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PSG get rid of Galtier and announce Luis Enrique as new coach

Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain sacked manager Christophe Galtier on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on a tumultuous campaign under the Frenchman and replaced him with former Barcelona and Spain coach Luis Enrique.

Luis Enrique led Barcelona to a treble in the 2014-15 season while he guided Spain to the semifinals of the 2020 European Championship. The Spaniard was sacked after they were knocked out of the 2022 World Cup in the last 16.

He had been out of a job ever since before signing a contract with PSG until 2025 and he immediately embraced the pressure of having to win the Champions League – a trophy that has eluded the French club despite their domestic dominance.

"I am delighted to be here... I do not speak French, but I have started to learn it," Luis Enrique told reporters.

"I love this pressure. Dozens of teams have this same dream, sometimes teams that have more experience than us.

"The Champions League is almost unfair because one bad match and you exit the competition, but that's no excuse for us."

As the 53-year-old joins PSG, where player power has made things difficult for coaches in the past, he said he will not have any problems managing big egos.

"I've been to Barcelona, ​​I've coached big clubs, I've had stars, the players are selfish and smart," he said.

"They engage with you if they know you're there to help them. You have to give them a stage so they can perform at their best."

Champions League failure

Galtier had signed a two-year deal when he arrived at the Parc des Princes ahead of the 2022-23 season but despite guiding PSG to a record-breaking 11th Ligue 1 title, their failure in the Champions League came back to haunt him.

"Paris St Germain and Christophe Galtier have decided to terminate his contract as first-team coach," PSG said in a statement.

"The club would like to pay tribute to his professionalism and commitment, which helped the Rouge & Bleu win a historic eleventh French championship title."

Galtier was also arrested for questioning last week as part of an investigation into alleged discrimination when he was at Nice following accusations by Julien Fournier, their former director of football.

Galtier, 56, denied making racist comments when a preliminary investigation into "discrimination based on alleged race or religion" was launched by the prosecution office in April.

Fan discontent

PSG's ninth league title in 11 years did little to instil faith in the former Nice manager after their meek exit in Europe where they were knocked out by Bayern Munich, with the French side losing both legs in the last 16 without scoring.

While PSG were unbeaten in all competitions in the first half of the season, they lost 10 times since the turn of the year, even losing three in a row in February amid growing fan discontent.

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A dip in performances from most players after the World Cup break and a bad run of form led to fans protesting outside injured forward Neymar's home while they also booed Argentine forward Lionel Messi in home games.

Galtier was also forced to navigate through the politics at the club after PSG suspended Messi for an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia a day after a 3-1 defeat at home by Lorient when he was supposed to be training with his team instead.

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Galtier said the decision had nothing to do with him and that he was only expected to comply with the club's ruling.

"I can't say it has been a pleasant period," he conceded at the time.

Messi eventually opted not to renew his contract and announced his intention to move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru;Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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