In shock developments today Marco Silva stepped down as the coach of Olympiakos, with the club quickly announcing Victor Sanchez as his replacement. But just who is the 40 year old new Head Coach at the port?
Victor Sanchez arrives at Olympiakos for the second time in his coaching career, previously being part of Michel’s coaching staff during his time at the club. Still a relativ
e coaching novice, it is as a player that Sanchez made his name.
Coming through Real Madrid’s youth set-up, Sanchez was a wide midfielder with a cultured right foot. After finally breaking into the first team at the Bernabeu, Sanchez spent two seasons in the first team winning the La Liga title in 1997 and the 1998 Champions League during his time.
With competition for places tough in Madrid, and not securing a guaranteed starting berth, Sanchez moved north and spent a successful season at Racing Santander. With a scoring rate of a goal every three games (12 in 35) from midfield his true ability was noticed. His season at Santander earned him another transfer to Galician side Deportivo La Coruna.
It was during his time at Depor that he truly flourished, as did the club. Sanchez was a Deportivo during the most fruitful period of their history. The club’s first, and only, La Liga title was won during his time at the club. The 2002 Copa del Rey was also won, in addition to the 2000 & 2002 Spanish Super Cups. La Coruna also experienced some memorable Champions League campaigns during this period. Notable wins at the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal & AC Milan grabbed the attention of many around Europe over this time.
Amassing almost 300 appearances during this golden period in the clubs history, have, understandably, made him a legend in A Coruna. After six seasons with Depor Sanchez saw out his playing career with bit-part playing roles at Panathinaikos and Elche, before finally hanging up his boots in 2008.
Victor Sanchez took his first steps as a coach with Spanish side Getafe. Working under Michel as his assistant, a role he would continue in as he followed Michel to Sevilla and then subsequently here at Olympiakos.
Having gone their separate ways while still at Olympiakos, Sanchez did not join Michel in the south of France. Sanchez had recently embarked on his first role as manager, in sole charge of a team. Sanchez returned to the club with which he experienced most success as a player, Deportivo La Coruna. Returning to the club for the final six weeks of the 2014/15 season.
His spell at the helm of Deportivo was short lived, managing the side for just one full season (2015/16) before receiving his marching orders this summer after just one season in charge. His Depor side proved hard to beat, losing only 12 matches all season in the league, the league’s lowest amount of losses outside of the European places. This was not enough to save his job, however, drawing a staggering 18 games over the course of the league season. Picking up just one win in the club’s final eight league games saw his side finishing just four points above the relegation zone in 15th place.
The appointment of Sanchez at the Karaiskakis has come as something of a shock, and caught many people off guard. The new coach, quite rightly, will be full of optimism that he will be a success at Olympiakos. As fans, we can only hope that he builds on the coaching credentials he has that made Deportivo so hard to beat this season can be transformed into a winning side, with the more attacking squad he has now inherited.