Paul Le Guen

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Paul Le Guen
Paul Le Guen.JPG
Le Guen managing Paris Saint-Germain in 2009
Personal information
Full name Paul Joseph Marie Le Guen[1]
Date of birth (1964-03-01) 1 March 1964 (age 56)[2]
Place of birth Pencran, France
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[3]
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Le Havre (manager)
Youth career
1971–1977 GA Landerneau
1977–1982 US Pencran
1982–1983 AS Brest
1983–1984 Brest
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1989 Brest 154 (6)
1989–1991 Nantes 76 (1)
1991–1998 Paris Saint-Germain 344 (24)
Total 574 (31)
National team
1993–1995 France 17 (1)
1998 Brittany 1 (0)
Teams managed
1998–2001 Rennes
2002–2005 Lyon
2006–2007 Rangers
2007–2009 Paris Saint-Germain
2009–2010 Cameroon
2011–2015 Oman
2017–2018 Bursaspor
2019– Le Havre
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Paul Joseph Marie Le Guen (French: [pɔl lə ɡwɛn], Breton: [pawl lø ɡwɛnː]; born 1 March 1964) is a French professional football manager and former player. He is the manager of Ligue 2 club Le Havre.

During his playing career, Le Guen played as a midfielder, and enjoyed a successful stay with Paris Saint-Germain between 1991 and 1998, and won 17 caps for the France national team. As a manager, his most notable achievement has been winning the Ligue 1 title in each of his three seasons in charge of Lyon between 2002 and 2005.

Club career[edit]

Le Guen was born in Pencran, Finistère.[2] During his playing career, he played at Stade Brest for five years and Nantes Atlantique for two years, before leaving his home region of Brittany for Paris Saint-Germain. In seven seasons at the Parc des Princes, he made 478 appearances, winning a league title, three French Cups, two League Cups and the Cup Winners' Cup medal in 1996. Le Guen scored the winning goal in the 1995 Coupe de France Final against Strasbourg.[4]

International career[edit]

At international level, Le Guen played 17 times for France, due to injuries and he was part of the team which lost out on a trip to the 1994 FIFA World Cup, along with Eric Cantona and David Ginola. He ended his playing career by taking part in a friendly where Brittany faced Cameroon on 21 May 1998. The match finished in a 1–1 draw.[citation needed]

Managerial career[edit]

Le Guen had a successful managerial career in France, most notably leading Olympique Lyonnais to three consecutive Ligue 1 titles. He has also managed Stade Rennais, Paris Saint-Germain, Rangers, the Cameroon national team, the Oman national team, Bursaspor and Le Havre. In July 2016, he was to be named manager of the Nigeria national team, but didn't agree to the contract terms.[5][6]


During his time at Rennes between 1998 and 2001, Le Guen was noted for signing then unknown players, such as Shabani Nonda and El Hadji Diouf, who under his guidance, developed into talented footballers. He resigned from Rennes in 2001 after a fall-out with the club's board. This led to him taking a year off from football.[citation needed]


Le Guen replaced Jacques Santini as manager of Olympique Lyonnais on 21 May 2002 after they captured their first league title.[7] Le Guen experienced a grim start to his managerial career at Lyon, winning only three games of the first nine, but eventually took Lyon to a further three consecutive championships and reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. He resigned from his position at Lyon on 9 May 2005, the day after the club won their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 championship,[8] with Gérard Houllier taking over.[9][10]

After leaving the club, Le Guen embarked upon another year away from football management. During this time, he turned down management positions at several top European clubs, including Benfica and Lazio, and also stated that he would not return to manage his former club Paris Saint-Germain.[11]


On 11 March 2006, it was confirmed that Le Guen had agreed to replace Alex McLeish as manager of Rangers starting in the 2006–07 season.[12] Le Guen signed a three-year contract[13][14] with the option to extend his stay at Ibrox,[11] and quickly acquired a number of players.[citation needed]

However, Le Guen made a poor start to his Ibrox career. His record across his first ten league games was the worst start to a season by an Old Firm debutant since John Greig's team won only two, drew six and lost two of their opening ten games in 1978–79.[15]

On 8 November, Rangers were knocked out of the Scottish League Cup at the quarter-final stage by First Division side St Johnstone. The result, the first time Rangers had been knocked out of a cup tournament by a lower league side at home,[16][17] prompted protests outside Ibrox and demands for the situation to improve.[18]

On 1 January 2007, Rangers announced that Le Guen had stripped Barry Ferguson of his captaincy of the club and dropped him from the squad for a match the following day. BBC Sport reported that Ferguson would not play for Rangers again under Le Guen.[19]

Club chairman David Murray announced on 4 January 2007 that Le Guen had left Rangers by mutual consent.[20] At the time, this made him the club's shortest-serving manager, and the only one to leave the club without completing a full season in charge.[21]

Le Guen's European record with Rangers has been described as being 'excellent' after remaining unbeaten in the 2006–07 UEFA Cup and finishing at the top of their group.[22][23] However, it was the poor domestic results that ultimately led to his departure.[22]

Paris Saint-Germain[edit]

Le Guen during a training session with Paris Saint-Germain in November 2009

It was announced on 15 January 2007 that Le Guen would return to the club he once skippered as a player as first team coach replacing Guy Lacombe at Paris Saint-Germain. When Le Guen arrived, PSG were lying 17th in Ligue 1 but he led them to safety in his first season finishing 15th.[24] As the 2007–08 season in Ligue 1 unfolded, it was clear that Le Guen was getting inconsistent performances from the crop of players, as the club was in the relegation zone with four games in the league season remaining, while winning the Coupe de la Ligue after beating Lens with 2–1,[25] as well as qualifying for the final of the Coupe de France. Winning the Coupe de la Ligue guaranteed the side a place in the UEFA Cup for the 2008–09 season. PSG announced on 5 May 2009 that Le Guen would not be offered a new contract and would leave at the end of the 2008–09 season.[26][27]

Cameroon national football team[edit]

Le Guen was named Cameroon national football team manager on 15 July 2009, penning a six-month contract.[28] He made an immediate impact by leading the team to qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[29] Le Guen also stripped veteran defender Rigobert Song of the captaincy and the appointment of Samuel Eto'o as the new captain.[30] Both players responded well to the change with Eto'o scoring goals, and Song winning back his starting spot as the Lions qualified for the finals. However, Cameroon were the first team officially knocked out of the 2010 World Cup. Le Guen announced his resignation on 24 June 2010.[31]

Oman national football team[edit]

Towards the end of the 2010–11 season, Le Guen claimed he had received job offers from several Ligue 1 clubs that were seeking new candidates to fill the remaining vacancies,[citation needed] but he turned them all down. He eventually accepted an offer from Oman national football team on 11 June 2011.[32] He led Oman to qualification for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, where they were to be absent in 2011. Oman were eliminated in the group stage of the tournament with one win and two losses. Le Guen was sacked on 19 November 2015 after a poor start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.[33]


Le Guen was announced as the new manager of Süper Lig team Bursaspor on 22 June 2017,[34] His first game was on 11 August 2017, a 1–0 league defeat away to İstanbul Başakşehir.[35] However, a string of poor results meant he was removed from his managerial post on 10 April 2018.[36]

Le Havre[edit]

On 29 May 2019, after ten years of managing abroad, Le Guen returned to France to become the new manager of Le Havre, replacing Oswald Tanchot.[37] His debut game as manager came on 26 July 2019, ending in a 2–2 away draw to Ajaccio.[38][39]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 21 February 2020
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
P W D L Win %
Rennes June 1998 May 2001 121 52 23 46 042.98 [40]
Lyon 21 May 2002 9 May 2005 156 85 43 28 054.49 [40]
Rangers 9 May 2006 4 January 2007 31 16 8 7 051.61 [21]
Paris Saint-Germain 15 January 2007 1 June 2009 132 62 30 40 046.97 [40]
Cameroon 15 July 2009 24 June 2010 19 7 5 7 036.84 [41]
Oman 12 June 2011 19 November 2015 85 31 28 26 036.47 [40]
Bursaspor 22 June 2017 10 April 2018 34 13 7 14 038.24 [40]
Le Havre 29 May 2019 Present 28 9 12 7 032.14 [39]
Total 606 275 156 175 045.38



Paris Saint-Germain



Paris Saint-Germain


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External links[edit]