Friday, December 9, 2022

Hervé Renard: who is the French coach hero of Saudi Arabia against Argentina?

[Mis à jour le 22 novembre 2022 à 13h17] If his transition to Ligue 1 was not crowned with success and has not remained in the memory (he had not managed to save FC Sochaux from relegation to Ligue 1 after a highly publicized duel with Pascal Dupraz and Evian-Thonon-Gaillard), Hervé Renard remembered the good memories of football observers this Tuesday, November 22. The French coach, manager of Saudi Arabia, orchestrated the first big surprise of the 2022 World Cup, his players overcoming one of the competition’s favorites, Argentina, in Group C of this World Cup in Qatar (final score 2-1)!

Hervé Renard is no stranger to major international competitions. The former defender went through AS Cannes without having had a great career as a player (a match in the First Division at the end of the 80s) but has accumulated a good track record on the bench where he did not hesitate to roam around around the world, especially in Africa. Vietnam, England, French semi-professional divisions, Algeria… Hervé Renard is a football globetrotter as far as the clubs trained are concerned, but it was as a national coach that he really made a name for himself.

The architect of Zambia’s surprise, executioner then hero of Côte d’Ivoire

His career obviously remains associated with Zambia, an outsider country on the African continent which he first led to the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations, the CAN, in 2010 before finding them in 2012 and lead them to the final of this same competition. There, facing the huge Ivorian favorites strong in an armada with Didier Drogba, Yaya Touré, Kolo Touré or Gervinho, “his” Zambia achieves the feat and wins on penalties to achieve one of the biggest surprises of the history of African football. After his failure at Sochaux, Hervé Renard then trained… Côte d’Ivoire, which he again led to victory at CAN 2015.

His second return to France, in Lille, will be synonymous with a second fiasco with a premature dismissal in 2015. Before taking the reins of Saudi Arabia in 2019, Hervé Renard had already participated in a final phase of the World Cup, at the head of Morocco at the 2018 World Cup, a course ended in the first round with only one point in three games (a draw against Spain after two defeats against Iran and Portugal)… His debut with Arabia Arabia are already crowned with success and suggest a possible and surprising qualification for the 8th finals. It would be a first since the 1994 edition, where the Saudis had reached the round of 16, eliminated by Sweden after notably surprising Belgium in the group stage.

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