Olympique de Marseille formalizes the arrival of its new coach, Croatian Igor Tudor

It’s called getting back on your feet quickly. After the surprise departure of Jorge Sampaoli, Olympique de Marseille announced the arrival of their new coach on Monday July 4. President Pablo Longoria, who had felt the tide turn for a while and anticipated the end of the adventure for the Argentinian, pulled a name little known in France out of his hat: Igor Tudor.

The 44-year-old Croatian becomes OM’s ninth coach in ten years. Franceinfo: sport tells you more about the one who is the fourth Croatian technician to settle on the Marseille bench, after Ivan Markovic (1977-1978), Tomislav Ivic (1991, 2001) and Luka Peruzovic (1995).

A respected former defender

Trained at Hajduk Split, a club in his hometown, Igor Tudor began his career there. But he became known to football lovers between 1998 and 2007, during his time at Juventus Turin. In the ranks of the Old Lady, the rough Croatian central defender, capable of helping out on the right or in the middle, played 171 games for 21 goals. Above all, he won two Serie A (2002 and 2003), and lost the Champions League final in 2003.

In Italy, he also wore the colors of Siena for a season, before returning home to Hajduk Split, for a final year in the image of his career: undermined by injuries. These obstacles did not prevent Igor Tudor from living the daydream of every footballer twice: to play in the World Cup. He was notably in the game in 1998 (although on the bench), when Croatia had shaken the Blues in the semi-finals.

A very popular man in Italy

In Italy, the name of Igor Tudor is now cited for his work as a coach who are popular. The Croatian notably transformed Hellas Verona last season. Under his command, the club snagged a fine ninth place, but also offered a few first-choice scalps (AS Roma, Lazio Rome, Juventus Turin). A fine connoisseur of the Italian championship, Pablo Longoria was undoubtedly sensitive to it.

But the praise for Igor Tudor is mostly for the way he plays his teams. He made Hellas Verona one of the best attackers in Serie A, with 65 goals scored. His style of play based on intensity, aggressive pressing and an abundance of energy has everything to seduce the Marseille public. Beyond the aggressiveness without the ball, Tudor advocates a polished attacking game. Everything the Velodrome appreciates. A novice in France and especially in the Champions League, Tudor is described as an ambitious technician. He had decided to leave Verona free at the end of the season, convinced that a major club was waiting for him. Bet won.

A sanguine person who likes hot environments

From the start, Igor Tudor immediately wore the jersey of a club with a boiling public, Hajduk Split. As a coach, he chained volcanic experiences, already in Split, then at PAOK Salonika (which Marseille remembers well), before going to Turkey at Karabükspor and Galatasaray, followed by his return to Italy at Udinese and Verona. Not to mention his year as an assistant at Juventus Turin (2020-2021).

In Andrea Pirlo’s staff, Igor Tudor was in charge of the defense and did not hesitate to raise his voice to express his disagreements. Yet another proof of the fiery temperament of the new OM coach, which brings him closer from this point of view to his predecessor Sampaoli. While stationed at PAOK Salonika, he had no hesitation in crushing his players in public, which led to his departure. But all this has a price: in seven years, Igor Tudor has known six sidelines and has never held more than two years in office. That’s good: Marseille is used to not keeping their coaches for too long.

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