Friday, July 10, 2009

Bruno Metsu

Bruno Metsu (born 28 January 1954 in Dunkerque), also known as Abdul Karim, is a French football manager and the head coach of the national team of Qatar. He is perhaps most notable in Europe for coaching Senegal to a surprise victory over France in the opening match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.



[edit] Biography

Metsu's playing career was largely based in his native France, along with a spell in Belgium with Anderlecht. After retiring as a player, he took up the assistant manager post at his last club, Beauvais Oise, and by 1988 had become full-time manager of the club. He spent over a decade coaching in France before his first foray into international management.

[edit] African Odyssey

Metsu took over African national side Guinea in 2000 before joining Senegal later that year. He helped the Francophone side to a spot in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, their first ever appearance in the tournament, where they were expected to prop up a group containing France, Denmark and Uruguay. Senegal pulled off a shock in the opening match of the tournament, however, beating former colonial masters and defending World Cup and European champions France 1-0. Metsu's side qualified from the group stage and beat Sweden in the round of 16, earning recognition as the first African side to reach the quarterfinals since Cameroon in 1990.

Senegal were finally beaten in the quarterfinals by Turkey in extra time on İlhan Mansız's golden goal. After they had defeated France in the opening game, Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade had declared a national holiday. Metsu's connection to the country went even further as he had converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim woman, taking the name Abdul Karim.[1][2] His psychological approach to the game had led him to encourage Senegal's players to focus on France's weaknesses rather than their strengths, using videos to his advantage and adjusting his coaching methods to the unique challenges of an African side.[3]

[edit] UAE and Qatar: There and Back Again

Metsu's success with Senegal led him to the lucrative Middle East, where in the United Arab Emirates he took over defending champions Al Ain, owned by the Emir of Abu Dhabi.[3] He led the side to victory in the first edition of the re-branded AFC Champions League in 2003, completing a double including the country's league championship. This led to a host of offers for the Frenchman, who joined Qatari side Al-Gharafa to the dismay of his former employers. Metsu was eventually forced to pay a fine for breach of contract.[3]

Metsu led his new side to the Qatari championship in his first season, going unbeaten in the process. However, with players in the league contracted to the country's Olympic committee rather than their clubs, the side was dismantled with former AC Milan and Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly joining Qatar SC. Metsu maintains that the Crown Prince of Qatar orchestrated the moves due to his unhappiness at his club, Al-Sadd, being dethroned from the top of the Q-League.[3] Metsu nevertheless led his side to victory in the 2005/2006 Sheikh Jassem Cup, but conditions had deteriorated to the point that he departed.

Next up for Metsu was a brief stint in Saudi Arabia, where two-time defending champions Al-Ittihad were struggling in fifth place and in need of a late surge up the table. Metsu was handed a one-month contract by club president Mansour Al-Bilali and took the club to third in the table, eventually losing in a play-off semifinal to Al-Hilal.

Metsu returned to the United Arab Emirates as national team boss in 2006, coaching his side to victory in the 2007 Gulf Cup of Nations in front of a packed stadium in Abu Dhabi on 30 January 2007. It was the country's first Gulf Cup win, with Metsu achieving what former national team bosses Tomislav Ivic, Roy Hodgson, Carlos Queiroz and Dick Advocaat had all failed to do.

The UAE crashed out of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, finishing third in a group containing Japan, regional rivals Qatar and co-hosts Vietnam. Despite his contract lasting until 2010, Metsu resigned from the head coach position on 22 September 2008 after suffering defeat in two straight World Cup qualifiers at home.[4] Metsu's overall record with the side was 13 wins (11 official), 9 draws (3 official) and 20 losses (8 official) in 42 matches (22 official), scoring 47 goals and conceding 59.[4]

On 25 September 2008, Metsu returned to Qatar, accepting a job as manager of the national side with the hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[5]

[edit] Honours

[edit] Club



[edit] International


United Arab Emirates

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