Atletico-MG lose ground in the title race, Bahia gain crucial point

Argentine manager Jorge Sampaoli has finally confirmed his exit from Atletico-MG as he looks poised to be announced Marseille boss.
Jorge Sampaoli - Atlético-MG
© Atlético-MG

After weeks of speculation, the news has been made official. Jorge Sampaoli has confirmed his departure from Atlético-MG.

His last game in charge of the club will be against Palmeiras in the home fixture on Thursday. The 60-year-old confirmed details of his exit from the club via a statement on Tuesday.

“The end has come. On Thursday, it will be the last match. I leave with the nostalgia of not being able to drive with the stadium full. I know we are very moved. I wanted to live the videos I had seen of a cheering supporter.”

“I want to thank the whole club. To the players, for the delivery. To all the employees of the institution, for putting their soul into this project. To the managers, for giving us great conditions to work. To the city, for treating us so well.”

Just two months ago, there was every indication that Sampaoli would continue as Atletico-MG boss next season.

The club had already started talks regarding a renewal until December 2022. It all seemed to be going smoothly but the relationship between Sampaoli and the club’s board soon turned sour.

It was reported that the Argentine manager had some pretty unrealistic terms regarding a contract renewal, the most notable being the fees involved, which would have to be paid as early as January 2021.

To go with, reports also claimed that Sampaoli limited all backroom talks and decisions to himself and coaching staff. He also made some strict changes, which included restricting some of the club’s legends from visiting in training.

Sampaoli will leave Atlético having managed 45 games in total (inclusive of the game against Palmeiras on Thursday). So far, his record stands at 25 wins, nine draws and 10 defeats.

He led the club to a Minas Gerais Championship 2020 triumph and has also secured a direct spot for Atletico-MG in the group stage of the Libertadores 2021.

However, Sampaoli will be unavailable for his last game in charge, given he was suspended last time out against Sport Recife. Assistants Lucas Gonçalves and Éder Aleixo, in addition to physical trainer Ricardo Seguins, will be in charge of training and games.

Sampaoli is strongly linked with Marseille and is expected to be named their next manager.