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Football News – France

A French coaching legend finally called it a day at the end of August, when, after just 61 days in charge, Guy Roux resigned from French top¬flight club Lens. “I just don’t have the fervour any more,” said the veteran coach. For more than 40 years, he was the master of all he surveyed at Auxerre and, after putatively retiring from the game, he made a surprising – and controversial – comeback with Lens at the start of this season. At 68, Roux was over France’s upper age limit for coaches. However, even French president Nicolas Sarkozy championed the cause of the coaching doyen and eventually he was given special dispensation. Nevertheless, after a 2-1 defeat away to Strasbourg and having collected only two points from four games, Roux decided to step down. “I just don’t have the fervour any more,” he said. “I shouldn’t have accepted the job. It’s embarrassing for me and I know that my time as a coach is over.” As he had done so often before, Roux parted with a joke: “If I’d had a striker who was nearly as good as the questions I was asked by journalists, we’d have won more games.” His successor is 43-year-old former Bayern Munich, Marseille and AC Milan striker Jean-Pierre Papin. Finally, the curtain has fallen on Roux’s career after an unbelievable 890 matches on the bench as a coach.