Sevilla’s Champions League exit to Leicester City has resulted in some important collateral damage for coach Jorge Sampaoli. The 57-year-old topped a poll of Barcelona fans to replace Luis Enrique before the club completed a class-defining comeback to win the tie against PSG by 6-5 after a stunning victory in the second leg.
However, coming back from the depths of despair, Leicester City once again touched new heights and wrote another chapter with a tumultuous 2-0 victory over Spanish club Sevilla, who have been the winners of the Europa League for the last three years.
And, now, reports have suggested that Barcelona has turned its attention elsewhere and Jorge Sampaoli is no longer the ‘Perfect Man’ to replace Luis Enrique, who is set to resign as from Camp Nou after the end of this season.
Barcelona turning a blind eye on Sampoli is not simply because he lost out to Craig Shakespeare as big decisions like these don’t turn on just 90 minutes of football. However, since Sevilla’s exit was the last in a series of some extraordinary events that have taken place over the last month, everybody is assuming it being the biggest reason behind the decision.
Well, it’s not!!
When Enrique announced his retirement, Barcelona’s wound from the 4-0 defeat against defeat against Paris Saint-Germans was still fresh and since the era of greatness was coming to an end with the manager’s exit, Camp Nou was going all out to sign another leader for the club. Jorge Sampaoli, on the other hand, was in his prime with Sevilla and rightly so, became the No.1 target for the position.
However, despite having the needed backing, he also had to align some Barca stars into his favor, but that never really happened. Moreover, he also needed the Sevilla wagon rolling to flatter Barcelona authorities and leaving them no chance other than to sign him at the end of the season, but what actually happened was the literal opposite.
What made matters worse for the Spanish coach was the fact that Barcelona then registered an unprecedented comeback in the second leg against PSG by 6-1 and the Catalans now no longer believe that their team needs a major surgery so a conservative replacement will do for them.
This makes Luis Enrique’s No. 2 Carlos Unzue the best bet for the club as he has been with them for far too long and has also been part of several aspects of the team’s strategy, including set pieces.
Moreover, if Barcelona finishes the season with either the La Liga or the Champions League then Unzue could yet win the race, but it will not be Sampaoli for sure. However, if Sevilla should have even reached the finals, the might not have been the same.
What’s next for Jorge Sampaoli and Sevilla?
The fact that Camp Nou is no longer interested in Sampaoli, Sevilla might have a reason to cherish now. Their exit in the Champions League was surprising to many and even the team itself, however, it was hardly the manager’s fault.
Sampaoli has proven time and again that he’s a world class manager and his capabilities of taking his team to new heights should also be not questioned. Sevilla being at the 3rd spot in La Liga, five points behind league leaders Real Madrid, is more than a proof for that.