• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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The making of French tactician Herve Renard

The making of French tactician Herve Renard


Before Renard came into limelight, the 46-year-old was a simple businessman earning his daily living collecting office trash.

Without prior experience on the pitch as a footballer, nor any major professional coaching certificate and knowing full well that he would not be the successful player that he never became, Renard took to learning the technical part of the game from the small avenues available to him.

While still working as a trash collector at night, Renard took up a coaching role at small French club, SC Draguignan in 1999, left in 2001 for Chinese club, Shaghai Cosco where he was assistant to Claude Le Roy from 2002 to 2003.

From then, through several other lower clubs, Cambridge and AS Cherbough, he reunited with Le Roy with the Ghana Black Stars in 2008 and later that year he managed Zambia.

Renard’s first glory was with the Chipolopos in 2012 when he lifted his first trophy with an invariably unknown Zambian side beating his current team, Cote D’Ivoire, on penalties in the 2012 AFCON final.

The Frenchman’s career has gradually grown from being a backburner to a front-runner where he has made champions out of second place finishers.

Once he did it with Zambia whose best after the 1994 final loss to Nigeria was a quarterfinal finish in the 2010 edition hosted by Angola.

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Prior to his appointment as Cote D’Ivoire coach, the team had only managed second runners up on two different occasions in 2006 and 2012: losing both through penalties.

His elevation from an average football manager to a continental champion stemmed from the zeal and purpose to outdo what had already been done.

In his first decade on the continent, he becomes the first national football coach on the continent to win the African Cup of Nations twice in three years; a record the likes of Claude Le Roy, Hassan Shehata, Winifred Schaefer, Phillippe Troussier and the other foreigners who’ve managed African teams did not achieve.

Fourteen expatriate football coaches have led several African teams to win the continent’s biggest football competition, the African Cup of Nations. From Hungarian Pal Titkos through Romanian Gheorge Mardarescu, Rade Onganovic from Yugoslavia, Frenchmen Claude Le Roy and Pierre Lechantre to German Winfried Schaffer, but none of them has won the title twice.

The former Sochaux boss wrote his name in the folklore of African football following his triumphant victory at the just concluded 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea where he led the Ivorians to their second AFCON trophy to become the first ever coach to achieve that feat with two different countries.

Over the past three years, Renard has built a strong reputation for himself in African and world football; more notably for his accolade in the continent of Africa as the only coach to win the African Cup of Nations with two different teams.

Rising form a mere minnows, nothing to something, he effortlessly transformed Chippolopos of Zambia in 2012 when he led them to win the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.

The team that struggled to qualify in the years before became a force to reckon with and Zambia remains that until today; thanks to Renard, a quite unsuccessful football player.

Anthony Nlebem