Monday, November 29, 1999

Blanc leaves Bordeaux, to become France coach

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Laurent Blanc is leaving Girondins Bordeaux and is poised to take over as France coach after the World Cup, the Ligue 1 club said on Sunday."Girondins Bordeaux have been informed by Laurent Blanc that he wanted to answer favourably to the French federation (FFF)'s approaches to become the France coach," Bordeaux said in a statement."Girondins Bordeaux expect to hear from the FFF on the question of the compensation linked to the release of their coach."Blanc, 44, became Bordeaux coach three years ago, leading them to a Ligue 1 and League Cup double least season.A World Cup winner with France in 1998 although he missed the final through suspension, Blanc, who played for clubs including Barcelona, Olympique Marseille, Inter Milan and Manchester United, is nicknamed "the President" for his leadership skills.The French federation is expected to officially unveil Raymond Domenech's successor as national coach on Thursday.Domenech will lead the French team to the World Cup in South Africa next month and former sweeper Blanc will take over after the tournament with the task of trying to qualify Les Bleus for the Euro 2012 finals.Blanc, who also won Euro 2000 with France and earned 97 international caps, is regarded as a pragmatic coach who also likes to his teams to play with attacking flair."He has a lot of experience at the highest level, he played in great clubs," said Bordeaux midfielder Alou Diarra.Former team mate Didier Deschamps, now Olympique Marseille coach, said last week Blanc was a good choice for the job."It's very good, it's a very good choice," he said.Bordeaux finished top of Champions League Group A this season ahead of Bayern Munich and Juventus before being knocked out in the quarter-finals by domestic rivals Olympique Lyon.They will not play in Europe next season after finishing sixth in the league.Blanc applied for the France post in 2004. At that time, he had no coaching experience and Domenech got the job.(Writing by Julien Pretot, Editing by Ed Osmond; to query or comment on this story email
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