Laurent Blanc steps down

Laurent Blanc is to step down as coach of France following the 2-0 defeat against Spain in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

Last Updated: 02/07/12 at 16:26 Post Comment

Laurent Blanc: Leaves France job

Laurent Blanc: Leaves France job

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Laurent Blanc is to step down as coach of France, the French Football Federation have announced.

Reports emerged earlier on Saturday that the former Bordeaux boss would not be continuing with Les Bleus following a meeting with the FFF.

The FFF then confirmed the 46-year-old would not be renewing his contract following France's exit from Euro 2012 following a 2-0 defeat by Spain at the quarter-final stage.

The former national team defender took over from Raymond Domenech after France's disastrous 2010 World Cup where they crashed out at the group stage.

Blanc inherited a disunited group still smarting from their exit but managed to knit the team back together and with Karim Benzema having established himself as one of Europe's top players under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, France were tipped to be outside contenders in Poland and Ukraine.

However, they went out with a whimper against Vicente del Bosque's finalists and this was followed by Samir Nasri having a foul-mouthed argument with a reporter.

Now Blanc has decided his time is up after just two years in charge with Didier Deschamps favourite to succeed him after he indicated his intention to leave Marseille.

A statement on the FFF website read: "Within the period provided for reflection, Laurent Blanc, on Saturday contacted the President of the FFF, Noel Le Graet, to indicate his decision not to seek the renewal of his contract of national coach.

"Mr Le Graet has acknowledged and applauded the work of Laurent Blanc at the head of the France team since August 2010.

"The executive committee of the federation is meeting on Tuesday but no comments will be made by the FFF and its president before the press conference scheduled at the conclusion of this work session."

Blanc has immediately been linked with the vacancy at English Premier League side Tottenham following the departure of Harry Redknapp.

LAURENT BLANC FACTFILE

1965: Born in Ales on November 19.

1983: Begins his career with Montpellier, aged 18.

1987: Helps the club to the Ligue 2 title.

1988: Earns a call-up to the successful France team at the European Under-21 Championship.

1990: Wins his first Coupe de France with Montpellier after a 2-1 victory in the final against Racing Club de Paris.

1991: Signs for Italian side Napoli.

1992: Returns to France with Nimes, subsequently signing for St Etienne a year later.

1996: After joining Auxerre at the start of the season, helps the club to a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double. Signs for Barcelona.

1998: Having won a Spanish Super Cup, signs for Marseille. Wins the World Cup with France, although his campaign is marred by a controversial sending-off in the semi-final, Croatia's Slaven Bilic feigning injury as Blanc is dismissed for use of the elbow. 1999: Features in the UEFA Cup final but his poor back-pass allows Hernan Crespo to score one of Parma's goals in a 3-0 win.

2000: Helps his country follow up their World Cup success by winning the European Championship as David Trezeguet's extra-time golden goal settles the final against Italy. Blanc's goal against Denmark in the group stage takes his international record to 16 goals in 97 caps before he retires at the end of the tournament. His Inter Milan team are defeated in the Italian Cup final by Lazio.

2001: Joins Manchester United, with whom he wins the 2003 Premier League title.

2003: Retires from playing at the end of the 2002/03 campaign.

2007: Appointed coach of Bordeaux, his first coaching job.

2009: Guides Les Girondins to a Ligue 1 and Coupe de la Ligue double.

2010: May 16 - Leaves Bordeaux after a disappointing season, prompting France Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes to confirm Blanc is his preferred choice to replace Raymond Domenech as national team coach after World Cup.

May 20 - The French Football Federation reach an agreement with Bordeaux for Blanc to become national-team coach.

2011: May 10 - Cleared to continue in his job following investigation into the racial quotas row. It had been claimed that Blanc and other coaches were seeking to introduce limits on the presence of ethnic minority players entering the national set-up.

October 11 - Guides France to 1-1 draw against Bosnia & Herzegovina in their final Euro 2012 qualifier, meaning Les Bleus top group by one point and qualify for finals in Poland and Ukraine.

2012: June 19 - France finish second in Group D, behind England, after losing 2-0 to Sweden, ending their 23-game unbeaten run.

June 23 - France beaten 2-0 by Spain in Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

June 30 - Informs the FFF he is leaving his post as France coach.

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