After the death of Gérard Houllier, this Monday at the age of 73, tributes have multiplied. Like that of Laurent Blanc who knew the former coach at different times in his career. The 1998 world champion remembers, like many people who knew him, a man of innovative ideas.
Laurent Blanc (former coach of the Blues and coach of PSG): “It’s a fatal year. I almost joined him in Liverpool for the anecdote as a player. I had him as a coach but I also worked with him afterwards, when I coached Bordeaux and he was National Technical Director. He greatly contributed to my becoming a coach (in 2010). I retain a man of ideas, always in search of innovations. He had an incredible analytical capacity, intelligence, brilliance. He wanted to be meticulous in the preparation, in his team composition. He was still on a quest, looking for the new idea. He was a man of dialogue and it is my conversations with him that I remember and that I liked. He liked to interact with others, that was his way of doing things.
He did not come from the seraglio of football and I think that it allowed him to think even more about new ideas, often fair and innovative. He wanted to shake up established things. At Clairefontaine, I remember that he did not want it to be just the meeting place for the selection. When he took over from Michel Platini as coach, he also transformed it into a place to live. It would be a shame to summarize it in France – Bulgaria. Personally, I don’t keep this image of him. He must have gone through hell afterwards, he was marked by this moment but I prefer to retain the man who wanted to get as close to perfection as possible. He was a lover of life and football. “
Bixente Lizarazu, 1998 world champion : “I feel a lot of sadness because I owe him my first selection in blue. It was in 1992 against Finland (2-1). In a career, the one who gives you your first chance in the France team necessarily keeps a special place in your heart. This is my case with Gérard Houllier. He is one of the coaches who have marked my career. Then, every time I ran into him, he was always kind, caring and sympathetic to me. He liked to talk about games, organization, management. He was also very cultured and could also talk about something other than football. I knew he had a weak heart but I didn’t know his condition had recently deteriorated. “
Noël Le Graët (president of the FFF, press release): “It is with great emotion and deep sadness that I learned of the death of Gérard Houllier. French football loses one of its greatest technicians, and the French Federation one of its most faithful servants. Gérard Houllier has distinguished himself at all levels of football. In the amateur world as a player and then as a coach, in the professional world as a coach of renowned clubs, in the Federation as National Technical Director and coach of the France team.
Beyond his unanimously recognized technical qualities, Gérard Houllier was a great teacher, open-minded, warm, accessible, deeply human. French football owes him a lot. On behalf of the Federation, I address our heartfelt thoughts and our most sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. “
Alain Cayzac, former president of PSG (2006-2008): “He was a friend like you don’t see many in his life.” Alain Cayzac and Gérard Houllier met in the mid-1980s when the future coach arrived in the capital club. With the key to a title of champion of France at the end of his first season (1986). Since then, they had never really left each other. “I feel like I’m losing a great friend and a brother. We were the best friends on earth, slips the historic leader of the Parisian club. We were very close, our families too. His disappearance is very difficult to bear. “
In 2001, Alain Cayzac rushed to Liverpool to his friend’s bedside, already the victim of an aortic problem from which he narrowly escaped. Since then, Gérard Houllier’s state of health has been a subject of recurring concern. “We knew that his last operation was delicate and risky but we had the hope that it would go well, he breathes. He was always there for me when I had problems. Our friendship went far beyond football even though we talked about it a lot and bickered over who was better between Lyon and Paris. He will have at least had one last joy on Sunday evening if he could learn before dying that OL had won at the Parc des Princes. “
Of the three seasons of the former Liverpool coach at the head of PSG, Alain Cayzac retains the memory of a founding character. “He has professionalized the PSG,” explains the ex-advertiser. Gérard showed that a coach who had not been a pro player can succeed by being very intelligent and very psychologist. He knew how to talk to players. Before him, the club was a bit disorganized. He brought it rigor. »And a first league title, for eternity.
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi (president of PSG, press release): “The death of Gérard Houllier touches me enormously and I know that the whole of Paris Saint-Germain feels a deep sadness, from the supporters to the former players, including all the employees of the Club. I had a great deal of esteem and admiration for Gérard’s work in football, which will leave a deep mark. Paris Saint-Germain will always remember that it was Gérard Houllier who was on his bench at the time of the first league title, in 1986, before assuming high responsibilities in French and European football.
On this sad day, I would like to show all my friendship to his family, his many friends, as well as to all our former players who were managed by Gérard Houllier at the time of my predecessor Francis Borelli. He is a very great figure of our club who is leaving us and to whom we will pay homage on Wednesday evening at the Parc des Princes, to show him all our gratitude and affection. “
Didier Deschamps (coach of the Blues, press release): “The death of Gérard Houllier plunges me into deep sadness. I got to know Gérard when I started for the French team in the fall of 1989, when he was Michel Platini’s assistant. Gérard played an important role in my playing career, since he was the initiator of this first selection. As a high-level coach, whether at Paris-SG, Liverpool or Lyon, he has forged a substantial and prestigious track record, which inspires the greatest respect and demonstrates the competence that was his.
During his career, Gérard also worked a lot in the shadows, at the head of the National Technical Department. His two stints at the head of the DTN, between 1989 and 1998 then between 2007 and 2010, have helped to guide French football on the path to its greatest success. Gérard has always placed himself as a defender of educators and coaches, well aware that he was aware of the difficulty of their mission. As a coach, I was happy to receive, after each of our matches, his little words of encouragement, congratulations or comfort, always accompanied by a relevant technical analysis. I will miss his messages as Gérard will be sadly missed by all of football, for his competence and his humanity. To his family, I address my loving thoughts. “
Roxana Maracineanu (Minister for Sports, on Twitter): “With the death of Gérard Houllier, France loses a great coach and football, a technician recognized all over the world. He was passionate about transmission. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family and loved ones. “
Rudi Garcia (Lyon coach, on Twitter) : “It’s a tweet I wish I had never written. Football loses one of its apostles. He has always been a support for me and I dedicate yesterday’s historic victory in Paris to him. I will miss you Gérard. RIP. “
Djibril Cissé (former international, on Twitter) : “Coach. Today I am very sad. Thanks to you I was able to play in this wonderful Liverpool club. Many thanks for everything you have done for me. Peace to your soul. Thank you MR Gérard Houllier. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr