Marseille coach Igor Tudor leaving after one season

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Marseille coach Igor Tudor is leaving the club after just one season in charge.

Tudor told a news conference on Thursday he was resigning for personal and professional reasons, and had not signed with a new club.

Marseille, the only French team to win the Champions League back in 1993, has fallen well behind Paris Saint-Germain since its bitter rival was taken over by Qatari investors in 2011.

But the club enjoyed a revival under Tudor. Before its final game at Ajaccio on Saturday, Marseille is guaranteed to finish in third place in Ligue 1 behind PSG and Lens. That’s outside the automatic Champions League places, but Marseille can still make the Champions League via the third qualifying round of the tournament this summer.

Tudor made his name as an imposing central defender with Juventus. The 45-year-old Croat had a modest track record as coach before joining Marseille, even though he did well guiding a fair Verona side into ninth place in Serie A last season.

“It was an honor to be part of this family, and to find supporters like you rarely find elsewhere,” Tudor said through a translator. “I leave the club in a better situation than it was when I arrived, that makes me proud.”

Tudor replaced Jorge Sampoli and won over the demanding Marseille fans by developing an attacking style of play based on pace, tempo and hard press.

“He brought rigor, seriousness, a different mentality that we’re not used to in France,” Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier said. “That was his motto. He left his mark on the players.”


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