Paul Le Guen Biography

Tue 27 July 2021 | 19:29

He was considered one of the best new coaching talents in the early 2000s when he was manager of the Lyon team. In this article, we will take a look at Paul Le Guen biography.

Paul Le Guen, born 1 March 1964 in Quimper, is a French football coach and former footballer, playing as a midfielder. He is currently the head of French club Le Havre. Le Guen's playing career was divided between Stade Brestois, Nantes Atlantique and Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he spent six, two and seven years respectively.

His biggest successes came during his time with the capital club, where he made 478 league appearances, winning Ligue 1 once, the Coupe de France three times, the French Super Cup once, the French League Cup twice and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1996.

Le Guen's involvement with the French national team was not entirely outstanding, and he only won 17 caps. The Frenchman was plagued by injuries at key moments and was unable to make any further contribution to the French national team. He was involved, along with Éric Cantona and David Ginola, in one of the biggest failures in recent French national team history, when France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

His playing career came to an end in a friendly match played by a team of players from Brittany against the Cameroon national team on 21 May 1998. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Le Guen started his coaching career in 1998 with Stade Rennes in France. He coached Olympique Lyon from 21 May 2002 until the summer of 2005. Le Guen became Alex McLeish's successor at Glasgow Rangers in the summer of 2006. His contract was terminated 7 months later following a dispute with team captain Barry Ferguson. Then, on 15 January 2007, Le Guen replaced Guy Lacombe as coach at Paris Saint-Germain, who were in danger of relegation. He left the club after the 2008/09 season.

All You Need to Know About Paul Le Guen Biography

After his spell with PSG, he managed the Cameroon and Oman national team, followed by a spell with the Turkish club Bursaspor. Since 2019, he is the head coach of French club Le Havre.

Paul Le Guen Information

Now that we know him better, in this section of

Paul Le Guen biography

, we will share some general information about him such as

Paul Le Guen nationality

to let you know him even more.

Paul Le Guen Bio

  • Full Name: Paul Joseph Marie Le Guen

  • Nickname: N/A

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Paul Le Guen Physical Stats

  • Weight: 81 Kg

  • Height: 1.86 m

  • Eye Color: Hazel

  • Hair Color: Brown

Paul Le Guen Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 6

  • Professional Debut: 1984

Paul Le Guen Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 1 March 1964

  • Birth Place: Pencran, France

  • Zodiac Sign: Pisces

  • Nationality: French

In this section of

Paul Le Guen biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about

Paul Le Guen childhood

and more.

Paul Le Guen Early Life

Whether as a midfielder or as a libero, Paul Le Guen is still associated with the golden era of Paris SG, of which he would wear the captain's armband at the end of his career. A very discreet player, he was one of the most iconic French players of the 80s and 90s, because of his famous ball-striking, known as the "patate de Pencran".

Born in the Finistère region of Brittany, the youngster was trained in Landerneau, then Pencran where he became known for his trademark heavy shot. In 1982, he was recruited by AS Brestoise and joined the Brest Armorique the following year. His first year was spent in the reserves before moving to the pro team in 1984. Immediately he made a name for himself in the Breton midfield.

An old-fashioned defensive midfielder, Paul le Guen was a discreet, quiet type, rather dull, but terribly effective. He counterbalanced the enthusiasm of Bernard Pardo and Joel Henry. Paul was a tireless runner and the team's first thrower, but he also had good vision, good quality of passing, a heavy shot from 30 metres, and the skill to put his foot down when needed.

Although he was still young, he had all the makings of a future great, like many players from Brest Armorique in fact, and he was to be the great mystery of the 80s. Although Vincent Guérin, Gérard Buscher and others played for


, the team was never better than eighth and spent its seasons in the bottom half of the table at best, and the bottom half at worst.

In 1988, the team went down to the second division, but came back up again, thanks to the late arrival of Roberto Cabañas, the Paraguayan whimsical, who joined the team after a rocky transfer. Having won the play-off against Strasbourg, Paul Le Guen was feeling cramped at Brest. So in 1989, he left to join the other big regional club: FC Nantes.

In this section of

Paul Le Guen biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about his playing career with PSG and



FC Nantes and the PSG

He stayed for two seasons and played 83 games. However, the big step in Paul's playing career came in 1991 when he joined the capital club, the Paris Saint-Germain. The club, which had just been acquired by the Canal+ group, had great ambitions on the national and European scene. This was the beginning of the golden age of PSG.

The club was the runner-up to OM and won the French Cup in 1993 against FC Nantes. In the same year, the Parisian club managed to get past Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup before losing in the semi-finals to Juventus. The following year, Paul Le Guen was a symbol of PSG's success in France and in Europe, for example with the elimination of FC Barcelona in the Cup of Nations.

In the season of the title, Paul Le Guen would even score 7 goals in the league, his record. He was rewarded for his work and started in the French national team after the disaster in Bulgaria. Between 1993 and 1995, he was frequently called up, but he was not included in the squad for Euro 1996. He was replaced by Didier Deschamps, the captain, Christian Karembeu, who was more flexible, and Sabri Lamouchi, who was more technical. In total, he made 17 appearances for France and scored one goal.

PSG reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 1995 and went on to win the French Cup and League Cup double. However, glory came in 1996. Just three years after Marseille, a French club once again won a European Cup against Rapid Vienna. The only shadow in the picture of a successful season was that PSG failed to win the league title and was beaten by the surprise package Auxerre.

When Luis Fernandez left the club in 1996 and Ricardo Gomes was appointed coach, Paul was given the captain's armband. In 1997, he played in another Cup final, this time losing to Barça. Paul won two more cups in his last season, ending a career rich in trophies.

Paul Le Guen Profile

Right after his retirement as a player, Le Guen was appointed coach of Stade Rennais. The team ended up 5th in the league, notably thanks to the striker Shabani Nonda. The club finished 13th in the league in 1999-2000, and 6th the following season. Driven out by the Rennes management, Le Guen chose to spend a year away from the game, travelling around Europe and learning from foreign coaches.

Olympique Lyonnais

Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of newly crowned French champions

Olympique Lyonnais

(OL), was searching for a new coach to replace Jacques Santini, who had departed to coach the French national team, in the summer of 2002, and decided on Le Guen.

He won three more French league titles with Lyon in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and had good performances in the UEFA Champions League. In Europe, he made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League twice. After the 2004-2005 season, he decided to leave the club and take another year off from football.

In this section of Paul Le Guen biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his coaching career with the Scottish




Paul Le Guen joined Glasgow Rangers on 11 March 2006 to take over from Alex McLeish, who had moved to the Premier League. He signed a three-year contract with an option to extend for a further three seasons if both sides agreed to do so. The club quickly started to sign players at the specific request of the manager, who was keen to build a squad that would match his style of play.

However, despite the investment and the high expectations, the French coach's early days in Glasgow proved not to be very successful. The first ten league games under him were the poorest start by an Old Firm club (Celtic or Rangers) since the days of John Greig in the 1978-79 season, when his side won two games, drew six and lost two.

Rangers were knocked out of the Scottish League Cup in the quarter-finals on 8 November by a second division side, St Johnstone. This was the first time the Scottish team had been eliminated from the competition by a lower-tier club and this caused protests from fans around Ibrox Park.

The club announced on 1 January 2007 that Le Guen had removed Barry Ferguson from the captaincy and furthermore decided not to call him up for the following day's league match. Indeed, the BBC reported that Ferguson would not play for the club as long as Le Guen is the manager of Rangers.

Within three days of the Ferguson incident, Rangers announced that the French manager would step down as Rangers manager by mutual consent.15 The Frenchman's departure made Le Guen the shortest-serving manager in Rangers' history to date, as well as the only one to have failed to complete a season.

Later that year sports journalist Graham Spiers published Paul Le Guen: Enigma, which documented the Frenchman's time in charge of the Scottish club. According to Spiers, Le Guen departed the club because he felt his authority was being undermined by some of the team's staff including Ferguson and Dr Ian McGuinness, but he also states: "For his part, McGuinness had every reason to believe that Le Guen treated him meanly."

Unlike the Scottish domestic league record, Rangers' performance in Europe with Le Guen as manager was described as "excellent" after his side remained unbeaten in the UEFA Cup, where they finished top of their group. However, it was poor results in the domestic league that prompted Le Guen's departure from the club.

In this section of Paul Le Guen biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his career as coach of the

Paris Saint-Germain


Paris Saint-Germain

Within days after he departed from Rangers club, he succeeded Guy Lacombe as coach of Paris Saint-Germain, which was struggling to stay in Ligue 1 at the time. Although the team got off to an unfortunate start, with Mario Yepes sustaining an ankle injury, suffering four consecutive league defeats and being eliminated from the French Cup and the UEFA Cup, Paul Le Guen was able to keep PSG in the top flight

However, the 2007-2008 season proved to be a nightmare for him and the club. Although the team played some good friendlies (notably in the Emirates Cup), they had a catastrophic season in the league: the PSG was 18th in the evening of the 15th matchday and was still 18th with two matches to go.

Nevertheless, the club won the League Cup and made it to the final of the French Cup. Chairman Alain Cayzac preferred that Paul Le Guen resigned rather than be dismissed. Charles Villeneuve, the club's new president, continued to put his trust in Paul Le Guen in May 2008.

The start of the 2008-2009 season was much more successful thanks to some targeted recruitment and the retention of some of the club's key players, but the season came to an abrupt end. In fact, PSG failed to qualify for the Europa League by finishing 6th after fighting for the title all season long.

One very honourable thing that Paul Le Guen was able to do is that he tried to apply a policy to which he always remained faithful, which is very difficult to do when you are constantly criticized and questioned. One other feat he did in Paris was that he invested in players who could be sold at a higher value, such as Guillaume Hoarau or Stéphane Sessegnon.

This was a new approach introduced by the Breton coach, as PSG used to sell their players at a loss until 2006. In addition, Le Guen promoted a large number of players from the training centre, some of whom already had some experience of the top level.

Following an article in L'Équipe on 5 May 2009 which announced that he would be leaving at the end of the season, PSG issued a statement confirming that Le Guen's contract would not be extended. Following a good season in 2008-2009, he had to leave the club after some internal conflicts with the club's management concerning the management of the group. He officially left the club at the end of the season after having lost out to LOSC in the Europa League.


He signed a six-month contract on 27 July 2009 as coach of the

Cameroon national team

. He was tasked with qualifying the team for the 2010 World Cup in

South Africa

and the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola, while the Lions were last in their group at the time of his appointment with 1 point from 2 matches played.

Cameroon won their double encounter against Gabon and then went on to defeat Togo to take the lead of the group at the end of the second to last day of the qualifiers. Cameroon's victory against Morocco placed them at the top of their group and secured their qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

However, with three defeats in three games, the team was knocked out of the World Cup in the group stage of the competition. Paul Le Guen's contract was over and he left his post with the regret that he had not been able to unite his team better for the World Cup.

Oman coach (2011-2015)

Although several European clubs, including some from

Ligue 1

, expressed interest in signing Paul Le Guen and his usual staff (Yves Colleu, Joël Le Hir and Christian Mas), he chose to go into exile and join the Omani national team in June 2011.

With a team ranked around 100th by FIFA and with virtually no European expatriates, Le Guen focused on collective solidity, frequently opting for five-defender or one-striker systems. Oman made it through the first group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup despite the presence of both Australia and Saudi Arabia, thanks to a 1-0 victory over Australia in Muscat on 11 November 2011. During the second stage, his team missed out on a point to Jordan, who was third in the group and qualified for the play-offs.

Following a difficult run in the 2013 Gulf Cup in Bahrain, where Oman was knocked out in the group stage after a draw and two defeats, the team consolidated its progress by qualifying for the 2014 Asian Cup of Nations, by finishing in first place in Group A, while conceding only one goal.

At the 2014 Gulf Cup, the Omani team achieved a positive fourth place. In the 2014 Asian Cup of Nations, the team played in their first Asian Cup finals by defeating Thailand 2-0. However, they finished in third place and did not make it past the group stage.

In November 2015 he was fired from his post following a home loss to Turkmenistan in Group D of the 2018

World Cup

qualifiers. Oman was second in the five-team group at the time, three points behind Carlos Queiroz's



Experience in Turkey (2017-2018)

After around two years off from football, he signed a two-season contract with Turkish club


in June 2017, with the option of a further season. His mission was to strengthen the team and improve upon the previous season, where the team finished 15th, two points behind the last relegation spot.

The Bursa-based club had a decent start to the season but then suffered a catastrophic turnaround. Bursaspor lost seven of their eleven league games in 2018. In April 2018, he was fired from the team when they were in 13th place in the standings.

Le Havre

He joined French club Le Havre AC in May 2019 as the head coach of the first team. Le Guen’s first match in charge of the new club was on 26 June 2019, where his team got off to a 2-2 draw against AC Ajaccio. In the Coupe de la Ligue, they had a terrible start as they were defeated by Clermont Foot 63 and thus knocked out of the competition.

Things were no different in the

Coupe de France

as they were eliminated from the tournament in the first round after a 1-3 home defeat against USL Dunkerque. That season, where the league ended prematurely because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the club, under Le Guen’s guidance finished in sixth place with 44 points in 28 matches.

The following season started for Le Havre and Paul Le Guen with a 2-0 away defeat against ESTAC Troyes on 24 August 2020. Things weren’t good for the club during the season and their performances were much worse than the previous season. Le Havre was knocked out of Coupe de France with a 0-1 home defeat against Paris FC and finished the league in 12th position with 47 points in 38 matches.

In this section of Paul Le Guen biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his coaching style.

Style of Play

Paul Le Guen is one of the few coaches in the football world who likes to play with different systems and tactics. While he mainly plays with 4-2-3-1 with his teams, however, during his last season of coaching at Le Havre, he played with different systems such as 4-5-1, 4-4-2 double 6 and 4-3-3 attacking, among others.


He was considered as one of the best French midfielders in the 1990s, while he was playing for Paris Saint-Germain, however, some injuries stopped him from achieving more than he did during his playing career and to play more international matches for the French national team.

As a coach, he established himself as one of the best French coaches, especially during his time with Lyon in the early 2000s. However, since his two seasons in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, where he failed to achieve success, he is not considered among the top French coaches anymore.

Paul Le Guen outside Football

Besides football, Paul Le Guen is a professional sports commentator. Together with Pierre Sled, he was a commentator for several matches of the Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup on France Televisions.

Paul Le Guen declined to take over the position of manager of Paris-Saint-Germain in the 2005-2006 season as he did not want to take the place of his friend Laurent Fournier.

At the time, he split his time between his home in Brittany and his work as a consultant for Canal+, in particular for L'Équipe du Dimanche, where he commented on international matches. He also participated in sporting events and ran the New York marathon and the Marathon des Sables.

He returned to Canal+ in 2016 as a consultant. He replaced Christophe Dugarry, who had left for RMC and SFR Sport, as the leading commentator on the encrypted channel. He commented on Sunday evening Ligue 1 matches and the top

Champions League

matches on Canal+ together with Stéphane Guy. He also took part in the 19H30 Sports programme, the Canal Football Club and J+1.

His commentary on the Champions League match between PSG and


in March 2017 was criticized for misplaced confidence in the Parisian team. He and Stéphane Guy commented on the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus on 3 June 2017 on C8, a channel of the Canal+ group.

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he was one of the columnists of L'Équipe du Soir on the L'Équipe channel.

In late December 2020, he wrote an article in Le Monde in support of Canal+ journalist Stéphane Guy, who was fired a few days earlier by his management.

Paul Le Guen Personal Life

In this section of Paul Le Guen biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some info about

Paul Le Guen life story


Paul Le Guen religion


Family, Children and Relationships

While he was training to become a footballer, Paul did not neglect his studies, even if it meant losing time in his rise to the top. He has a very full head and holds both a sports career and a university degree in science and technology.

In fact, he met his wife Claude on the campus of the faculty of Brest. "When he was away from home, his family attended classes in his place," says his mother, Marie-Françoise Le Guen, who was the mayor of Pencran and general councillor for Finistère. He often took advantage of the bus ride to the games and training sessions to study.


At the time of writing this article, there are no reports of any charitable and philanthropic activities regard Paul Le Guen on the French or English media.

Legal Issues

Currently, there are no reports of any legal issues or disputes about Paul Le Guen on the media.

Paul Le Guen Career Statistics

In this section of Paul Le Guen biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


Between 1984, when he started his career with the Stade Brestois and 1998, when he retired from playing football at the PSG club, Paul Le Guen has gone on to play a total of 620 matches in all competitions and also score 37 goals, which is a good feat for a defensive midfielder. With 361 matches played, Paul Le Guen has spent the majority of his playing career at Paris Saint-Germain.


For two years between 1993 and 1995, Paul Le Guen was called up to

France national team

, where he appeared in 17 matches and scored one goal. Paul was part of the France team which played 30 games without defeat between February 1994 and October 1996.


Paul Le Guen has a win ratio of 44.6 percent, with 289 wins, 169 draws and 190 defeats in a total of 648 matches he managed his teams as of 15 May 2021. With 156 matches as the manager of Lyons, he has spent most of his coaching career with the French club.

Paul Le Guen Honors

As a player, Le Guen has managed to win the Coupe de France, French Division 1, Coupe de la Ligue, Trophée des Champions and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Paris Saint-Germain.

During his time as a football coach, Le Guen has won Ligue 1 (on three occasions) and the Trophée des Champions with Lyon. He has also managed to win the Coupe de la Ligue when he was the head coach of PSG. He was also the finalist of the Intertoto Cup in 1999 with Stade Rennes.

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source: SportMob