Croatian Igor Tudor will no longer be the coach of Olympique de Marseille next season, club president Pablo Longoria announced Thursday at a press conference.

"We accepted and respected the wish of our coach, Igor Tudor, not to continue the adventure next season," said Pablo Longoria. Igor Tudor (45) was appointed in July 2022 to replace Argentine Jorge Sampaoli and will leave Marseille after a year finished in third place in Ligue 1.

"It was an honour to spend a year in such a club, to be part of this grandiose family, with tifosi that we see little, an energy in the city that we see little," said Igor Tudor. "I leave the club in a better situation than when I arrived, in many ways, and I leave proud."

"I made this decision to leave for professional and private reasons. I don't have any agreement with another club, I'm not leaving because I'm angry with [anyone]," he added.

The Croatian technician had met the president of OM, Pablo Longoria, on Tuesday and discussions continued Wednesday with his agent. The management of the Marseille club then hoped to keep him one more season, even if the case seemed already heard.

On the podium of Ligue 1

The mandate of the former Juventus Turin player and former Croatian international had begun with a torrent of whistles falling from the stands of the Velodrome to salute his name on the first day of L1 against Reims after a very disappointing campaign of friendly matches. His start to the season, however, had been rather promising until the return of the long winter break linked to the World Cup, including a victory against PSG [in the France Cup (2-1)], expected for more than ten years at home.

But OM missed the boat in the Champions League by being eliminated in the group stage without even being returned to the Europa League, then by being taken out by Annecy in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France before losing to Lens in the league (2-1), leaving the Blood and Gold finish in second place.

OM will therefore have to settle for the third position in L1 and will have to go through a preliminary round and then a play-off to hope to participate in the Champions League next season.

Since the beginning of the Frank Mc Court era, owner of the club since October 2016, already five coaches have sat on the Marseille bench: Rudi Garcia, André Villas-Boas, Nasser Larguet for a short interim, Jorge Sampaoli and, finally, Igor Tudor.

Only Rudi Garcia stayed more than two years and Villas-Boas, Sampaoli and Tudor all chose to leave Marseille.

A last match against Ajaccio

Igor Tudor will leave OM on the podium of the French championship – in third place, already assured before the last match of the season on Saturday against Ajaccio. The coach, however, did not achieve his goal of direct qualification for the Champions League.

The Marseille season is difficult to read. Very good for six months and sometimes exciting by its quality of play and the energy deployed, OM has been very ordinary in recent weeks. The last impression is frankly bitter on the side of the Canebière with three defeats in the last four games.

"We played beautiful football, a great Champions League, wonderful matches against Reims and PSG in the Coupe de France. All in all, this team gave a lot of emotions and had good results. I am very satisfied with this season, "decided Igor Tudor Saturday after the defeat at home against Brest (1-2). "We were hoping to be a little higher, but we are in our place. It's a very difficult league, where all the games are tough. We leave a lot of good teams behind: Monaco, Rennes, Lille, Nice ...", he said again Saturday night.

With AFP

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