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Real Madrid legend Michel exits Pumas on eve of new Liga MX season

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Former Real Madrid legend Miguel Gonzalez, better known as "Michel," has left Liga MX club Pumas on the eve of the new season.

Michel communicated the decision on Thursday in a video statement, indicating that the unexpected announcement was his decision. The players were informed on Thursday morning.

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"I'm informing you that very much to my regret, I've decided to step down as head coach of Pumas, for personal and family reasons," said Michel.

The 57-year-old Michel took over the club in May 2019, leading the university team to a 13th place finish in the 2019 Apertura. Pumas were in sixth position when the 2020 Clausura was suspended and later canceled.

"I'm sure that with the human material, from the directors to the coaching staff and the players, Pumas will achieve what it has always longed for: to be close to the top positions and become champion once again," continued the Spaniard.

Pumas' youth team director Andres Lillini will be in charge on an interim basis, while the club looks for Michel's successor.

Pumas open the "2020 Guard1anes" season against Queretaro on Sunday.

Liga MX was forced to postpone Thursday's season opener between Atletico San Luis and FC Juarez because of a spate of positive coronavirus tests.

That game is expected to be played on Monday, depending on further test results at FC Juarez, where there have been seven positive cases.

A second Liga MX game, Mazatlan vs. Puebla, was postponed late on Wednesday pending COVID-19 results at Mazatlan. It was to be Mazatlan's Liga MX debut scheduled for Friday, but it is now set for Monday (11 p.m. ET).