De Zerbi aims to take Marseille back 'to the top'

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Roberto De Zerbi said he wants to get Marseille back competing for titles after taking over a team that finished eighth in Ligue 1 last season and which hasn't won a trophy since 2012.

1 week ago
The 45-year-old Italian had been linked with Bayern Munich and Manchester United after leaving Brighton in May, but he ended up signing with Marseille for three seasons. "I live on passion and emotion. I was born a fan, only then did I become a player and a coach. When you're born a supporter you don't forget the crowd and the stadium. This team has always been different," De Zerbi said at his unveiling at the Stade Velodrome on Tuesday.
"I look to work where I wake up in the morning with a burning sense of desire, where I get goosebumps. A very big club called me, wanting to rebuild itself with hard-working people." "I started in the Italian fifth division. I rose through the ranks and came to OM. I don't make a distinction between leagues, but between clubs that motivate me and those that don't," said De Zerbi, when asked about his decision to leave England.
Both De Zerbi and club president Pablo Longoria struck the same chord and said there would be plenty of changes to a team that missed out on European qualification. "Pablo and (sporting advisor) Medhi (Benatia) haven't promised anything impossible, but things that are feasible," said De Zerbi. "We're trying to build a very strong team which will have an identity.
"I don't know how much time we'll need, but I'm working as if I was going to be staying for two years, four years, 10 years. "The project is to get Marseille back to where they deserve to be, that means fighting for titles and reaching the top."
Marseille last won the league in 2010, when Didier Deschamps was the coach. They remain the only French club to have won the Champions League but have gone 12 seasons without silverware since claiming the now defunct League Cup. De Zerbi, who led Brighton to their highest ever top-flight finish when they came sixth in 2022-23, was reluctant to set his new players any clear objectives for the season ahead.
"The first goal I give my teams, not just OM, is to make the people who come to the stadium proud. After comes the style of play and results, but the first one is that. Without it you won't achieve the others," he said. "I'm not the messiah, nor the saviour. I'm not promising anything in terms of results, just hard work and attitude. But I know the expectations and I want to do my best not to fall short of them."