‘We did not have the means to fight against PSG’ – Jorge Sampaoli explains why he stepped away from Marseille

What could have been? Is often the question that accompanies Olympique de Marseille fans when they think of Jorge Sampaoli

The manager in his one-and-a-half years at the helm implemented a style of football that resonated with the supporters, embodying the spirit of the club, their Mouillez le Maillot ethos – to wet the shirt with your sweat and show that you care. 

In his first and only full season at Marseille, he secured Champions League qualification with a second-place finish in the league. The hope then was that they would go on and push Paris Saint-Germain the next season for the title. 

The expectation that they would actually be able to secure the league was low, but it was the effort they showed that they would likely be judged with. However, the fans never got the chance to see this. Sampaoli was gone almost as soon as he had arrived. 

‘I look back fondly on great memories’ – Jorge Sampaoli

Sampaoli has explained on Rothen s’enflamme that he was left disillusioned by the club’s inability to fight for the title and their lack of resources to be able to compete with PSG. He no longer wanted to be runners-up to PSG but wanted to win the trophy. “I felt the club did not have the means to fight against PSG, so I preferred to step aside.” 

Despite this, he also reminisces on what was an eye-opening time for him as he experienced the full gambit of French football. “I look back fondly on great memories. I discovered in French football, a very dynamic array of differences.” Sampaoli continues, “It was a challenge but thanks to the players that I had we had a very good year.” 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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