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Marseille name Croat Igor Tudor as new coach

French Ligue 1 giants Marseille on Monday named ex-Croatia international Igor Tudor as their new coach on a two-year deal to replace Jorge Sampaoli.

Tudor coached Verona in Serie A last season, leading the club to ninth in Italy’s top flight. He stepped down after failing to come to an agreement on how to build on that impressive finish.

“I think we have found what we need in Igor Tudor, and I am happy to welcome him to our club,” Marseille’s American owner Frank McCourt said in a statement.

“Igor is a fighting man, as he has demonstrated throughout his career, both as a coach and as a player.

“As he recently proved at Hellas Verona, Igor is an authentic leader who offers a bold vision of soccer, who does not shy away from any challenge and who is determined to pursue excellence.”

Argentina’s Sampaoli quit Marseille earlier this month because of what he said were differences with the club’s hierarchy after guiding them back to the Champions League.

Tudor spent the majority of his playing career at Juventus and won 55 caps for Croatia, featuring in the 1998 and 2006 World Cups as well as the 2004 Euros.

The 44-year-old kicked off his coaching career with home club Hajduk Split in 2013, before bouncing from PAOK in Greece to Karabukspor and Galatasaray in Turkey and then on to Udinese in Italy before taking in a second stint in Split followed by an assistant role with Juventus and finally taking the reins of Verona last season.

“Trained in Split, I am convinced that he will feel at home in Marseille,” owner McCourt added.

“Moreover, his experience as a coach at Galatasaray and PAOK, as well as at Juventus as a player, have prepared him for the level of passion that defines and unites our club and this city.”

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