said his arrival will mark the start of a “new cycle, with a new style of play.”

PSG in an earlier statement thanked Galtier, who had one year left to run on his contract, “for his professionalism and commitment.”

Christophe Galtier looks on

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier looks on before the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and AC Ajaccio at Parc des Princes on May 13, 2023 in Paris, France. (Aurelien Meunier – PSG/PSG via Getty Images)

Galtier’s assistants Thierry Oleksiak and João Sacramento were also been fired.

In its so far ill-fated quest for Champions League glory, PSG appointed an eighth coach in 12 years of Qatari ownership, with World Cup top scorer Kylian Mbappé set to play for a fifth coach since joining in 2017.

Enrique has been without a contract since Spain’s elimination from the World Cup last year.

The 53-year-old coach took over the national team in 2018 to start revamping the squad after its elimination in the round of 16 of the World Cup in Russia. He temporarily left because of the illness and eventual death of his young daughter, but returned in 2019.

He helped Spain reach the last four of the Nations League twice, and also led it to the semifinals of the European Championship. He was more successful with Barcelona, winning the Champions League, La Liga, and Copa del Rey in his first season in charge.

Luis Enrique salutes fans

Luis Enrique Head coach of Spain salutes the fans following the penalty shootout defeat in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Morocco and Spain at Education City Stadium on December 06, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Galtier led PSG to another French league title as expected, but the club was eliminated early in the Champions League and the French Cup by rival Marseille this past season. PSG’s form slumped after the World Cup, with 10 losses in 28 games in 2023.

PSG was unbeaten in all competitions when the European season paused in November for the World Cup in Qatar.

Mbappé’s league-leading 29 goals arguably saved the club from losing the title, which was retained with only one game to spare, and just one point ahead of unheralded Lens.

PSG’s final game was a 3-2 defeat to modest Clermont and highlighted the glaring weaknesses in midfield and defense that Mbappé’s goals have papered over.

In addition to his star-studded team’s mediocre performances, Galtier was destabilized by allegations he made racist and anti-Muslim comments when he was in charge of French club Nice. He has been summoned to stand trial in December as part of the investigation.

Galtier signed a two-year contract last July after leaving Nice, which hired him after the French coach’s outstanding leadership led Lille to the title over PSG in 2021 in a huge upset. Lille was the only team to deny PSG the trophy in six seasons with Mbappé, who joined for 180 million euros ($194 million) after winning the title with Monaco in 2017.

Since cash-rich Qatari investors QSI took over in June 2011, Carlo Ancelotti is the only coach not to be fired, leaving for Real Madrid in 2013.

But Ancelotti was hired only after Antoine Kombouaré was astonishingly axed in December 2011 when PSG was three points clear of Montpellier at the top. PSG lost the title by three points in an embarrassing defeat, and the casual way in which Kombouaré was replaced set the tone for over a decade of musical chairs.

Leave A Reply