Raymond Domenech

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Raymond Domenech
Domenech in 2007
Personal information
Full name Raymond Manuel Albert Domenech[1]
Date of birth (1952-01-24) 24 January 1952 (age 71)
Place of birth Lyon, France
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s) 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)
International career
1973–1979 France 8 (0)
Managerial career
1984–1988 Mulhouse
1988–1993 Lyon
1993–2004 France U21
1996 France Olympic
2004–2010 France
2020–2021 Nantes
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  France (as manager)
UEFA European Under-21 Championship
Bronze medal – third place 1996
Runner-up 2002
FIFA World Cup
Runner-up 2006
*Club domestic league appearances and goals
Domenech in 1976

Raymond Manuel Albert Domenech (French pronunciation: [ʁɛ.mɔ̃ dɔ.me.nɛk]; born 24 January 1952) is a French football manager and former player. He managed the France national team from 2004 to 2010, reaching the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final.[2] He was dismissed after their elimination from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for serious misconduct.[3]

Managerial career[edit]

France U-21 national team[edit]

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

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[4] Italy would go on to be champions at the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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 won 2–1 away from home in the second leg, sending the game to extra time. Djibril Cissé had been sent off just before halftime.[5] 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.[5] Portugal would go on to finish third at the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.[citation needed]

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 beat the two other shortlisted candidates, Jean Tigana and Laurent Blanc.[6]

France struggled in the qualifiers, even though the team was seeded in a group that included the relatively unheralded teams of Israel and Switzerland. Domenech persuaded Claude Makélélé, Lilian Thuram and Zidane, members of France's "golden generation", out of international retirement to aid the national team. It was paid off and they qualified for the finals.[7] On the final day of fixtures, France qualified automatically with a 4–0 home win over Cyprus.[8]

Domenech fell out with Vikash Dhorasoo after he made a behind the scenes film Substitute.[9] His decision to leave out Barcelona star Ludovic Giuly in favour of Franck Ribéry, and subsequent refusal to explain that decision, left many French players and fans mystified.[10] Domenech's selection for France's World Cup squad was further criticised when he publicly announced that Fabien Barthez would start ahead of Lyon 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, although he later returned.[11] Domenech also excluded Roma centre-back Philippe Mexès from his 2006 and 2008 squads, taking along the likes of Jean-Alain Boumsong in his place.[12]

France had a slow start in the World Cup, recording draws against Switzerland and South Korea before finally defeating Togo. France then knocked out Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. France lost the final to Italy in a penalty shoot-out following a 1–1 draw after extra time.[13] 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).[14]

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."[15] France ended up last in their UEFA Euro 2008 Group C and failed to advance in the tournament after losing to Italy 2–0.[16]

Domenech proposed on live television to his girlfriend Estelle Denis after France's elimination. He later admitted that this was unprofessional.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19] The draw was then followed by a 2–0 defeat to Mexico, during which striker Nicolas Anelka reportedly directed an expletive-laden[20] tirade at Domenech.[21] Anelka was dismissed from the team the next day.[22] 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.[20] After the French Football Federation condemned the player boycott,[22] 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.[23]

Domenech was dismissed for serious misconduct following the World Cup. He sought €2.9 million compensation, eventually receiving €975,000.[3]

Later career[edit]

In November 2010, Domenech began coaching the under-11 team at AC Boulogne-Billancourt.[24] In December 2011, Domenech donated €70,000 of his €150,000 World Cup bonus to the club, with the remaining €80,000 being donated to charity and an inner-city football club from Paris.[25]

In April 2018, he was one of 77 applicants for the vacant Cameroon national team job.[26] In December 2020, he expressed a wish to succeed Ljubiša Tumbaković as the Serbia national team coach.[27]

On 26 December 2020, 10 years after last managing a team, Domenech signed with Ligue 1 side FC Nantes.[28] On 10 February 2021, Domenech was released of his duties as head-coach after not winning a single game in his 8 matches in charge.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Domenech with his wife Estelle Denis in 2012

Domenech was previously in a civil relationship with French TV presenter Estelle Denis, whom he met at the studios of channel Infosport+.[30] Domenech proposed to Denis on live television on 17 June 2008, after France's elimination from UEFA Euro 2008.[31] The couple have two children, a daughter born in 2004 and a son born in 2007.[32] The couple separated in 2020.[33]

Domenech is of Catalan descent.[34] He is fascinated by astrology, and believes that people's personalities are shaped by star signs. He has denied rumours that he picked squads based on astrology, or that he dropped Robert Pires for being a Scorpio, instead saying that the 30-year-old Arsenal winger was declining and a bad influence on the squad.[35]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 10 February 2021[36]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Mulhouse 1 July 1984 30 June 1988 169 93 40 36 055.03
Lyon 1 July 1988 30 June 1993 202 73 62 67 036.14
France U21 1 July 1993 11 July 2004 124 76 30 18 061.29
France 12 July 2004 30 June 2010 79 41 24 14 051.90
Nantes 26 December 2020 10 February 2021 8 0 4 4 000.00
Total 582 283 160 139 048.63






  1. ^ a b "Décret du 7 mai 2007 portant promotion et nomination" [Decree of 7 May 2007 on promotion and appointment]. Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French). 2007 (107): 8115. 8 May 2007. PREX0710152D. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Domenech pegs Le Guen, Giresse as contenders for his replacement". CBC News. 3 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Domenech agrees compensation with French football federation". Reuters. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  4. ^ uefa.com. "Under-21 2000 - History - Italy-France – UEFA.com".
  5. ^ a b "Portugal overcome the odds". 18 November 2003. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Domenech is new French boss". The Guardian. 12 July 2004. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Oldies Zidane, Thuram and Makelele return to help France". The Star. 3 September 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  8. ^ "France joy after Switzerland draw". CNN. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Coach Domenech angered by Dhorasoo". CNN. 15 August 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Left-out Giuly hits at out at France coach". ESPN. 21 May 2006. Archived from the original on 18 July 2014.
  11. ^ Fifield, Dominic (25 May 2006). "France in disarray as keepers row in team bonding". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014.
  12. ^ Lambourde, Philippe (9 September 2008). "Calcio Debate: Is Domenech Being Sabotaged By Serie A?". Goal.com. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  13. ^ Bland, Gareth (4 June 2018). "France's unlikely journey to the 2006 World Cup final". These Football Times. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Sent-off Zidane named best player". BBC Sport. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Domenech rekindles Makelele row". BBC News. 29 August 2006. Archived from the original on 17 September 2013.
  16. ^ Spiro, Matthew (17 June 2008). "France sunk as Italy grab lifeline on EURO 2008 Group C". UEFA. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  17. ^ Maguire, Mike (19 June 2008). "Domenech Admits To Indecent Proposal". Goal. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Le Hand of God, 10 years on: Thierry Henry's handball that sent France to the 2010 World Cup – remembered by those who were there". FourFourTwo. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Zidane says former boss 'not a coach'". Irish Times. 15 June 2010.
  20. ^ a b Agence France-Presse (21 June 2010). "French football in chaos after players' mutiny". Archived from the original on 20 February 2014.
  21. ^ "World Cup 2010: Nicolas Anelka sent home after bust-up". BBC Sport. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "World Cup 2010: Domenech snubs Parreira handshake". BBC Sport. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  24. ^ "Domenech parle et gagne enfin". Le Journal du Dimanche (in French). 21 November 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Domenech reverse sa prime de 150 000 euros au foot amateur". Libération (in French). 30 December 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  26. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (23 April 2018). "77 applicants for vacant Cameroon coaching position". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  27. ^ Čvorović, Goran (10 December 2020). "EKSKLUZIVNO! REJMON DOMENEK O KLUPI SRBIJE: Pitali su da li sam zainteresovan, odgovorio sam potvrdno". Novosti (in Serbian). Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  28. ^ "Raymond Domenech nouvel entraîneur de Nantes (officiel)". L'Équipe. 26 December 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  29. ^ "Ex-France coach Domenech sacked by Nantes: club source". France 24. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  30. ^ France, News In (17 February 2022). "Her success on RMC, her separation from Raymond Domenech… Estelle Denis confides in TV Magazine". newsinfrance.com. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  31. ^ Vignal, Patrick (17 June 2008). "Domenech looks to marriage after France's exit". Reuters. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  32. ^ https://euro.dayfr.com/trends/630363.html
  33. ^ Kulawik, François (23 December 2022). "Estelle Denis, la vérité sur sa relation avec Raymond Domenech". Sports.fr (in French). Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  34. ^ "Raymond Domenech, le Catalan des «États-Unis»" [Raymond Domenech, the Catalan from the "United States"]. L'Équipe (in French). 21 April 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  35. ^ Doyle, Paul (22 March 2016). "Raymond Domenech: 'People started to think I wore a wizard's hat on my head'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  36. ^ "Raymond Domenech career sheet". Pari et Gagne. Retrieved 27 December 2020.

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]