Laurent Blanc to take over the reins of Les Bleus following this summer’s World Cup
Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc is set to replace Raymond Domenech as France head coach after this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.
The French Football Federation have agreed terms with Blanc’s current employers Bordeaux after the 44 year old expressed his desire to take up the offer.
There had been a delay over the conclusion of the deal as both parties failed to agree a compensation package. Terms have finally been settled between the club and country but the ‘Les Girondins’ president Jean-Louis Triau has publically hit out at the French football federation over their handling of the situation which he believes disrupted his clubs end of season run in which saw them finish a disappointing 6th place in Ligue 1 after winning the league championship a year prior.
“Honestly, I am convinced the federation were making plans before the end of the season.”
“The media frenzy around Laurent Blanc is sure to have disturbed the squad. Their (the FFF’s) influence was heavy in the second half of our season. That added to the team’s troubles.”
Blanc’s career as player is littered with honours for both club and country. He won the FIFA World Cup with France twelve years ago but subsequently missed the final against Brazil in 98 after picking up a red card against Croatia in the Semi Final which ruled him out of the showpiece in Paris. A European Championship medal followed two years later after David Trezeguet’s golden goal against Italy in Rotterdam crowned Les Bleus European champions. The former centre back also won titles in England and Spain with Manchester United and Barcelona.
His managerial career has followed suit as he steered FC Girondins de Bordeaux to their first domestic league championship in ten years last year. However last campaign didn’t quite match to the feats of the year before despite reaching a Champions League quarter final where they were defeated by fellow French rivals Lyon. He won 47 of the 77 games he was in charge, achieving a winning percentage of 61%. Mightily impressive for a man who has only been in the managerial game for three years.
He will take up his new role immediately after the FIFA World Cup as he begins to prepare France for their Euro 2012 qualification campaign.