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Former France, Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais coach Gérard Houllier admitted the invitation to take the reins at Aston Villa FC was an offer he could not refuse after being unveiled by the Premier League side.
The 63-year-old leaves his post as technical director at the French Football Federation (FFF) to return to English football after six years away as successor to Martin O'Neill, who departed on the eve of the new season. "It was a very difficult decision to leave the FFF but I could not turn down the opportunity to manage a club whose approach, both on and off the pitch, I have long admired," he said.
Houllier inherits a team fourth in the Premier League whose focus is now solely on domestic matters after being knocked out of the UEFA Europa League by SK Rapid Wien last month. He has signed a three-year deal; his first spell in England lasted six seasons, during which time he guided Liverpool to the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup in 2000/01. He won back-to-back Ligue 1 titles with Lyon on his return to France before taking on the role of technical director at the FFF.
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