Unai Emery, Thomas Tuchel, and Carlo Ancelotti play a Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday (9 pm). Their common point: they knew the PSG bench.
Fate has a sense of humor. Paris Saint-Germain is not on the menu for the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season, unlike 3 of its last 4 coaches.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid travels to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea on Wednesday night, while, at the same time, Unai Emery’s Villarreal hosts Bayern Munich. These three coaches have all experienced a divorce, are not amicable with PSG, and generally bounced back well. Enough to be where the Parisian club is not today.
How Ancelotti left PSG
We remember two things from the Italian’s passage to PSG between 2012 and 2013: first, the first title of champion of France of the QSI era, after the reinforcements of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the successful return of the club in the Champions League.
After shaking FC Barcelona, PSG surrendered in the quarter-finals (2-2, 1-1). But a defeat in Reims (0-1) in March 2013 and the reaction of the Parisian leaders, while the club was still the leader of Ligue 1, sealed its future.
“I didn’t feel the confidence. The next day, I told Leonardo that I would no longer coach PSG at the end of the season,” Ancelotti told L’Equipe a few months later.
How Ancelotti bounced away from PSG
Upon leaving Paris, Ancelotti took the reins of Real Madrid, where he won… the Champions League in its first season (2013-14).
This was followed by more or less failed experiences at Bayern Munich and Napoli before being appointed to the most modest club Everton, 16th in the Premier League, in December 2019.
The Toffees finished the season in 12th place, then in 10th place the following season. This is where Real convinced him to come back at 62. Today, Ancelotti can smile.
He won the Spanish Supercup last January and is heading straight for a La Liga crown and having toppled PSG in the eighth final of C1 (1-0, 3-1). In the continuity of Zinedine Zidane, he makes the best of Karim Benzema.
He builds the future through the young Brazilians, Eder Militão and Vinicius, who have become essential under his orders.
How Emery left PSG
Unai Emery’s first season in Paris is, above all, the “remontada” suffered at the hands of Barça and the loss of the title of champion of France to AS Monaco. To cover these failures, PSG offered Neymar and Kylian Mbappé in the summer of 2017.
The Basque coach managed the national quadruple (championship, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, Trophée des Champions) but stumbled on Real Madrid, still in the eighth final of the Champions League.
The stars of the team it doesn’t match. Nor does the French media. Emery hurriedly left PSG in May 2018 to take on the difficult challenge of succeeding Arsene Wenger on the Arsenal bench. Without bitterness.
“In Paris, I could become the best coach in the world. I missed this opportunity, “he regretted in the columns of France Football in February 2020.
How Emery bounced away from PSG
If he was frustrated in Paris, Emery was not at the end of his troubles at Arsenal. He reached the final of the Europa League 2019 before failing at the worst of times against Chelsea (1-4).
In the Premier League, despite a nice total of 70 points, the Gunners are 5th and miss the qualification for the Champions League. Emery was sacked in November 2019 after a 7-game winless streak.
He is waiting until the summer of 2020 to get hired at Villarreal. In his native country, Emery regained a taste for football. And success. He won the Europa League for the 4th time in his career (after a hat-trick with Sevilla). It is the first major trophy in the history of Villarreal, which brings it to the skies.
The yellow submarine, currently 7th in La Liga as its final ranking last year, is in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2006. Emery’s rating has never been so high since he departed from PSG.
If there is one to remember, it is surely him. Thomas Tuchel has achieved what his predecessors have not even touched: lifting PSG to the final of the Champions League in August 2020.
The Parisian dream was shattered by Bayern Munich in Lisbon (0-1). The beginning of the end for the German coach, who publicly criticized the management of the transfer window by his leaders in October.
“We lose too many free players,” Tuchel said, referring to Adrien Rabiot, Thiago Silva, and Edinson Cavani. “To stay at PSG, we have to be happy,” replies the sporting director, Leonardo. The results are going year after year, and Tuchel makes it easier to get fired.
“In a club like this, it’s not always just about football. During the first semester, honestly, I asked myself: ‘Am I still a sports coach or politician?'” he quipped at the microphone of Sport1 in December 2020.
A few days later, he was thanked by the capital club. His divorce was also more violent than that of all his predecessors.
How Tuchel bounced away from PSG
A month almost to the day after packing his bags from Paris, Tuchel unpacks them at Chelsea, who have just said goodbye to Frank Lampard.
In a few weeks, the German works miracles. Is the club 9th in the Premier League? He will finish 4th. Is he still in contention in the FA Cup? He will only lose in the final against Leicester (0-1). Is he still in the Champions League?
He will win it at the expense of Manchester City (1-0). In no time, Tuchel built a coherent team, intractable defensively and symbolized by his former player in Paris, Thiago Silva. PSG sees this on TV.
A time in the race for the title in England this season, the Blues, 3rd, are now shaken by the departure of the emblematic owner, Roman Abramovitch. The former Dortmund coach has already done more at Chelsea in just one year than in two and a half seasons in Paris.