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06.05.2009 Football News

New coach for Marseille

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Didier Deschamps will replace Eric Gerets as Marseille coach starting next season.

Marseille announced on its website Tuesday that Deschamps, a former France midfielder, had agreed to a two-year contract and would start in June. Gerets announced last week that he was quitting the club, which is closing in on its first league title since 1992.

Deschamps was part of the Marseille team that won the 1993 European Cup - the only French club to do so - and he won the World Cup with France in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.

“The choice of Didier Deschamps, whose career as a player and as a coach speak largely in his favour, was a natural choice,” the club said in a statement. Marseille President, Pape Diouf, and Marseille owner, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, met on Friday to discuss potential candidates after Gerets said he would leave.

The 40-year-old Deschamps returns to management, after quitting Juventus at the end of the 2006-2007 season, when he guided the Italian team back up to Serie A, following a match-fixing scandal which left it relegated to second-tier Serie B.

Deschamps also previously coached Monaco, taking it to the Champions League final in 2004, where it lost 3-0 to Porto. During his playing career, he lined up for Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia.

Deschamps played 103 matches for France, scoring only four goals, but earning a reputation as a combative midfielder and smart tactician. He held talks previously with Marseille about the coach job before the club chose Gerets in September 2007.

Gerets has taken Marseille close to its first trophy, since winning the European Cup. With four matches remaining, Marseille leads second-place Bordeaux on goal difference, with both teams locked at 68 points.

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