Jorge Sampaoli Returns to Sevilla as Julen Lopetegui’s Replacement

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Argentine Jorge Sampaoli will return to Sevilla after being named on Thursday as the replacement for axed coach Julen Lopetegui.

The club said Sampaoli had “signed for the remainder of the season and one more, until June 30, 2024, and this afternoon will lead his first training session.”

Sampaoli, 62, previously coached Sevilla in the 2016-17 season.

He took over in July 2016 from Unai Emery, who had guided them to a third straight Europa League victory and was hired by Paris Saint-Germain.

Sampaoli led Sevilla to fourth in La Liga and the last 16 in the Champions League, where they lost to Leicester, before leaving to become Argentina boss in May 2017.

Sampaoli had been out of work since leaving Marseille in July after taking the club to a second-place finish in his second season in charge.

He said he left because his vision for the future of the club was “different” from that of the directors.

Sevilla said Sampaoli was bringing with him three men who were on his staff at Marseille.

They are two Argentines, assistant coach Jorge Desio and physical trainer Pablo Fernandez, as well as Brazilian Diogo Meschine.

The much-travelled Sampaoli has coached clubs in Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Brazil. He led the Chilean national team to their first ever Copa America title on home soil in 2015.

Lopetegui was sacked by Sevilla on Wednesday after a 4-1 home loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

Lopetegui, who had briefly been Spain coach, arrived in June 2019 after an abrupt exit from Real Madrid the previous year.

He led the club to three consecutive fourth-place finishes in the Spanish top flight and another Europa League triumph in 2020 but his side started this season in disastrous fashion.

The club have just five points from a possible 21 in La Liga and have lost two and drawn one of their three Champions League group games.

They are 17th in the table, only one point above the relegation zone, and host third-placed Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

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