Paris Saint-Germain confirm Thomas Tuchel as new coach | News | DW | 14.05.2018
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Paris Saint-Germain confirm Thomas Tuchel as new coach

Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund's former coach, who spent the season on sabbatical, will take over at French champions Paris Saint-Germain. Tuchel met disgruntled superstar Neymar on Sunday, who then said he would stay.

Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund's former coach, who has spent the current season on sabbatical, will take over at Paris Saint-Germain, the French champions confirmed on Monday, ending weeks of speculation.

It is the 44-year-old German's first coaching position abroad; he had several successful seasons with Mainz before taking over the Dortmund job from Jürgen Klopp.

Read moreThomas Tuchel: A talented but difficult coach

PSG stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe (picture-alliance/J. B. Quentin)

PSG stars Neymar und Kylian Mbappe

First job abroad

  • Tuchel succeeds Unai Emery after it was announced in April that the Spaniard was to depart.
  • He has signed a two-year contract with the French league champions.
  • The 46-year-old Emery led PSG to five national titles, but failed in the prestigious Champions League.
  • Tuchel won the 2017 German Cup in his single season with Dortmund, but had no answer for Bayern Munich in the league.
  • Before his time at Dortmund, Tuchel consistently overachieved on a modest Bundesliga budget with Mainz.

'Great players'

"It is with great joy, pride and ambition that I join this great global football club that is Paris Saint-Germain," Tuchel said in a statement released on Monday by PSG. "I'm impatient to start working with all these great players, all of whom are among the best on the planet. With my staff, we will do everything to help the team push their limits to the highest international level. There is tremendous potential in Paris and this is the most exciting challenge that has come to me."

Tuchel also described himself as impatient to experience the atmosphere in the Parc des Princes, calling it a "mythical stadium" in European football. Following Dortmund's Westfalenstadion (officially the Signal Iduna Park nowadays), the fans and stadium in Paris may have a tough act to follow.

Meanwhile, PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: "Thomas is one of the best and most competitive European coaches to have emerged over the last few seasons. 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."

Tuchel arrived in Paris on Sunday, reportedly sitting down with Brazilian star player Neymar that evening. After a discussion apparently focused on Tuchel's plans for the club and his playing philosophy, PSG sought to quell rumors that the world's most expensive player would be seeking another transfer. Al-Khelaifi claimed late on Sunday that the chances of Neymar staying stood at "2,000 percent." 

Tuchel holds aloft the German Cup in 2017 (picture-alliance/SvenSimon/E. Kremser)

Tuchel won the German Cup in 2017, his Borussia Dortmund beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2:1

European success the only criterion 

Tuchel, not long ago touted as a candidate to succeed Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich, will be judged by the club's performances in Europe.

The 46-year-old Emery led PSG to five national titles, but failed in the prestigious Champions League — never progressing beyond the quarterfinals. In 2016-17 they let a 4-0 lead slip against Barcelona and lost to Real Madrid this season.

Tuchel will bring with him an attacking mindset; his Dortmund team was known for attacking with pace, while underfunded Mainz often focused on counterattacking. He's known as a demanding coach who expects a great deal from his players in training, especially on tactical matters. He speaks French and English.

How he manages PSG’s biggest-name forwards — Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar — could prove crucial.

According to daily Le Parisien, Tuchel will be looking at new signings and may have players from the Bundesliga in his sights, with Augsburg left-back Philipp Max, Dortmund's defender Ömer Toprak and midfielder Julian Weigl mentioned as possible targets.

He already has German stars at his disposal: Kevin Trapp in goal and Julian Draxler on the flank. 

Tuchel’s playing career as a defender at third-division Ulm was ended by a knee injury in 1998.

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Why Tuchel is the right fit for PSG

jbh/msh (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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