Andoni Zubizarreta, the sporting director of Ligue 1 outfit Marseille has left the club due to their uncertain future despite impressing in the 2019/20 season that was cut short. It’s arguably one of their best seasons in recent times.
A report by French magazine France Football claims that the departure of Zubizarreta has cast doubts over the future of Portuguese boss Andre Villas-Boas at the club as the pair were very close.
Zubizarreta had held the position at Marseille since 2016 and had just one year left on his contract. A statement that was released by Marseille’s website noted that the former Spain goalkeeper and former Barcelona sporting director left the club by mutual consent.
Marseille finished second in the league after the season was ended by the French government last month due to the coronavirus crisis. This ensured that they qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2013.
The Spaniard had kind words for Villas-Boas in his departing statement. In a chat with the club’s website, he said:
“Thank you to Andre Villas-Boas for delighting me with his team’s football and for being a real friend.”
Meanwhile, local newspaper La Provence, on Friday claimed that Zubizarreta’s position at Marseille was put in doubt after the appointment of former West Ham United chief executive Paul Aldridge as a special adviser to the Ligue 1 club in January.
Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas revealed his surprise at the appointment of Aldridge and backed Zubizarreta who convinced him to take over the managerial role at Marseille in 2019.
“I came here first of all because of the size of the club and second of all for Zubi,” the former Porto, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur coach said during an interview back in January.
“I have said that my future is intimately linked to his.”