Bielsa quits as Mar­seille boss af­ter sea­son de­feat

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Marcelo Bielsa stunned French football when he quit as coach of Mar­seille just min­utes af­ter his team had lost their sea­son opener 1-0 at home to Caen.

"I have re­signed from my post as man­ager of Mar­seille," the Ar­gen­tine an­nounced at the end of his post-match news con­fer­ence. Bielsa, 60, has been linked to the Mexico na­tional team man­ager s role in re­cent weeks, and Mar­seille looked ev­ery inch a side af­fected by the off-field un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing his fu­ture.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter their lack­lus­tre de­feat, Bielsa, who had only been in charge at the Stade Velo­drome since May 2014, an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion. "I have fin­ished my work here, I will re­turn to my coun­try," said Bielsa, who guided the for­mer Euro­pean cham­pi­ons to fourth place in Ligue 1 last sea­son. "I thank the fans for al­ways be­ing be­hind me dur­ing games and on a daily ba­sis.

"I am sad and frus­trated. I can­not ac­cept the sit­u­a­tion of in­sta­bil­ity at the club," added Bielsa, who ac­cused the club of chang­ing the de­tails of a con­tract he was ready to sign to com­mit him­self to the team un­til 2017. Mar­seille goal­keeper Steve Man­danda said Bielsa s res­ig­na­tion was a huge shock. "It s a mas­sive, heavy blow," said Man­danda. "At Fri­day's press con­fer­ence, ev­ery­thing was fine, it was all pos­i­tive.

"He was an im­por­tant part of the club, for the team. We are dis­ap­pointed. We don t know the ins and outs of it, we don t know what has hap­pened. But we re­spect his de­ci­sion."

Mar­seille got off to a fly­ing start last sea­son -- win­ning eight of their open­ing ten matches -be­fore fad­ing to fourth, 14 points adrift of cham­pi­ons PSG. The only goal of Satur­day s game ar­rived in the 27th minute and in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as Andy Delort fired a right-footed piledriver be­yond Man­danda. Else­where, Leonardo Jardim s Monaco came from a goal down to win at Nice. The hosts struck early on thanks to a bril­liant in­stinc­tive fin­ish by Valere Ger­main, who is on loan from his par­ent club of Monaco.

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