Albert Batteux – Stade de Reims
Not a too famous name on the list, but Albert Batteux is believed to be the most successful coach in the history of French domestic football. As a player, he played as the midfielder who helped Stade de Reims win the title in 1949, but his greatest success came when he transitions into a coach.
At just 29 years old, many people unconvinced of his credentials, but by winning the league with the Champagne side in 1953 and 1955, he won over any doubters. Batteux then led them into Europe and twice got into the final of the European Cup – only to compete with the imperious Real Madrid in the final both times. Three more league titles would follow.
Not to be considered as a one-club-man, he would then started off Saint-Etienne’s successful period in the 70’s, helping Les Verts to win four league titles in ’67, ’68, ’69 and ’70 – he also won two Coupe de France titles.
France Football considered him as one of the best coaches of the 20th century and in 2008, Stade de Reims decided to name a stand after him.
Michel Hidalgo – France
As a player, Michel Hidalgo won the French Division 1 two times. He has never won the league crown as a coach, but after working as manager of the France national team in 1976, he was greatly contributed in helping rebuild the fortune of Les Bleus.
In 1982, with a team spearheaded by Dominique Rocheteau and Michel Platini, the man helped France finished fourth in 1982, after unable to be qualified for the tournament during 12 years – only defeated by Germany on penalties. The Normand-native man would get his moment two years’ later as he led the hosts all the way to European Championship glory.
After winning the French Manager of the Year award in 1982, World Soccer magazine awarded him the title World Manager of the Year in 1984