The former Zambia boss returns to Africa to guide the team he defeated at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon.The Cote D'Ivoire soccer federation has announced the appointment of Herve Renard as new coach of the national team.
The 45-year-old Frenchman had been tipped as the favorite to replace Sabri Lamouchi, who stepped down after the Elephants narrowly missed out on a place in the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
Renard was chosen ahead of former Sporting and Benfica coach Jose Manuel De Jesus and Frenchman Frederic Antonetti, all of whom made the final three-man shortlist drawn out of the 37 candidates who applied for the post.
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According to the vetting committee, Renard's national team experience — twice with Zambia (2008-2010 and 2011-2013) and Angola (2010) — gave him an edge over his two competitors, who are yet to coach a national side.
"The new coach will help guide the team which will enter a transition period very soon. We will use the 2015 and 2017 Afcon to rebuild the outfit and raise a new generation of players for the national team," said Cote D'Ivoire FA chairman Augustin Sidy Diallo at Renard's unveiling on Thursday.
"We have to be patient. Our new project is focused on 2019 and I want Ivorians to bear with us and should not expect immediate results. The project he presented to us is in perfect line with the future plans for the team. His salary proposal was also the best."
Renard, who won the 2012 African Cup of Nations with Zambia before leaving for the now relegated Ligue 1 side Sochaux, was handed a two-year renewable contract.
His first task is to qualify the Elephants for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Morocco in January.
He will also participate with local officials in the development of the country's grassroots soccer and look to reinvigorate the senior side by bringing in fresh talent from the local league or abroad, according to the FA.