Four years on the French Riviera

Claude Puel’s Managerial Fact File

A former midfielder for Monaco, Claude Puel has since gone on to enjoy a successful managerial career at five different clubs over the space of 18 years.
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Following his confirmation as Leicester City manager on Wednesday, provides a breakdown of his spells at Monaco, Lille, Lyon, Nice and Southampton.

AS Monaco, 1999-2001
Honours: Ligue 1 (1999/00), Trophée des Champions (2000)
Win percentage: 48.35 per cent

Previously the manager of Monaco’s reserve team, Puel made the step up to first team in 1999 and went on to win two trophies with the club. They won Ligue 1 by seven points from nearest challengers Paris Saint-Germain with the likes of French legends Fabien Barthez, David Trezeguet and Willy Sagnol all in their ranks. Puel ended a 24-year spell at Monaco in 2001 before joining Lille a year later.

Lille, 2002-2008
Win percentage: 39.93 per cent

While Puel would not secure a major trophy at Lille, he made a significant impact at the French outfit. They placed 14th in 2003 and 10th in 2004 before a superb 2004/05 campaign lead to them finishing as runners up. They competed in the UEFA Champions League the next season, where they would face Benfica and Manchester United in the group stages, famously beating the latter 1-0. Finishing in third place in Ligue 1 that campaign, Lille again qualified for Europe’s elite competition and came up against Man Utd in the knockout stages, but eventually lost 2-0 over two legs. Puel followed up with securing 10th in 2006/07 and seventh in 2007/08 before being appointed manager of Lyon.

Lyon, 2008-2011
Win percentage: 48.05 per cent

More success in the UEFA Champions League came for Puel at Lyon, as they finished second in a group containing Bayern Munich and Fiorentina in 2008/09. While beaten by eventual winners Barcelona in the knockout stages, Puel’s side secured third spot in Ligue 1 to set up another campaign in Europe. It proved to be the most successful Champions League journey in Lyon’s history. Qualifying from their group above 2005 champions Liverpool, they dispatched Spanish giants Real Madrid and Ligue 1 rivals Bordeaux to reach the semi-finals, where they were defeated over two legs by Bayern Munich. In Puel’s last season in charge at Lyon, he guided them to third position, while they exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage at the hands of Real Madrid.

Nice, 2012-2016
Win percentage: 40.72 per cent

In his first season at Nice, Puel lead his new side to fourth position in Ligue 1 and as a result secured a spot in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League. However, they were beaten by Cypriot side Apollon Limassol over two legs before finishing 17th in the 2013/14 Ligue 1 season. At the start of that campaign, Puel signed current Foxes midfielder Papy Mendy, who played under the Frenchman throughout his tenure in the south of France. An improved 11th place came in 2014/15, while Nice set up a Europa League qualifying campaign a year later by finishing fourth – Puel’s final term at Nice.

Southampton, 2016-2017
Win percentage: 37.74 per cent

After Ronald Koeman departed for Everton, Puel took over at Southampton – his first managerial job outside of Ligue 1. The Saints, alongside a Europa League campaign in which they beat Internazionale on a historic evening at St. Mary’s Stadium, finished eighth in the Premier League, but it was the League Cup that they were most fruitful in. They marched to the final, defeating Arsenal and Liverpool on the way, but were edged 3-2 at Wembley Stadium by Manchester United, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted a late winner in the capital.

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