21.03.2023 18:08 h

Sevilla replace sacked Sampaoli with Mendilibar

Argentine Jorge Sampaoli was sacked and replaced by Jose Luis Mendilibar as coach of struggling Sevilla on Tuesday, with the club just off the La Liga relegation zone.

"I go with my head held high," said Sampaoli.

The side are 14th in the Spanish top flight but just two points above Valencia in 18th, the first relegation place.

Mendilibar's first game in charge of the six-time Europa League winners will be on April 1, after the international break, with a trip to Cadiz, who are one spot below Sevilla in the table on goal difference.

"The Basque coach has signed a contract until the end of the season, June 30, and will take charge of his first training session this evening," the Spanish outfit said of the 62-year-old.

"Mendilibar's most successful stint as manager was his second spell at Eibar," said the Sevilla statement.

"Joining ahead of the 2015/16 season, he kept the team in La Liga for six straight seasons, before eventually suffering relegation in the 2020/21 season."

Former Chile and Argentina boss Sampaoli joined Sevilla in October, but they failed to shake off their mid-table form and lost at home to Getafe on Sunday.

"Following the defeat at Getafe, which leaves the side just above the relegation zone, the club have decided to part ways with the Argentine coach ahead of the international break," said the Sevilla statement.

In his second stint at Sevilla, Sampaoli oversaw 13 wins, six draws and 12 losses in 31 matches but also led the club to the quarter-finals of the Europa League where they face Manchester United.

"It's time to say goodbye to a club I love," said Sampaoli, 62.

"Football doesn't always make you happy. It can even give you insomnia.

"But there's no doubt it was worth my while. It seemed like a good idea at the time," said the fiery coach who was under contract until the end of next season.

Sampaoli's assistant Sebastian Beccacece, who was also sacked, was later appointed coach of La Liga's bottom side Elche as a replacement for Pablo Machin.