Olympiacos finally unveil Besnik Hasi as new coach
Greek champions Olympiacos on Thursday finally unveiled Besnik Hasi as the club's new coach, presenting the Kosovo Albanian technician to the local media.
WATCH Greece's crucial qualifier against Bosnia LIVE from AGONAsport on Friday, June 9th. Reserve now, details here!
The 45-year finally signed a two-year-contract with the Super League club after several days of talks, and he replaces previous boss Takis Lemonis.
Olympickos won their 44 league title – and their 17th in the last 19 seasons - last term, but experienced a turbulent campaign, making three coaching changes and losing out in the Greek Cup semi-finals to AEK Athens.
“I am very happy to join this great club; I faced the club twice while with Anderlecht and it was then I realized the scale of the club’s grandeur and the special atmosphere of the stadium - it made some players actually afraid,” Hasi told reporters in a media conference.
He added: “I come here with great ambitions, the first of which is to qualify for the Champions League group stage. This club is not used to playing in the qualifying stages, and I know one of the main reasons I was selected to come here is my experience in this area, both as a player and a coach.”
The Portuguese coach Paulo Bento had started out the 2016/17 season as Olympiacos coach, but he was sacked after a poor string of results in March. Interim coach Vasilis Vouzas took the helm for several matches but then Lemonis was quickly brought in for his third spell in charge to see out the season.
Hasi was picked out by Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Vangelis Marinakis after a deal to bring Pedro Martins to the club broke down.
Hasi began coaching in 2014 with Anderlecht after being an assistant coach at the Belgian club for six seasons. Last season, he joined Legia Warsaw and led them into the Champions League group stages via the qualifying process, but was sacked in September due to poor results in the league.
His first task will be to negotiate two rounds of qualifying for European football’s elite competition; the third qualifying round which takes place in late July, followed by the playoffs.
Vrentzos also welcomed the new boss and touched on Olympiacos’ summer signing targets. “It has been decided to strengthen the roster with players that can help. Despite the difficult financial situation, the president is ready to provide the breakthrough. We have already put out great offers for certain players, that surpass both Greek and Olympiacos’ standards.”
He went on to mention the difficulties that arise when attempting to sign top class players. “We must understand that these situations are difficult, because Greece is not the first choice for many players. It is not only the crisis, it is the environment and image that surrounds Greek football. That does not help.”
He confirmed that a great offer has been given to Gonzalo Rodriguez, but that he wants to continue his career in Italy. He ridiculed the fact that reports linked Lavezzi to Olympiacos seeing that the player has a current contract in China with yearly earnings between €20-25 Million.
He ended his statement saying that their is not a set budget for Olympiacos’ signing this summer, but that the team will do everything possible to bring the best players to the Limani.