Just Who Is Christophe Galtier, The Man Set To Take Over PSG?

After higher profile coaches failed, can Christophe Galtier succeed at PSG?

The coaching carousel at Paris Saint Germain spins on. Though nothing has been finalized at the moment, Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly out at PSG after just one full season at the club, having failed to bring the Parisians the Champions League glory ownership so desperately craves. Pochettino’s replacement is reportedly the man who beat him to the Ligue 1 title in 2021, though relatively little is known about him internationally. Who is Christophe Galtier? Will he fare any better than his predecessors?

Who Is Christophe Galtier? 

Christophe Galtier’s crowning achievement, and the reason he’s wanted at PSG, is what he achieved with Lille during his three-year stint at the club. In an underdog story that rivals Leicester City’s magical season, the Frenchman completely turned around a Lille side that avoided relegation by one point in 2018, guiding it all the way to the Ligue 1 championship in 2021. When Lille beat PSG to the title despite having a budget a quarter the size of the French giants, Galtier was hailed as a tactical genius.  

This was a famous achievement, but Christophe Galtier has been a fixture in Ligue 1 for almost 40 years. As a defender, he played for Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, Anger and Nîmes, racking up 343 appearances in France. After a 10-year stint as an assistant coach, Galtier began his managerial career when he took over at Saint-Étienne in 2009. 

Galtier enjoyed relative success at Saint-Étienne, guiding it to its first major trophy in 32 years when the side won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2013. When he left in 2017 to take over at Lille, Galtier was the longest tenured manager in Ligue 1. 

Galtier was also successful in his one year at OGC Nice, which saw marked improvement in his one year at the helm. We will never know whether he could have repeated his success in the long-term project, as greener pastures await. 

Can Galtier Succeed in Paris? 

We’ve answered the "Who is Christophe Galtier?" question, but can he succeed? Galtier comes to PSG having achieved the bulk of his success in the domestic league. For PSG, however, winning Ligue 1 is more of an expectation than an achievement. Galtier’s fate at PSG will be determined by one thing and one thing only — winning the Champions League. Pochettino is only the latest PSG manager with an impressive resume who has failed to succeed in Europe. 

Galtier has overachieved at prior jobs by getting the most out of previously overlooked players. This challenge will be doing what Pochettino couldn’t — managing a superteam. Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar highlight a squad teeming with big personalities who make hundreds of millions of dollars but haven’t always “put the badge first” and might not actually fit all that well together. This is a unique challenge in man management. To achieve success, Galtier will have to build chemistry among PSG’s attacking line, get the most out of the depth in the rest of the squad and bring in new players who fit Galtier’s philosophy and PSG’s style of play (rather than just being the most expensive). 

The Ligue 1 season kicks off Aug. 7.