Yokohama F. Marinos manager Ange Postecoglou will leave the J. League club to take over Celtic’s dugout, ending a two-week courtship period that will see the Australian fall in the middle of one of the fiercest rivalries in football.
The long-awaited move was announced Thursday morning by the famous Scottish club, whose quest for 10 consecutive Premiership titles ended bitterly when the arch-nemesis Rangers won their 55th national crown early last month. Celtic have been without a permanent head coach since February, when former big club Neil Lennon resigned.
In a concurrent statement, Marinos said they will respect Postecoglou’s wishes and have reached a deal with Celtic regarding his departure. British media have reported Celtic will pay six-figure compensation to Marinos, who currently sit third in the J. League Premier League with 22 games remaining in the 38-round season.
“We are grateful for the support he has given to Yokohama F. Marinos, the new history he has written at the club and the many accomplishments he leaves us, and as a family we want to support Postecoglou in his new challenge, ”Yokohama said in a statement. “Even if he leaves, Postecoglou will remain a member of the Marinos family.”
After a tumultuous 2018 season in which Marinos finished just a few points above the relegation zone, Postecoglou’s flashy attacking style took root in 2019, allowing the J. League co-founder to win his first J1 championship. since 2004. The Australian Socceroos at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, won the Asian Cup at home in 2015 and qualified for the 2018 World Cup. Before that, he won two A-League championships with Brisbane Roar in 2010-11 and ’11 -12.
“It was not an easy path that we took and there were many challenges, but we never stopped believing that we could create something special,” Postecoglou wrote on the Marinos website. “There were a lot of great moments, none better than our championship victory for J.League in 2019. I will always remember that last game at Nissan Stadium.
“I was also proud of the enthusiasm we gave to our supporters. We played brilliant football at times and never stopped trying to improve in all areas. We had players representing the national team and others chasing their dreams in Europe. We have accomplished so much. “
Postecoglou will become the third J. League coach to take over a renowned European club, after Dutchman Wim Jansen – who left Sanfrecce Hiroshima for Celtic in the middle of the 1997 season – and French tactician Arsène Wenger, who took over Arsenal in 1996 after less than two seasons in charge of Nagoya Grampus Eight.
But while the Greek Postecoglou is known to be a methodical handyman who takes the time to establish his philosophy within his team, he will come under immense pressure in Glasgow’s famous ‘goldfish bowl’, where it doesn’t matter. the city derby between Celtic and Rangers. .
“Celtic is one of the names in world football, there is no doubt – a club giant, a real football institution and much more – real history, real substance, real authenticity and real soul,” Postecoglou said in a statement. statement issued by his new club. “I know Celtic is a real way of life for so many people and I know the demands that come with this position – I’m willing to do whatever I can to meet those demands.
“The opportunity given to me is one of the greatest honors in football and the responsibility of leading our magnificent football club into the future is one that I will cherish very much.”
Postecoglou is expected to depart for Glasgow soon, where he will complete his required 10-day quarantine before joining the training squad. His last game at the head of the Marinos ended in a shootout loss to notorious giant slayer Honda FC in the second round of the Emperor’s Cup on Wednesday.
Hideki Matsunaga, director of the Marinos academy, will lead Marinos on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is confirmed – starting with Sunday’s Levain Cup playoff game against Consadole Sapporo.
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