Gerard Houllier, technical manager of the French Football Association and former Manager of Liverpool Football Club and Olympique Lyonnais, is renowned as one of the most knowledgable people in the game. His experience in the high pressure world of football, coaching high level teams and what makes a winning team is truly enthralling.
Houllier is an accomplished and confident speaker. His wealth of experience has been acquired through success in a number of domestic and national managerial roles. He is able to transcend the boundary from sport to business and pass on some of his inspirational insights into leadership for the benefit of others.
Houllier had six seasons with Premiership football side Liverpool before leaving in 2004. During that time he guided them to five trophies, including the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup and League Cup in a memorable 2000-01 season. This was the first time that any club had won three knock out competitions in the same year.
After an early career in teaching, where he became deputy headmaster at École Normale d’Arras, Houllier moved to football and started as player/manager with Le Tourquet Athletic in 1973 in his native France. He quickly progressed to becoming youth coach at Arras and then head coach at Noeux-les-Mines. It was here that he first tasted managerial success with two consecutive promotions that took his team into the French second division.
He subsequently moved to Lens in 1982 where he guided them to promotion and qualification for the UEFA Cup and in 1985 he moved again to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and won the French national title in 1986.
Houllier also experienced the highs and lows of national team football. He was manager of the national side that failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1994 and resigned immediately. However he remained as technical director of the team and contributed to his sides’ victory in the 1998 World Cup.
An advocate of youth development, Houllier left Liverpool in 2004 and took up a two year role as manager of Olympique Lyonnais in May 2005 until 2007 winning the French League title twice.
Houllier is still active in football at the highest levels and is a key member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group into trends in football.
In recognition of his services to football, Houllier was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in France and an honorary OBE in the UK.
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