AFCON winning coach went to the Middle East for a different environment
Wednesday Sep 11, 2019. 10:00
Double Africa Cup of Nations winner Herve Renard says he took up his new post as coach of Saudi Arabia for a change of scenery and new adventure after more than a decade working in Africa.
Renard was appointed Saudi coach within days of departing Morocco following their early elimination at the Cup of Nations in Egypt in July.
The Frenchman, who won the Cup of Nations with Zambia in 2012 and Cote d’Ivoire three years later, has made a disappointing start with his new team – drawing a warm-up friendly at home against Mali last week and then being held to a shock 2-2 draw by Yemen in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.
“I wanted a change of circumstance but to stay in charge of a national team,” said Renard. “There were no opportunities in South America or Europe. That is my reality. But I got some good propositions from Asia.”
Renard sees the job as a fresh challenge. “A new way of life, a new culture. I’m enthusiastic about it.
“I’ve bene received with great hospitality and the working conditions are great, just like in Morocco,” he told L’Equipe newspaper.
“My task, in my contract, is to get the team to the World Cup in 2022. It was a magical experience with Morocco in Russia, a dream for me that I’d like to repeat.”