Sports

‘I’m not Morocco’s trump card’, says Renard

The Frenchman guided the Ivorians to the title in 2015 to become the first coach to win the tournament with two different countries, having led outsiders Zambia to a surprise victory three years earlier.

"I'm not Morocco's trump card. I'm lucky to be the coach of a Morocco team with quality players," Renard said ahead of Friday's Group D showdown in Cairo.

"In my career I had the good fortune to be coach of this Ivory Coast … I've simply been lucky to be in the right place at the right time, and the Ivory coast will always be a magnificent memory."

Since transforming the perennial underachievers into African champions four years ago, Renard has tormented them as coach of Morocco.

He ensured the 2017 title defence of the Ivorians did not last beyond the first round, and inflicted more misery in 2018 World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 triumph in Abidjan taking Morocco to Russia at their expense.

"If I had a secret I would try to put it in place tomorrow, but each game against the Ivory Coast is more than difficult," said Renard.

"The past doesn't hold much importance. We have to focus on the game tomorrow which isn't just any group gamRead More