African champion Renard named as Lille coach

AFP , Monday 25 May 2015

Lille on Monday named two-time African Cup of Nations-winning coach Herve Renard to replace Rene Girard as manager of the French Ligue 1 club on a three-year deal.

Renard, 46, led Ivory Coast to Africa's showpiece football title in February 2015 and three years previously also famously guided Zambia to the same crown.

"It's an honour to come to a club as prestigious as Lille," said Renard, whose contract with the Ivory Coast officially terminated on Friday.

"I said to myself after the Cup of Nations success it would be hard to do better and I would need other challenges," added Renard.

"A very exciting challenge is on the horizon and I'm counting on rising to it with ambition."

Renard also coached then-Ligue 1 club Sochaux during the 2013-2014 season, battling unsuccessfully in their bid to avoid relegation to Ligue 2.

Lille last week revealed it would be parting ways with Girard.

The northern France club, who notably suffered a 6-1 rout away at champions Paris Saint-Germain last month, finished the season in eighth spot in Ligue 1.

It means the club will miss out on European football next season, Girard having led them to a third-placed finish last season.

Renard will be joined by his current assistant Patrice Beaumelle in Lille on a deal which runs until 2018, the club said.

Lille president Michel Seydoux said club officials had been "won over ... by how his ideas fit in with Lille's plans, along with his desire to join us to write another page in our history".

The club previously approached Renard last December when they were struggling with 13 matches without a win.

Renard has already started work on his new team requesting that captain Rio Mavuba's contract be extended.

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