Bruno Genesio leaves Stade Rennes, Julien Stéphan returns as coach

Bruno Genesio during the Europa League match against Panathinaikos, at Roazhon Park in Rennes, November 9, 2023.

The decision seemed inevitable for a club which has not won a single match in Ligue 1 since October 1 (against Nantes, 3-1). A week after another defeat against Olympique Lyonnais, another club in crisis, Stade Rennais announced, on Sunday November 19, the departure of its coach Bruno Genesio. “By mutual agreement with Stade Rennais FC, and for particularly personal reasons, Bruno Genesio is leaving his position as general coach,” specifies the club in a press release.

The 57-year-old technician will be replaced by a returnee, Julien Stéphan, already coach of the Rouge et Noir between 2018 and 2021. Convinced at the time by the Breton project and by the presence of sports director Florian Maurice, whom he knew at Lyon, Bruno Genesio took over on the Rennes bench to Julien Stéphan — without a club since his departure from Strasbourg in January 2023.

In recent weeks, the French technician showed a certain weariness, understanding that his speech no longer resonated with the players. Worn out, the former Lyon coach finally waited for the international break and the defeat against his former club to announce his departure from the Breton club.

Crowned best coach in Ligue 1 in 2021-2022

Two and a half years after his arrival, the balance sheet of Bruno Genesio, crowned best coach in France in 2021-2022, is nevertheless positive. This season, the Breton team, second best attack in Ligue 1 behind PSG, seduced France with their polished and ambitious play. Praised for his management and his proximity to the locker room, he ultimately suffered from the lack of results from his squad this year.

Despite ambitious summer recruitment, Stade Rennes is having a complicated start to the year, at least in Ligue 1 – in the Europa League, Rennes occupies first place in its group. At 13e place, with twelve points taken after twelve days, the Bretons are only 3 points ahead of the first relegation, Clermont.

The arrival of Julien Stéphan, who had repeatedly expressed his regret at leaving Stade Rennes — a decision “rushed with hindsight” —, should bring back good memories to supporters of the Rouge et noir. The young technician (43 years old), appreciated by the owner François Pinault, had offered the Breton club the third French Cup of its history, against Paris Saint-Germain, on April 27, 2019, and qualified for the group stages of the Champions League the following season. He will hold a press conference on Monday to formalize his return to the club, specifies the Stade Rennes press release.

The departure of Bruno Genesio, under contract until 2025, could lead to that of sports director Florian Maurice, also weakened by the results. The coming week promises to be hectic in Rennes, before the reception in Reims on Sunday November 26.

Sports Department

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