Christophe Galtier said he was ready to impose himself on Paris Saint-Germain’s dressing room of superstars after being appointed as the club’s new coach on Tuesday to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino.
Galtier, who left PSG’s Ligue 1 rivals Nice last month, has signed a two-year deal at the Parc des Princes with the French champions confirming the appointment shortly after announcing Pochettino’s departure.
“Yes, I am emotional, yes I am proud,” Galtier said at a press conference in the French capital.
“I realise full well the responsibility that has been given to me but I have prepared for this. I wouldn’t have accepted this job if I didn’t think I was capable of it.”
Galtier may not be as well-known internationally as some of the other names who had been linked with the PSG job — most notably Zinedine Zidane — but he has an outstanding reputation in France where he won the Ligue 1 title with Lille last year.
He insisted he was not afraid of making his mark on a PSG dressing room full of star names even beyond Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
“It is a privilege to have a dressing room full of world-class players,” he said.
“You have to talk with them but also impose yourself. There can be no compromises.
“We must have a common project but there will not be a revolution. I am going to observe and listen, and I know I will have the backing of the management if there is a player who doesn’t fall in line with the project of the club.”
The club had earlier issued a short statement confirming what had been widely-touted for weeks — the departure of Pochettino with a year remaining on his contract.
“Paris Saint-Germain confirm that Mauricio Pochettino has ended his role at the club,” said a club statement as the former Tottenham Hotspur coach left the Parc des Princes after 18 months in charge.
Pochettino and his backroom staff depart having won the Ligue 1 title last season but the campaign was better remembered for a disappointing exit from the Champions League in the last 16 at the hands of Real Madrid.
– ‘Never spoke to Zidane’ –
“The club would like to thank Mauricio Pochettino and his staff for their work and wish them the best for the future,” added PSG’s statement.
PSG’s move for Galtier had been an open secret for several weeks and club president Nasser al-Khelaifi dismissed any suggestions he had initially wanted to appoint Zinedine Zidane.
“We never spoke to Zidane. I love him as a player and as a coach but for all the respect I have for him we never spoke with him,” Khelaifi said.
“Christophe Galtier was always the first choice for us. He is here and I hope that is the last question on the matter.”
Galtier is PSG’s seventh coach since the Qatari takeover of the club in 2011 and will be hoping to become the first to deliver success in the Champions League.
The 55-year-old has developed a reputation as the leading coach in the French club game over the last decade.
He enjoyed eight successful years at Saint-Etienne, where he won the League Cup in 2013, before a four-year stint at Lille was crowned with the Ligue 1 title in 2021, when they pipped PSG.
He left Lille in the wake of that success and joined ambitious Nice, who are owned by Ineos, the group chaired by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
Galtier led Nice to fifth place in Ligue 1 last season as well as to the French Cup final, which they lost to Nantes.
The former Portsmouth assistant manager previously worked with Luis Campos, the Portuguese super scout who was recently named as PSG’s football advisor and who built the Lille team that won the league under Galtier.