Old acquaintance of Eden Hazard is a candidate to become national coach of the Red Devils, Andrea Pirlo also sent an application

The Frenchman Claude Puel has also submitted his candidacy as the new coach of the Red Devils. It is an old acquaintance of Eden Hazard, because Puel made the former captain of the Red Devils his debut at Lille OSC in 2008. His candidacy comes on top of the pile of applicants that now also includes the former Italian star player (but mediocre coach) Andrea Pirlo.

Ludo Vandewalle

Claude Puel (61) is an old acquaintance of Bart Verhaeghe, who also led the search for a successor to Marc Wilmots in 2016 as then vice president of the football association. Verhaeghe, now also an external advisor in the Task Force that has to find a new national coach, eventually chose Roberto Martinez, but Claude Puel was then, just like Dick Advocaat, Rudi Garcia, Ralf Rangnick and Martinez, in the final selection round of five ultimate candidates. In the end he did not come for an interview – that was only Garcia, Rangnick and Martinez – but it does indicate his continued interest in becoming a Belgian national coach.

Claude Puel is no stranger to Eden Hazard either. In November 2007, the French coach let the then only 16-year-old Hazard make his debut in the A-team of Lille OSC during an away match against Nancy. Under Puel, Hazard played the ex-captain who stopped as Red Devil three more times in the 2007-08 season before leaving for Olympique Lyon himself. Puel also knows Youri Tielemans because before the Frenchman from the south was fired from Leicester City in February 2019, he had the Belgian midfielder under his wing.

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French Crown Prince

In his early years, Puel was the crown prince in the French coaching world. As a former AS Monaco player, he became head coach there in 1999 and immediately won the national title in his first year as a coach. Between 2002 and 2008 he coached Lille OSC, won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2004 and always finished high in the final standings. In 2008 he moved to the then dominant Olympique Lyon in France, but after seven titles in a row in the previous seasons, Puel was unable to give the club a new title in the three years he worked there. After four years at OGC Nice, he was also in the picture at Anderlecht in 2016, but the Purple & White eventually chose René Weiler.

As one of the characteristics of the new national coach should be according to the Task Force, he does have international experience because he also worked in the Premier League at Southampton (2016-17) and Leicester City (2017-19). He has been out of work for a year now. His last job was a passage at Saint-Etienne where he lost a French Cup final and was fired in December 2021. His palmares therefore only features a French title and Trophée de Champions with Monaco and an Intertoto Cup with Lille OSC.

Andrea Pirlo

Claude Puel’s CV is one of more than a hundred candidacies that ended up at the football association. In addition to that of the aforementioned Hervé Renard (now working as national coach of Saudi Arabia), Andrea Pirlo’s candidacy is also included. The 43-year-old former star player of AC Milan and Juventus, among others, became world champion with Italy in 2006, but has had a lousy coaching career so far. Despite all his merits as a player, he was fired from Juventus in 2021 after one season and is currently coach of the Turkish Fatih Karagümrük, the current tenth in the Super Lig, where he has 21-year-old Belgian Adnan Ugur under his wing. has guard.


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