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Ex-Man United defender Laurent Blanc makes return to management

The 1998 French World Cup winner is resuming dugout duties after a four-year hiatus, joining Qatari side Al Rayyan.

Laurent Blanc (file pic).
Laurent Blanc (file pic).
Image: Imago/PA Images

LAURENT BLANC made a surprise return to club management on Saturday as boss of Qatari side Al Rayyan, the 1998 French World Cup winner resuming dugout duties after a four-year hiatus.

The 55-year-old Frenchman was all smiles at his unveiling as Al Rayyan’s new boss, his first managerial job since he left Paris Saint-Germain in 2016.

Al Rayyan, who are sitting sixth in the Qatari championship, have signed him on an 18-month contract.

“The sporting adventure is interesting, the conditions are interesting, but what interests me the most is to see if with my staff we can put Al Rayyan back where they belong,” he said.

The former defender won the 1998 World Cup on home soil and Euro 2000 in the great French side featuring Zinedine Zidane, who has enjoyed a successful second career in management at Real Madrid.

Blanc will be crossing swords with Xavi, the former Spanish international now in charge of Al Sadd, the team currently top of the table in the 2022 World Cup hosts’ first division.

Despite his long spell in the footballing wilderness, Blanc boasts a more than adequate success rate having won four French league titles from only six seasons as a manager, three of those coming from his 2013-2016 spell at PSG.

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