According Moroccan television channel 2M, former French national team coach Laurent Blanc is in advanced talks with the Moroccan football federation to succeed Herve Renard who stepped down after a poor AFCON 2019 campaign that saw Morocco eliminated by Benin in the round of 16.
Renard who was in-charge of the Atlas Lions since 2016 after taking over from Badou Ezzaki led them a group stage elimination in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and two less impressive AFCON outings. A quarter finals exit in Gabon 2017 and a round of 16 elimination in Egypt were short of his high standards. The 50 year old native of Aix-les-Bains is highly regarded in the continent after he led Zambia to their first ever AFCON win in 2012, before handing a second title to the Elephants of Ivory Coast which is an unprecedented feat by any coach in the tournament’s 62 years history.
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53 year old Laurent Robert Blanc could succeed Renard if ongoing talks end on a positive agreement.
Blanc was one of the best players in his centre back position, for top clubs like Montpellier, Napoli, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Marseille and Manchester United.
The ‘President’ as he was known during his playing days won 97 caps for the French national team and was part of their 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 UEFA Euro winning teams, scoring 16 goals for his country between 1989 and 2000.
As a coach, Laurent Blanc has already showed his class and winning abilities.
He led Bordeaux to the French league and League cup titles in the 2008-2009 season, before going to win three more French League titles, two French Cups and three French League Cups with PSG.
He also coached the French national which he led to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 before stepping down as manager of the team on June 30, amid controversy.
If Blanc is confirmed, he will become the 39th coaching appointment for the Moroccan national team since Karbi Ben Barek in 1957, and the 33rd head coach from 11 countries to be in-charge of the Atlas Lions.
The former defender will be in his fourth coaching job, and the second at the helm of a national team. He will become the eighth Frenchman to be coach the Moroccan national team after Kader Firoud, Guy Gluzeau, Just Fontein, Henri Michel, Philip Trousier, Roger Lemerre and Herve Renard.