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Laurent Blanc appointed new manager of France

Laurent Blanc
Blanc's Bordeaux side ended last season without a trophy

World Cup-winner Laurent Blanc has been named as the new manager of France.

The 44-year-old takes over from Raymond Domenech, who oversaw a disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign blighted by infighting and player revolts.

Blanc guided Bordeaux to the 2009 league and cup double and was due to take over from Domenech after the team returned from South Africa.

The former Manchester United player's first task will be ensuring France qualify for Euro 2012.

Blanc was part of the France team that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

He missed the World Cup final after being controversially sent off, following an altercation with Slaven Bilic, in the 2-1 semi-final victory over Croatia.

The centre-back played 97 times for his country, scoring 16 goals - while in his club career, he helped Auxerre to a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double and went on to play for Barcelona, Marseille and Inter Milan.

He finished his playing career at Manchester United, moving to Old Trafford in 2001, and was part of the 2003 Premier League title-winning squad, although he started only 15 league games that season.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

Blanc retired at the end of that season, before being appointed Bordeaux coach in 2007.

But, after the double success in 2009, his side finished sixth in the league this season and were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by fellow French side Lyon.

Domenech, who replaced Jacques Santini as France boss in 2004, had long bore the brunt of fans' frustrations following a disappointing Euro 2008 campaign where they picked up only one point and finished bottom of their group.

However, the World Cup debacle in South Africa represented the nadir in Domenech's six-year tenure as France finished bottom of Group A with only one point.

Striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home after refusing to apologise for verbally abusing Domenech, prompting the rest of the squad to boycott a training session in protest.

The various controversies forced French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes to resign, while head of state Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to personally lead an investigation into the affair.



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see also
France keep uncapped duo in squad
17 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Captain Vieira backed by Domenech
13 Feb 10 |  World Cup 2010
Bordeaux 1-0 Lyon (agg: 2-3)
07 Apr 10 |  Europe
Domenech to stay as France coach
15 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Blanc approached by FFF
02 Jul 04 |  France
Domenech pleading for patience
10 Oct 04 |  Internationals
France win Euro 2000
02 Jul 00 |  Euro2000


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