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Sports

Hervé Renard takes over as Saudi Arabia coach

media Hervé Renard is the only man to have coached two different teams to the Africa Cup of Nations crown. AFP/Issouf Sanogo

Less than two weeks after quitting as head coach of Morocco's national team, Hervé Renard has been appointed boss of the Saudi Arabia squad. "Happy to start a new adventure in Saudi Arabia on a new continent," the 50-year-old Frenchman said on social media.

Renard's Morocco were one of the favourites for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. After emerging with maximum points from the group stages, they lost on 5 July in the last 16 to Benin following a penalty shoot-out.

Just over two weeks after that defeat, Renard resigned. “For me, Morocco will always remain a country with which I experienced incredible emotions?” Renard said on social media. “Thanks to the players, the staff, the fans, the honest journalists.”

Since coming to the fore in 2008 as Claude Leroy's assistant in Ghana, Renard has carved out a reputation as a shrewd tactician.

Winner

He took Zambia to the last eight at the 2010 Cup of Nations in Angola. After a brief spell with the Angola national side and USM Alger, he returned to Zambia in 2011 and led them to their first Cup of Nations title in 2012.

Three years later he steered Cote d'Ivoire to the crown to become the first man to win two championships with two different teams.

Yasser Almisehal, the head of the Saudi Football Federation, said: "The choice was made on a great name, capable of bringing something extra to Saudi football".

Renard's first game in charge will be at the West Asian Football Federation Championship in Iraq on 4 August where his new charges will take on Kuwait in Group B before futher pool matches against Bahrain and Jordan. 

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