PSG appoint Luis Enrique as boss in latest Champions League charge

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Paris Saint-Germain have moved to appoint former Barcelona and Spain national team head coach Luis Enrique as their new boss, replacing Christophe Galtier.

The Frenchman was dismissed earlier on Wednesday despite winning the Ligue 1 title, after finishing ahead of Lens by only a single point and also exiting both the Champions League and Coupe de France at the round of 16 stage. Luis Enrique was then confirmed as boss later the same afternoon, on a two-year deal.

Another summer of change appears on the cards at PSG as a result, with star forward Lionel Messi already having confirmed his departure and fellow attacker Neymar reportedly on the move too. Kylian Mbappe is potentially set to stay, but has already informed the club that he will not renew his contract which expires one year from now. As such, he could see out the final season of his contract and leave for free.

For Luis Enrique, the job then becomes one of part rebuild and part immediate quest to challenge for the biggest honours.

The 53-year-old manager takes charge of a club in a third domestic league, having already managed Roma in Italy and both Barcelona and Celta Vigo in his homeland.

A three-year stay at the Camp Nou was comfortably the most successful of those, the former midfielder winning two league titles and the 2015 Champions League in that time, before he took over the Spanish national team job following the 2018 World Cup. A year or so later he stepped back from the role due to personal reasons, which sadly ended with the death of his nine-year old daughter due to bone cancer.

Enrique returned five months later and went on to reach the semi-finals at the delayed Euro 2020, before defeat to Morocco in the round of 16 at last year’s Qatar World Cup. He left the national side thereafter, and returns now to club management for the first time in six years.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“I am delighted to arrive in Paris to live a new experience”, Luis Enrique said upon signing. “It’s so exciting to meet new people, to live in this city, to learn a new language and above all to coach PSG.”

While PSG have won the domestic title nine times in the past 11 seasons, their dominance on home soil has not translated into success on the European stage, despite outrageous sums spent in the transfer market and a series of managers being handed that mandate.

Five of the past seven years have seen the Paris club exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage, with the two outliers seeing them reach the semis in 2020/21 and the final the year before, where they lost to Bayern Munich. This term, Bayern again beat them, but way back in the round of 16 by a 3-0 aggregate scoreline.