Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bielsa quits Marseille, tells media before players

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 8 Aug 2015

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Marcelo Bielsa has resigned as coach of Marseille, just one game into the Ligue 1 season.

Marseille were beaten 1-0 by Caen on Saturday, prompting the fiery Argentine to leave the Stade Velodrome one year into a contract he had previously claimed would take him through to 2017.

Bielsa announced his decision to quit in front of the media before telling his squad – bringing to an end a typically turbulent season at the helm of the Ligue 1 club.

“I have finished my work here,” Bielsa said at his post-match news conference.

“I will return to my country.”

The 60-year-old Argentine added: “I put everything I had into this team.”

In his one full season at the Stade Velodrome, Bielsa led Marseille to a fourth-place finish – 14 points adrift of Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

In the classic fashion of a Bielsa-coached side, Marseille started inconsistently as they became used to his high-octane style but an eight-match winning streak from August into October saw the south coast club storm to the top of the standings.

As the season wore on, however, Marseille began to run out of steam – they won just two league games in February, March and April, including four straight defeats to complete that period – and would eventually miss out on UEFA Champions League qualification.

Bielsa also had a falling out with club management throughout his short tenure – most noticeably refusing to play Brazilian defender Doria, who was signed without the Argentine’s blessing.

The former Athletic Bilbao, Chile and Argentina coach claimed he is not leaving Marseille to take up another job.

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