Sylvain Ripoll has been appointed coach of French Ligue 1 club Lorient, the Brittany outfit confirmed on Sunday. Ripoll, 42, had worked as assistant to his predecessor Christian Gourcuff, father of French international Yoann Gourcuff, for the past 11 years.
"Sylvain Ripoll's appointment is coherent with Lorient's philosophy and development," club president Loic Fery said on the club's official website. "He is imbued with the values of FC Lorient, is a fan of beautiful football, with, in addition, a winner's mentality. In addition he is an open man, humble and a worker, with an irreproachable mindset," he added.
Born in Rennes, Ripoll played as a full-back and as a midfielder for his local club from 1990 to 1994, before a stint with Le Mans. He moved to Lorient and twice helped them win promotion to the top flight, in 1998 and 2001.
A ligament injury forced him to retire in 2002 and he became Gourcuff's second in command thereafter. It had been Gourcuff's third different spell coaching the western French side after previous stints from 1982-1986 and 1991-2001 but his relationship with club bosses had become strained this season. Lorient finished eighth in Ligue 1 in the campaign just finished.