The former France and Liverpool FC manager replaces Paul Le Guen, who stepped down following yesterday's 0-0 draw with OGC Nice at the Stade Gerland. "I'm facing a big challenge as finishing second would be a failure here," Houllier said.
Houllier's appointment brings to an end three weeks of suspense since Le Guen announced his intention to resign after Lyon won their fourth straight French title on 9 May. Houllier never played football professionally, but has a successful track record as a coach at club level in France as well as extensive experience of European club football, in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup which he won with Liverpool FC in 2001.
Houllier, 57, was sacked by Liverpool in May 2004 after six seasons at Anfield. His best campaign came in 2000/01 when he led Liverpool to a UEFA Cup, FA Cup and English League Cup treble. He won the League Cup again in 2003, but did not enjoy such success as coach of France, his team failing to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals.
Houllier was in charge of RC Lens from 1982-85 then joined Paris Saint-Germain FC from 1985-88, winning the French title in 1986. He was France coach Michel Platini's assistant from November 1988-June 1992 and replaced Platini in the top job after the UEFA European Championship in Sweden in 1992.
Le Guen leaves after guiding Lyon to a hat-trick of French titles in his three years at the club. He also steered Lyon to the Champions League quarter-finals for the second season in a row, this time losing to PSV Eindhoven on penalties.
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