Halilhodzic is new Al Ittihad coach
JEDDAH: Former Paris St. Germain trainer Frenchman Vahid Halilhodzic will lead Saudi Arabian giants Al Ittihad in their quest for a third consecutive AFC Champions League title.
The 56-year-old Frenchman signed a one-year deal with Al Ittihad president Mansour Al Balawi in Paris on Saturday, a day after the two-time defending champions were drawn to play Syrian outfit Al Karameh in the quarterfinals of Asia’s premier club competition.
The Al Ittihad job fell vacant after Frenchman Bruno Metsu quit after a short two-month stay towards the fag-end of the Saudi League. Metsu himself had taken over from the sacked Romanian veteran Anghel Iordanescu in mid-March.
Halilhodzic joined PSG from Rennes in June 2003 and in his first season led the club to second place in the league, the Coupe de France (French Cup) title and European Champions League qualification.
He quit PSG after problems between him and the players surfaced and went to Turkey where he coached Trabzonspor for a short stint before returning to France.
An ex-player, Halilhodzic starred for Bosnian club Velez Mostar (1990-1992) before moving to France at the outbreak of the Bosnian war.
He played as a striker for Nantes and was the top goal scorer in France in seasons 1983 and 1985.