SOUSSE, TUNISIA: Much-criticised France coach Raymond Domenech will equal Euro 1984 winning handler Michel Hidalgo’s record of being in charge of the national side when they play Tunisia in a friendly today.
Domenech, 58, who guided France to a penalty shootout defeat in the 2006 World Cup final was ridiculed after France crashed out of the first stage of Euro 2008 - will be in the dugout for the 75th time since he replaced Jacques Santini after Euro 2004.
Unlike Domenech, the 77-year-old Hidalgo is a revered figure in French football, having brought together the great midfield orchestrated by Michel Platini with Jean Tigana, Alain Giresse and Luis Fernandez that culminated in the Euro 1984.
Domenech, who is the first French coach to take the team to three successive major championships, has an overall record of 41 victories, 22 draws and 11 defeats with 108 goals scored and 49 conceded. Domenech, who is standing down after France’s interest in the upcoming World Cup finals ends, has been in charge since July 12, 2004.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 30th, 2010.