PSG confirm Thomas Tuchel as new coach
Paris (AFP) –
Thomas Tuchel has been appointed as the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal, the French champions confirmed on Monday.
The 44-year-old German has agreed to succeed Unai Emery, who will leave the Qatar-owned side after the final game of the French season this weekend.
"It is with much joy, pride and ambition that I am joining this big club," said Tuchel in a statement released by PSG.
"I can't wait to start working with all these great players who are all amongst the best in the world.
"Paris Saint-Germain has enormous potential and it is by far the most exciting proposition in football."
According to French sports daily L'Equipe, Tuchel was recommended directly to Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani by the Qatari consul in Germany.
At one point linked to Arsenal before Arsene Wenger announced he would be leaving the Premier League club, Tuchel will begin his new role in early July with the start of pre-season training.
It was an open secret that Tuchel had been lined up as the next coach of the ambitious club from the French capital.
They had been on the look-out for a replacement for Emery since being beaten 5-2 on aggregate by Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League in March.
That disappointment in Europe, following a humiliating loss against Barcelona at the same stage a year ago, meant there was no chance of Emery's two-year contract being renewed at the end of this campaign.
Emery has nevertheless just overseen a clean sweep of the domestic honours in France this season, after winning the French Cup, League Cup and season-opening Champions Trophy in his first campaign.
Tuchel was a free agent after leaving Borussia Dortmund a year ago, despite leading the team to victory in last season's German Cup.
"Thomas is one of the best and most competitive European coaches to have emerged over the last few seasons," declared PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
"He abides by very strong principles of playing spectacular and clinical football that has always been the foundation of German football, especially on the international scene.
"His competitive spirit, his preference for attacking football and his strong character are in line with what we have always wanted for Paris Saint-Germain."
- Unproven in Europe -
Tuchel becomes the fifth different man to coach PSG since Qatar Sports Investments bought the club in 2011, following Antoine Kombouare, Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Emery.
He will be tasked with ensuring that they continue to dominate at home while finally making a major impression in the Champions League, having failed to go beyond the quarter-finals in the Qatar era.
Tuchel will also have to find a way of keeping Neymar happy, providing the world's most expensive player remains in France for a second season.
However, Tuchel -- a modest player whose career was cut short by a knee injury -- is not yet proven as a coach at the highest level.
He did an admirable job in charge of Mainz, before succeeding Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund in 2015.
His first season saw Dortmund finish runners-up to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and the German Cup, while losing to Klopp's Liverpool in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Last season, Tuchel's side slipped to third in the Bundesliga and lost to Monaco in the Champions League quarter-finals, but they did beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the Cup final.
A falling-out with the Dortmund hierarchy cost him as job, and he had been out of work since then.
PSG wrapped up this season's Ligue 1 title with five games to spare. Emery, who on Sunday was named as France's coach of the year, will lead the side for the last time against Caen this weekend.
© 2018 AFP