Mauricio Pochettino, back in Paris!
Formerly a talented player, who became a renowned coach, the new Paris Saint-Germain coach wore the badge with the Eiffel Tower by the heart. A look back at the Argentinian’s story…
Before becoming a coach recognised internationally by his peers, a proponent of attacking football and the man behind Tottenham's charge to the final of the 2019 UEFA Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino had another life.
That with his boots on, long hair and the captain's armband.
He embodied the qualities of an Argentinian player: determination, a competitive spirit, and above all the love of the round ball. A romance that started in Murphy, his home city, where the young forward was spotted aged 13 by the person in charge of Newell's Old Boys, the club of Rosario. But it was at the other end of the pitch that the converted defender started his professional career 4 years later, in the city derby against Rosario Central. After having enjoyed the honour of playing alongside the iconic Diego Maradona, Mauricio Pochettino made the big leap. He headed to Europe and to Barcelona, to play for Espanyol. But after 6 seasons spent in Catalonia and a Spanish Cup lifted in 2000 after 60 years of hope, it was to Paris Saint-Germain that the Argentinian headed as his career reached a turning point.
His adventure in the capital started in 2001 under Luis Fernandez. In the rouge et bleu shirt, Mauricio Pochettino soon became a key figure in the first team. His qualities as a tough defender, his game intelligence, his loyalty and his leadership signalled the potential for a second career in football on the bench. Throughout his time in Paris, he never stopped impressing with his professionalism and his approach to football.
Surrounded by artists like the unforgettable Ronaldinho, he was one of the team's architects. A beacon in the group. A strong link in the chain and vital to the collective. And if, in 2003, Mauricio Pochettino flew off to other skies after winning the Coupe de France and two years in the capital, the link was never broken, as attested to by his numerous references to the institution of Paris Saint-Germain.
His career took him to Bordeaux and then to Espanyol for a second spell before he hung up his boots in 2006. But three years later, Mauricio Pochettino returned to Barcelona's second club in order to start his new career as a coach. Very quickly, the Argentinian coach imposed his style in order to make a name for himself among the top European coaches, in Spain and in England. After an enriching experience at Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino marked the spirits atTottenham, between 2014 and 2019, in order to make the London club one of the top performing sides in Europe. There was constant progress and that allowed Spurs to scale the heights, playing in the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019.
Paris Saint-Germain are delighted to welcome a great personality of the football world. A defender who has stayed in the hearts, exemplary on the field; a coach who has become a huge name in Europe; and above all a former player at the club ready to write a new chapter in the great history of Paris Saint-Germain.