Faouzi Benzarti

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Faouzi Benzarti
Faouzi Benzarti1.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1950-01-03) 3 January 1950 (age 68)
Place of birth Monastir, Tunisia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1978 US Monastir
Teams managed
1979–1982 US Monastir
1986–1987 Étoile du Sahel
1989–1990 Club Africain
1991–1992 Étoile du Sahel
1992–1993 US Monastir
1993–1994 ES Tunis
1994 Tunisia
1995–1996 CS Sfax
1999–2000 Club Africain
2000–2001 Al-Sharjah
2002–2003 Stade Tunisien
2003 ES Tunis
2005–2006 US Monastir
2006–2007 Étoile du Sahel
2007 ES Tunis
2007–2008 Libya
2008–2010 ES Tunis
2010 Tunisia
2010–2011 Tunisia
2011 Club Africain
2012 Étoile du Sahel
2012 Al-Shabab
2013 Al-Sharjah
2013–2014 Raja Casablanca
2014–2017 Étoile du Sahel
2017 ES Tunis
2018 Wydad Casablanca
2018 Tunisia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Faouzi Benzarti (Arabic: فوزي البنزرتي‎; born January 3, 1950 in Monastir), is a Tunisian former footballer and current football coach. He spent his entire career as a player at his home club US Monastir without any achievements. His training career began and was only 29 years old, making it the youngest Tunisian coach at the time. He is considered one of the most successful coaches in Tunisia: he is most coach holding the Tunisian League with 9 Titles. He usually uses offensive play and a high-pressure plan as he is known for his toughness in training and his excessive anger towards his players and referees. During his managerial career, he was in charge of two national teams: the Tunisian and Libyan national football teams,he was also close to signing with the Moroccan team in 2016 before appointing Hervé Renard.

Faouzi Benzarti managed clubs in Tunisia, Morocco, Oman and United Arab Emirates. The most Tunisian clubs have won titles with him are Étoile du Sahel and Espérance de Tunis. Otherwise, His experiences in the Gulf were not successful. He achieved good results in Morocco, whether with Raja Casablanca and Wydad Casablanca. Benzarti was chosen as the ninth best African coach of all time. His most important achievement was reaching the final of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup with Raja Casablanca.

He was the head coach of Tunisia between July and October 2018.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Faouzi Benzarti was born on January 3, 1950 in the city of Monastir, central coast of Tunisia, from a sports family. He attended primary and secondary education in Monastir, then joined the Higher Institute of Sports of Tunis and graduated from it in 1975. He worked as a physical education teacher at many Tunisian institutes from 1975 to 1977, and after obtaining a football coach certificate he decided to devote himself entirely to training.

Playing career[edit]

Prior to his training, Benzerti developed his career as an attacking midfielder and spent his entire 10-year career in his home team US Monastir since he was 18 years old in 1968 to 1978. Benzarti did not play for the Tunisian team.

Coaching career[edit]

Beginning and success with Tunisian clubs (1979–1994)[edit]

He began his career at EO Sidi Bouzid before returning to US Monastir, which he coached in 1979-1980, enabling him to return to Ligue I. In his first experience with Étoile du Sahel in the 1986-1987 season, he won the Tunisian league title and then the 1987 Tunisian Super Cup. In 1990 he coached and led the Club Africain in the same year to win the league title and reach the final of the 1990 African Cup Winners' Cup. Benzarti coached Espérance de Tunis in 1993 and crowned him with the Tunisian League , 1994 African Cup of Champions Clubs and the CAF Super Cup.

Tunisian team and first experience outside Tunisia (1994–2002)[edit]

In March 1994, he was appointed as Tunisia national football team coach in the second match of 1994 African Cup of Nations hosted by Tunisia after the dismissal of Youssef Zouaoui who failed in the opening match against Mali. He also signed with CS Sfaxien in June 1996 but soon left before the season to play his first overseas experience at the head of the Emirati Club Al-Shaab CSC. It was not a successful experience as the team finished in seventh place in 1998–99 UAE Football League. Faouzi Benzarti returned to the Club Africain in 1999 and reached the final of the 1999 African Cup Winners' Cup. He made a brief pass as coach of Stade Tunisien in 2001 with unconvincing results.

Great success with Étoile and Espérance (2003–2007)[edit]

He was appointed as coach of Espérance de Tunis in 2003 and won the 2002–03 Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1. He signed with Étoile du Sahel in April 2006 and achieved impressive results in winning the 2006–07 Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1, 2006 CAF Confederation Cup and obtaining the silver medal in the 2006 CAF Super Cup. After his involvement with Étoile du Sahel in 2006, Benzarti transferred to Espérance de Tunis in June 2007, but left soon after to manage the national team of Libya.

Libyan National Team (2007–2009)[edit]

On 11 July 2007, he became the new head coach of the Libyan team. He led the team in their last match of 2008 African Cup of Nations qualification and drew with DR Congo (1–1) in Kinshasa.

After a series of friendly matches against Egypt, Zambia and Saudi Arabia. He began the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification with a 0–3 defeat by Ghana. But then he made a positive streak and was close to qualifying for the third round of qualification before being defeated against Gabon in the last game. Benzarti remained in charge of the Libyan side after a good performance in World Cup qualifiers but returned to Tunisia in March 2009 to coach Espérance.

Return to Espérance and temporary training for Tunisia (2009–2010)[edit]

Benzarti talking to the press for 2010 African Cup in Angola.

After returning to Esperance he won the Tunisian League twice in 2009 and 2010 becoming the most winning coach of Tunisian Leagues, he won also the Arab Champions League for the same year and reached the final of the 2010 CAF Champions League but was defeated by TP Mazembe. Following the failure of the national team, under the leadership of Humberto Coelho, to qualify for the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he was removed from office on 18 November 2009 and replaced by Benzarti, who kept his duties at Espérance until November 2010, when his assistant Maher Kanzari replaced him. He coached the Tunisian team in the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola.

Experiences in the Gulf and weak results (2010–2013)[edit]

On 17 May 2011, Benzarti signed a two-year contract with Club Africain after one week the club sacked former coach Kais Yâakoubi. Accepting of the contract offered, he became a manager of the Club Africain for three times in his career.[2] and reached the final of 2011 CAF Confederation Cup. On 26 March 2012, Faouzi Benzarti replaced Bernd Krauss as Étoile coach, The Tunisian journeyman coach went back to Sousse for a fourth time in his trophy filled career as German Bernd Krauss returned to his post of youth technical director. He then did a short experience in the Gulf with Omani club Al-Shaab and Emirati club Sharjah FC with little achievements.

Outstanding results with Raja (2013–2014)[edit]

At the end of 2013, Benzarti joined the Moroccan champion, Raja Casablanca[3], a week after the start of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, with no impact for the club who managed to reach the final against Bayern Munich by defeating the champions of several continents like Atletico Mineiro where Brazilian Ronaldinho plays, as well as CF Monterrey and Auckland City. Subsequently, he is decorated by King Mohammed VI of Morocco with the entire team.[4] In the local league, Benzarti gives Raja Casablanca a very offensive game, unlike his predecessor Mohamed Fakhir who preferred defense. Benzarti adds its personal touch by imposing an offensive game with 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation, which sometimes involves the use of two advanced attackers. Result of this work, the team managed to beat his rival, Wydad Casablanca, at the Casablanca derby (2-0) and then defeated the leader of the championship (5-1), but the club finally bowed at the last day against the Olympic Club de Safi, with a title of vice-champion of 2013–14 Botola at a point of the first rank. At the end of the season, Benzarti leaves the club for financial reasons.

Other success with Étoile and Espérance (2014–2017)[edit]

On 12 August 2014, he took charge of Étoile du Sahel after the dismissal of Dragan Cvetković. In 2016, he was crowned champion of Tunisia with Étoile after winning the 2014-15 Tunisian Cup for the first time in his career and 2015 CAF Confederation Cup. Moreover, he reached the final of 2016 CAF Super Cup. However, a suspension is imposed on him following a violent clash with the Espérance de Tunis doctor during the quarterfinals of the Tunisian Cup, leading to his departure at the end of the year and his return to Espérance.[5] In this period he won the Tunisian League for the second time in a row but with two different teams. During the same period, Espérance managed to win the 2017 Arab Club Championship title. In December 2017, he decided to leave his position as coach of the first team of Espérance Sportive de Tunis although he was crowned champion of winter[6] Benzarti said he would not coach Tunisian clubs in the future after the elimination of Espérance from the quarter-final of 2017 CAF Champions League against Al Ahly.

Impressive performance with Wydad (2018)[edit]

The African Champion, Wydad Casablanca has signed a contract with Benzarti on 19 January 2018 for a year and a half after the bad start at the Moroccan League with Hussein Ammouta[7]. The team was able to win the 2018 CAF Super Cup[8] and was able to return the team to compete for the title before finishing second behind IR Tanger. The campaign to defend his title in 2018 CAF Champions League was also successful as they won Williamsville AC, AS Togo-Port and Horoya AC. But Benzarti suddenly resigned for coaching the Tunisian national team.

Third term with Tunisia (2018)[edit]

On 28 July 2018, the Tunisian Football Federation announced the appointment of Faouzi Benzarti as coach of the national team, following Nabil Maaloul who resigned after failing in 2018 FIFA World Cup. The contract for the two-year contract can be renewed. He will lead the team in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification[9].

However, he was dismissed in October after three wins and qualifying for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations[10].

Personal life[edit]

Faouzi Benzarti is married and has children. His son is his agent who negotiates with anyone who wants to hire him. He is also the older brother of Lotfi Benzarti who is one of the most important Tunisian coaches.

Politically, he led an independent list, called "Audacity and Ambition", for the Tunisian Constituent Assembly election on 23 October 2011. He joined the party of Nidaa Tounes and supported Beji Caid Essebsi in the Tunisian presidential election, 2014.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 16 October 2018
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Tunisia Étoile du Sahel 13 April 2006 30 May 2007 33 20 9 4 060.61
 Libya 11 July 2007 8 March 2009 18 8 4 6 044.44
Tunisia Espérance de Tunis 8 March 2009 1 December 2010 65 42 13 10 064.62
 Tunisia 23 November 2009 23 January 2010 4 0 3 1 000.00
United Arab Emirates Sharjah FC 9 June 2012 19 November 2012 10 7 2 1 070.00
Morocco Raja Casablanca 5 December 2013 29 May 2014 27 18 3 6 066.67
Tunisia Étoile du Sahel 12 August 2014 3 January 2017 115 74 24 17 064.35
Tunisia Espérance de Tunis 3 January 2017 24 December 2017 44 29 12 3 065.91
Morocco Wydad Casablanca 19 January 2018 28 July 2018 23 14 7 2 060.87
Tunisia 28 July 2018 20 October 2018 3 3 0 0 100.00
Total 342 215 77 50 062.87

Honours[edit]

Managerial honours :

Individual honours :

  • Officer of the Order of Civil Merit of Morocco[11]
  • Ninth best African coach of all time[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ce qu'il faut savoir sur Faouzi Benzarti, le nouveau sélectionneur". 2018-08-07.
  2. ^ "Faouzi Benzarti returns as Club Africain coach". goal.com. 17 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Le Raja Casablanca engage le coach tunisien Faouzi Benzarti". 2013-12-05.
  4. ^ "Sa Majesté le Roi Mohammed VI offre une réception en l'honneur des membres de l'équipe de football du Raja Club Athletic". 2013-12-25.
  5. ^ "Faouzi Benzarti quitte l'Etoile du Sahel". 2016-12-27.
  6. ^ "Meddeb accepte la démission de Benzarti". 2017-12-24.
  7. ^ "Faouzi Benzarti, nouvel entraîneur du WA Casablanca". 2018-01-24.
  8. ^ "Wydad Casablanca are crowned Caf Super Cup champions". 2018-02-24.
  9. ^ "Faouzi Benzarti returns as Tunisia's new national coach". 2018-07-20.
  10. ^ "Tunisia sack head coach Faouzi Benzarti just days after Afcon qualification". 2018-10-20.
  11. ^ "Faouzi Benzarti honoré par le roi du Maroc Mohamed VI". 2013-12-28.
  12. ^ "Faouzi Benzarti 9ème meilleur entraîneur africain de tous les temps". 2017-06-01.

External links[edit]