Herve Renard: The Frenchman who led the Saudis to the historic victory with…

An unknown French player from the generation of “Blues” – the team that won the World Cup in 1998 – but who himself had not managed to be good enough to enter the national team, finally made a career as a coach. From yesterday, Herve Renard has a great victory under his belt: That of the national team of Saudi Arabia against the dominant Argentina with 2-1.

The 54-year-old French technician, with his trademark white shirt that he always wears when he is on the bench, he also has a “good omen” on his side, as noted by observers who know football history well. His wife is Vivienne Dieguer, widow of another coach that the French will never forget. Her husband was the coach of the Senegal national team that defeated the French in the 2002 World Cup, a defeat that cost the French fans dearly.

Who is Herve Renard who did the miracle for the Saudis

In 1998 he hung up his boots after a mediocre professional career and a serious knee injury. Born in 1968 in Aix-les-Bains in the south of France, he failed to distinguish himself as a defender. His coaching journey started in France, but soon he traveled to Vietnam, Cambridge, China and from there he landed in barren football Africa where he excelled: Zambia, Angola, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Morocco.

In 2019 with the reputation of the coach who brought football to life in Africa, he was hired by the Saudis to bring water to the desert. And he brought it!

Last May he signed a five-year contract until 2027. As of yesterday, and regardless of what the Saudi Arabian national team will do in the continuation of this World Cup, he is a national hero.

SAUDI ARABIA COACH

The “good omen” that accompanies him

Herve Renard’s partner is a lady who knows about football. Vivienne Diege was previously married to coach Bruno Metsu, which the French will never forget.

SAUDI ARABIA COACH
Herve Renard with his partner, Vivienne Diege.

Bruno Metsu, who died in 2013, was the coach of the Senegalese national team who cut the lead in the 2002 French national team. The 1998 cup winners’ 0-1 defeat by Senegal not only ended their run, but was fatal to the team’s morale.

The common point between the two coaches is Vivian which is considered a “good omen” for Herve Renard and, by extension, for the Saudi Arabian national team.


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