Taking over from Aime Jacquet as soon as he had guided France to their first World Cup triumph, Roger Lemerre could not have been under any more pressure.
With a talented bunch of players at his disposal, he was expected to continue that success. Somehow he managed to do so.
Two years ago he led Les Bleus to glory at Euro 2000, and further honours in the Far East would make him the country's most successful coach ever.
In Lemerre's playing days he was a defender for Sedan, Nantes, Nancy and Lens and also won six caps for his country.
He has also coached Red Star of Paris, Lens, Paris FC, Strasbourg and Tunisian side Esperance at domestic level.