Olympique Lyonnais have confirmed that FC Sochaux-Montbéliard coach Alain Perrin will lead the French champions next season after the departure of Gérard Houllier.
Perrin, 50, only took charge of Sochaux a year ago after a disappointing eight-month spell in English football with Portsmouth FC, but he was an instant success back in Ligue 1. He steered Sochaux to a seventh-placed finish and UEFA Cup qualification via their victory in the French Cup final against Olympique de Marseille, the club he coached after making his name with ES Troyes Aube Champagne.
Perrin, who has agreed a two-year contract at the Stade de Gerland, paid tribute to Sochaux for allowing him to move on. He said: "I must thank president Jean-Claude Plessis. I thank him for the confidence he showed in me. I bounced back at Sochaux. Now I am at OL, one of the best clubs in Europe. I am totally aware of what it means in terms of commitment, responsibility and sense of duty. I am ready for the challenge."
The 59-year-old Houllier, the former France trainer and Liverpool FC manager, took over from Paul Le Guen in August 2005, when Lyon had already claimed four successive French titles – three under Le Guen, the first with Jacques Santini as boss. Houllier then secured the side's fifth and sixth domestic crowns but, like his predecessors, failed to guide Lyon beyond the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
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