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21.06.2019 South Africa

French coach Renard seeks Africa Cup hat-trick

By AFP
Morocco coach Herve Renard watches a friendly against Argentina in Tangiers this year.  By FADEL SENNA (AFP/File)
JUN 21, 2019 SOUTH AFRICA
Morocco coach Herve Renard watches a friendly against Argentina in Tangiers this year. By FADEL SENNA (AFP/File)

Herve Renard, the only coach to win the Africa Cup of Nations with two countries, hopes to complete a hat-trick at the 2019 finals by guiding Morocco to glory.

This will be his second attempt to bring the trophy back to Morocco after a quarter-final exit from the 2017 tournament in Gabon.

France-born Renard led outsiders Zambia to the title in 2012 and triumphed again three years later with previously underachieving Ivory Coast.

Ghanaian Charles Gyamfi and Egyptian Hassan Shehata have won three Cup of Nations titles each as coaches, but with the same countries.

Here, AFP Sport highlights five of the coaches at the first 24-team Cup of Nations, up from 16 qualifiers two years ago:

Javier Aguirre

The 60-year-old Mexican is in charge of hosts and favourites Egypt, giving him a good chance of becoming only the second Americas coach after Brazilian Otto Gloria to win the tournament.

Aguirre was a midfielder capped 59 times by Mexico between 1983 and 1992, scoring 13 goals, and played for clubs in his homeland, the United States and Spain.

He managed Mexico twice, Japan and various clubs before succeeding Argentine Hector Cuper as Egypt coach after they lost all three matches at the 2018 World Cup.

Kwesi Appiah

He is getting a second chance to bring the trophy back to his native Ghana after a 37-year absence having taken the Black Stars to fourth place in 2013 in South Africa.

Appiah was dumped as national coach after a disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign with Ghana eliminated after the first round as players threatened to strike over unpaid bonuses.

After three years at a Sudanese club, the former full-back was reappointed Ghana coach in 2017, inheriting a national team that has had six consecutive top-four Africa Cup of Nations finishes.

Florent Ibenge

Democratic Republic of Congo coach Florent Ibenge during a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations media conference.  By ISSOUF SANOGO (AFP/File) Democratic Republic of Congo coach Florent Ibenge during a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations media conference. By ISSOUF SANOGO (AFP/File)

He hopes it will be third time lucky in Egypt after steering the Democratic Republic of Congo to third place in 2015 and the quarter-finals two years ago.

The 57-year-old wanted to quit last year but Congolese officials persuaded him to continue as the country seeks a first African title since defeating Zambia in the 1974 final.

Apart from the national team, Ibenge works with leading Kinshasa team V Club, taking them to the finals of two CAF competitions.

Herve Renard

Taking Zambia to the 2012 title in Gabon was a coaching coup for the charismatic Frenchman with the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) not considered contenders when the tournament began.

Although the Ivory Coast boasted star-studded line-ups for many years, the African crown eluded them until the charismatic Frenchman took charge and transformed them into 2015 champions.

His first attempt with Morocco ended at the last-eight stage two years ago, and expectations are high in the kingdom that Renard will take them further this time.

Clarence Seedorf

As a player, Dutch star Seedorf won four Champions League titles with Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan.

His coaching career has been less successful, though, with brief spells in charge of AC Milan, Shenzhen in China and Deportivo la Coruna before being axed.

Lucky to avoid defeat away by lowly Comoros in his first assignment as coach of Cup of Nations trophy-holders Cameroon, he has steadily improved the team.

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