‘I have the 2026 World Cup in the back of my mind’ – Hervé Renard explains why he plans to leave France

Preparation for the Summer Games begins in earnest for Hervé Renard’s France squad as they prepare for their first fixtures since the Olympic draw was announced. 

France will host Ireland on the 5th of April before then travelling to face Sweden on the 9th to open a tough Euro qualification campaign. 

Despite the task at hand in prepping for both the Olympics and the Euro qualifiers, the focus in the buildup to this doubleheader has been almost exclusively focused on Renard’s announcement that he would be leaving the national setup after the Olympics

The former Saudi Arabia manager confirmed in an interview with Le Figaro that he would be leaving at the end of his contract, to return to men’s football. A statement of intent that he reiterated in the press conference detailing the squad for the Ireland and Sweden games. 

‘It’s a difficult job’ – Hervé Renard

Renard explained that his decision was communicated to the French Football Federation in January and that it would have no impact on the focus of the team. “It had to be done at some point, but that doesn’t call anything into question. With my staff, we are having a lot of fun, we can’t wait to arrive at the start of the course on Monday.” 

The manager continued, “It’s a difficult job. If I had to be brief, I have in the back of my mind the 2026 World Cup in men’s football, I hope that it will be my third World Cup at the head of a men’s team. These are my personal motivations.” 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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