Raymond Domenech

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Raymond Domenech
Raymond Domenech.jpg
Domenech in 2007
Personal information
Full name Raymond Manuel Albert Domenech
Date of birth (1952-01-24) 24 January 1952 (age 63)
Place of birth Lyon, France
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Right, Left Full back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1977 Lyon 246 (7)
1977–1981 Strasbourg 128 (4)
1981–1982 Paris Saint-Germain 19 (1)
1982–1984 Bordeaux 40 (3)
1984–1985 Mulhouse 13 (0)
Total 433 (15)
National team
1973–1979 France 8 (0)
Teams managed
1985–1989 Mulhouse
1989–1993 Lyon
1993–2004 France U21
2004–2010 France

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Raymond Domenech (French pronunciation: ​[ʁɛmɔ̃ dɔmɛnɛk]; born 24 January 1952 in Lyon) is a retired French footballer and the former manager of the French national football team.[1]

Early years[edit]

Playing career[edit]

Managerial career[edit]

FC Mulhouse[edit]

Olympique Lyonnais[edit]

France U-21 national team[edit]

Domenech replaced Marc Bourrier as coach of the France national under-21 football team in 1993.

His first major tournament was the 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, which France hosted. France had qualified after topping their group in qualification, nine points above second-placed Sweden. At the tournament, France defeated Russia in the quarterfinals but lost to Italy in a penalty shootout at the semifinal stage. Italy went on to win the final against Portugal.

France qualified for the 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Championship after finishing first in their qualifying group. France defeated Germany in the quarterfinals. Italy again knocked out the French side at the semifinal stage, the lone goal coming from Francesco Totti. Italy retained their title, defeating Spain in the final.

After finishing third at the 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, France qualified for the 1996 Olympics as one of the top five European nations. France finished top of their group with victories over Australia and Saudi Arabia, and a draw with Spain. At the quarterfinals, France were eliminated 2-1 by Portugal after a golden goal was scored from the penalty spot by José Calado.

France failed to qualify for the 1998 UEFA European Under-21 Championship after finishing second in their qualifying group behind Norway. France's final game of qualifying was at home against Norway, with France having needed at least a draw to top their group. Norway produced a 3-2 upset win to qualify above France. Norway went on to finish third at the tournament after being eliminated by champions Spain in the semifinals.

Domenech was again unsuccessful in qualifying for the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. This time France topped their qualifying group and progressed to the playoffs, where they were drawn against Italy. The first leg in France ended 1-1, and the second leg in Italy ended 1-1 after 90 minutes. The game went into extra time where Andrea Pirlo produced the winning goal for Italy in the 110th minute.[2] Italy would go on to be champions at the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Domenech briefly coached the France national under-20 football team at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship. During the group stage, France defeated Iran, and had draws with Paraguay and Ghana. France progressed from the group stage after finishing second behind Ghana. France defeated Germany 3-2 in the Round of 16 thanks to a goal from Djibril Cissé in the 90+3rd minute. France were eliminated in the quarterfinals after a 3-1 loss to hosts and eventual champions Argentina.

France qualified for the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Championship after finishing first in their qualifying group and defeating Romania in the playoffs. France were undefeated during qualifying. France won all their group matches at the tournament against Czech Republic, Belgium and Greece. France progressed to the final after defeating Switzerland in their semifinal. France met Czech Republic again, but this time the Czech side were victorious in a penalty shootout after the game ended at 0-0 after extra time.

France were dominant in the group stage of qualifying for the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. They finished first in their group with seven wins, one draw, no losses and no goals conceded. They were drawn against Portugal in the playoffs and won the first leg in Portugal 2-1. However, Portugal managed to win 2-1 away from home in the second leg, sending the game to extra time. Djibril Cissé had been sent off just before halftime.[3] There were no goals in extra time, so the match was decided by a penalty shootout. Portugal won the shootout, with their final penalty kick being scored by Cristiano Ronaldo.[3] Portugal would go on to finish third at the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

France senior national team[edit]

2006 World Cup[edit]

On 12 July 2004, Domenech was a surprise choice to succeed Jacques Santini after the country's disappointing exit from UEFA Euro 2004 by losing in the quarter-final match to the eventual tournament-upset winners Greece. He was given the objective by the FFF to reach "at least" the 2006 FIFA World Cup semi-finals.

France struggled in the qualifiers, even though the team was seeded in a group that included the relatively unheralded teams of Israel and Switzerland. The Republic of Ireland were France's main contenders in the group, and looked like contributing to France's exit until Zinedine Zidane returned to inspire France[neutrality is disputed] to a 1–0 win at Landsdowne Road, ultimately ending the hopes of the Irish. Domenech had to force[citation needed] Claude Makélélé, Lilian Thuram and Zidane, members of France's "golden generation," out of international retirement to aid the national team to eventually qualify. The general consensus in France, however, was that France was too dated a side to win the 2006 World Cup,[citation needed] despite the return of their cherished talisman, Zidane.

As a keen amateur dramatist and astrologer, Domenech has admitted to distrusting Scorpios, such as Robert Pirès. This led to the choosing of Vikash Dhorasoo who played an important part in qualifying but not in the finals. He later fell out with Dhorasoo after he made a behind the scenes film called "Substitute". His decision to leave out FC Barcelona star Ludovic Giuly in favour of Franck Ribéry, and subsequent refusal to explain that decision, left many French players and fans mystified.[4] Domenech chose Pascal Chimbonda, a low-profile player with no face or international experience, for the squad. Domenech's selection for France's World Cup squad was further criticised when he publicly announced that Fabien Barthez would start ahead of Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Grégory Coupet. This decision was met with derision in the French press and also led to Coupet walking out of the national squad before the tournament, though he was later to return.[5] His exclusion of Roma back-bone defender Philippe Mexès also raised a few eyebrows.[citation needed] Mexès, despite being named "Hope of the Year" in 2000 and being a starting defender for Roma since his arrival to the team, never played in a competitive senior tournament under Domenech.

France had a slow start in the World Cup, recording draws against Switzerland and South Korea before finally defeating Togo. However, France turned the corner after the victory against Togo and started to play passing possession football, as it had in its triumphs in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000. They shone in the knockout rounds, which included impressive victories over favoured Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. France lost the final to Italy in a penalty shootout following a 1–1 draw after extra time.

Recalled golden generation veterans Zidane and Thuram earned spots on the All-Star Team, with Zidane being awarded the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament despite receiving a red card in the final (the voting was done before Zidane received the red card).

Euro 2008[edit]

On 27 August 2007, Claude Makélélé's club manager, José Mourinho, stated that Domenech was treating Makélélé "like a slave," since Domenech had called him up for Euro 2008 qualifiers even though Makélélé had announced his retirement after the 2006 World Cup. Domenech responded, "As long as he can walk, he will play. I have the right to pick him."[6] A 3–0 shutout of Georgia and a 3–1 defeat of Italy in the first Euro 2008 qualifiers took France back to the top of the World Football Elo Ratings. France ended up last in their UEFA Euro 2008 Group C and failed to advance in the tournament after losing to Italy 0–2.

2010 World Cup[edit]

France qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup only after defeating the Republic of Ireland in a play-off. The game was controversial, as Thierry Henry handled the ball before setting up William Gallas to score the winning goal.

In the first game of the finals, France drew with Uruguay 0–0. Following their draw with Uruguay, Zidane described Domenech as having lost control of the team.[7] The draw was then followed by a 2–0 defeat to Mexico, during which striker Nicolas Anelka reportedly directed an expletive-laden[8] tirade at Domenech.[9] Anelka would be dismissed from the team the next day.[10] The day after Anelka's dismissal, team captain Patrice Evra and team trainer Robert Duverne had a heated confrontation that caused Domenech to physically restrain Duverne; the players responded by returning to the team bus and refusing to continue with practice.[8] After the French Football Federation condemned the player boycott,[10] the team returned to practice without further incident. France's World Cup campaign ended with a 2–1 defeat to South Africa, meaning Les Bleus finished at the bottom of Group A without winning a single game. Domenech bowed out by refusing to shake the hand of South Africa's coach in the final game, Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Domenech has been seen by many French people as the worst coach in the country's footballing history.[11]

Management after 2010 World Cup[edit]

Relations with media[edit]

Career summery[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1970–71 Lyon Division 1 37 2 -
1971–72 32 1 -
1972–73 38 0 -
1973–74 27 0 3 0
1974–75 35 3 4 3
1975–76 36 0 2 0
1976–77 34 1 -
1977–78 7 0 -
1977–78 Strasbourg Division 1 30 1 -
1978–79 37 2 5 0
1979–80 38 1 6 0
1980–81 23 0 -
1981–82 Paris Saint-Germain Division 1 19 1 -
1982–83 Bordeaux Division 1 18 2 5 0
1983–84 22 1 2 0
Total France 433 15 27 3
Career total 433 15 27 3


  1. ^ "Domenech pegs Le Guen, Giresse as contenders for his replacement". CBC News. 3 February 2010. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b ["Portugal overcome the odds". 18 November 2003. 
  4. ^ "Left-out Giuly hits at out at France coach". 21 May 2006. Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Fifield, Dominic (25 May 2006). "France in disarray as keepers row in team bonding". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Domenech rekindles Makelele row". BBC News. 29 August 2006. Archived from the original on 17 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Zinedine Zidane: France are not a team and Raymond Domenech is 'not a coach'". Daily Mail. 14 June 2010. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Agence France-Presse (21 June 2010). "French football in chaos after players' mutiny". Google. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "World Cup 2010: Nicolas Anelka sent home after bust-up". BBC Sport. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Long, Michael (29 September 2010). "French Football Federation reimburse sponsors after World Cup disappointment". SportsPro (SportsPro Media). Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Treneer, Jule (10 January 2010). "Is this Man the Worst Soccer Coach Ever? Or just the Weirdest?". The Faster Times. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Domenech, Raymond (2010). Sexe, foot, royalties - Entretiens avec Estelle, la fausse interview (in French). Nova éditions. ISBN 978-2-36015-001-4. 
  • Domenech, Raymond (2012). Tout seul (in French). Flammarion. ISBN 978-2-08-126447-2. 

External links[edit]