Alain Giresse named Kosovo coach

Frenchman Alain Giresse was appointed coach of the Kosovo team on Wednesday, the Kosovo Football Federation announced.

Alain Giresse, 69, winner of Euro 1984 with France, said he « can’t wait to train the Kosovo team », ranked only 109th in the FIFA rankings.

The former French international, converted into a coach, is committed until November 2023 in Kosovo, under the contract signed with the national federation.

« Kosovar players are technical players, who like to play with the ball. It’s a style that I really appreciate, » Giresse told reporters in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina.

Scorer during the mythical France – Germany of 1982, the former Bordeaux midfielder played 676 matches, including 593 with Bordeaux, of which he remains the best director (181 goals). He also finished second in the 1982 Ballon d’Or behind the Italian Paolo Rossi and won three titles for best French player (1982, 1983, 1987).

Became a coach, he started at Toulouse FC in 1995 before turning to the African continent where he led the selections of Gabon, Mali, Senegal, and Tunisia.

Kosovo had been without a coach since the departure of Swiss Bernard Challandes last October.

Giresse will lead his side for the first time in friendlies against Switzerland and Burkina Faso in March.

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. It was admitted to FIFA and UEFA eight years later and has since aspired to qualify for a major international competition (Euro/World).

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