Hervé Renard quits as Ivory Coast manager, expected to join French side Lille

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After accepting the job offer from the Ivory Coast national team in July 2014, French manager Hervé Renard has officially stepped down from his international post.

The former AS Cannes defender won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in February as boss of the Ivory Coast, and two years prior, he had done the same with Zambia.

The Elephants hadn’t been crowned champions since 1992, but in a nail-biting 11-round shootout against Ghana , they were finally able to snag the title as goalkeeper Boubacar Barry provided the final stop on Spanish second-division netminder Brimah Razak.

Renard is the first coach to have won the tournament with two different nations and alluded to his departure for Ligue 1 club Lille OSC, whose current coach, Rene Girard, will leave at the end of this season by “mutual agreement” with management.

From Sky Sports:

“My adventure with Ivory Coast was exceptional. And I sincerely think that the best moment to end our collaboration is after such a success,” said Renard.

“In all likelihood, I’m going to Lille barring a catastrophe.

“I hope that my future club will allow me to advance to another level, and I hope, like any self-respecting coach, to one day participate in the European Champions League.”

Despite his quick departure, Renard clearly vacated his duties on good terms with those close to the Ivory Coast.

“We thank Mr Renard for our collaboration, for the work he did at the head of the national team,” Pierre Gondo, a spokesman for the Ivorian Football Federation, said. “We expressed to him our regret to see this collaboration end so soon.”