Marcelo Bielsa resigns as Marseille manager after season-opening loss

Marcelo Bielsa resigned as Marseille manager on Saturday after losing the first game of the Ligue 1 season.

Bielsa, who has been linked to the vacant Mexico job, announced his resignation in his news conference after the game, saying he planned to return to his native Argentina.

"There is no excuse for this defeat," Bielsa said, reading a statement that he addressed to club president Vincent Labrune.

"We have had a dozen chances to score. With so many chances, we have to win.

"I am leaving my post as coach of OM. My work here is over, I will return to my country. I am not leaving here to take another job.

"I thank the supporters, who were always behind me during the matches and day to day. I have given all I have to this team."

Marseille said he had not yet told his players of his decision when he spoke to the assembled media.

Bielsa's contract at Marseille was up for renewal, and the coach said on Thursday he had agreed a new deal.

"The terms have been agreed upon but we haven't signed the document," Bielsa said at the time.

"The negotiation has nuances in terms of the extension. I am eager for the season to start because we have a competitive side."

But now he has resigned just one game into that season.

The news adds to a turbulent summer which has seen Marseille lose the spine of last season's starting line-up -- defenders Rod Fanni and Jeremy Morel, midfielder Giannelli Imbula, winger Dimitri Payet and forwards Andre Ayew and Andre-Pierre Gignac have all left the club.

Bielsa, 60, is reportedly among the top candidates for Mexico, who sacked coach Miguel Herrera on July 28.

But the former Argentina and Chile coach also said on Thursday that he'd had no contact with officials from Mexico.

"I haven't spoken with anyone in the Mexico federation and that is sufficient to consider hypothetical and I never talk about hypothetical situations," Bielsa said.

Bielsa joined Marseille at the start of last season and, while the circumstances of his exit may be dramatic, his short reign is in keeping with a nomadic career.

He has lasted barely beyond two years at any of his former clubs -- Newell's Old Boys and Velez Sarsfield in his homeland, Atlas and Club America in Mexico and Spanish sides Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao -- with longer stints only in international jobs with Argentina and Chile.

He won the 2004 Olympics and reached the Copa America final with Argentina, and led Athletic to Copa del Rey and Europa League finals in 2012.

His first year at OM saw them lead the Ligue 1 standings for much of the first half of the season before fading badly to finish fourth.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.