Herve Renard: The former Cambridge United boss behind Saudi Arabia's World Cup win over Argentina

Herve Renard during Saudi Arabia's 2-1 win over Argentina.
Credit: PA
Herve Renard urges his players forward during Saudi Arabia's win over Argentina. Credit: PA

To Cambridge United fans, he is a little-remembered footnote in the club's slide down, and eventually out of, the football league.

But to Saudi Arabia supporters - and, thanks to Tuesday's victory over Argentina, the rest of the world - Herve Renard is now the man who masterminded one of the World Cup's biggest shocks.

Argentina went into the match as the tournament's second-favourites, led by captain Lionel Messi, possibly the greatest player the game has seen.

But despite a dominant first half, their Qatar 2022 campaign got off to the worst possible start, after goals from Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari saw Saudi Arabia emerge with a 2-1 victory.

For the Falcons' manager Herve Renard, the scenes in the Lusail Stadium stadium in Qatar were a far cry from his times with Cambridge United in the 2003-04 season in English football's fourth tier.

Herve Renard had a brief spell at Cambridge United in 2004. Credit: PA

With the team struggling, lying second from bottom of the league, he was sacked by the U's, who eventually recovered to mid-table. The following season, they were relegated after finishing bottom of the league.

He then went on to a wide-ranging managerial career, taking in Nam Dinh in Vietnam and AS Cherbourg in France, before a string of appointments with national teams, mainly in Africa.

It was in that time he enjoyed his biggest successes, claiming the Africa Cup of Nations with Zambia in 2012, and again in 2015 with Ivory Coast.

He also had spells with Zambia (2008-10), Angola (2010), Zambia (2011-13), Sochaux in France (2013-14), Ivory Coast (2014-15), Lille in France (2015) and Morocco (2016-19), before taking over as Saudi Arabia boss in 2019.

Saudi Arabia's Hassan Al-Tambakti (centre) and Abdulelah Al-Amri celebrate after victory. Credit: PA

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