Monday, November 29, 1999

FACTBOX - Former Girondins Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc

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REUTERS - Factbox on Laurent Blanc who on Sunday announced his decision to leave Ligue 1 club Girondins Bordeaux and is expected to become France coach after the 2010 World Cup.Born on Nov. 19, 1965 in Ales, France, 44-year-old Blanc was a majestic sweeping defender and natural team leader in his playing days and has enjoyed early success in his managerial career.PLAYING CAREERCapped 97 times by France, Blanc enjoyed a glittering career at domestic and international level most notably winning the 1998 World Cup and European Championship two years later.After starting life as a midfielder with Montpellier, Blanc switched to defence and went on to have spells with Barcelona, Olympique Marseille, Inter Milan and Manchester United, where he won the Premier League in his final playing season in 2003.MANAGEMENTBlanc's managerial career began in June 2007 at Bordeaux replacing Brazilian Ricardo. He lead them to a second-placed finish and collected the Manager of the Year award.Victory in the final 11 games of the 2008/09 season helped Bordeaux clinch the Ligue 1 title and set a French record for consecutive wins. They also won the League Cup that season.Blanc, whose Bordeaux side finished sixth in Ligue 1 this season, had been strongly touted as successor to France coach Raymond Domenech in recent months.Domenech's contract ends after the June 11-July 11 World Cup in South Africa. The Ligue 1 season ended on Saturday.(Writing by Neil Maidment; Editing by Alison Wildey; to query or comment on this story email
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