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Pierre Pibarot

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Pierre Pibarot, (23 July 1916 1981) was a French football player and legendary football manager. He was born in Alès, France.

A product of the Olympique Alès youth programme, Pibarot left Alès briefly in 1932 to play for the now-defunct sporting club attached to the lycée Victor Hugo-de-Marseille. He returned to Olympique Alès in 1934, and was part of the team that won the Ligue 2 championship the following season.

His promising playing career was cut short by a leg injury he received at the Battle of Narvik in 1940; his short-lived return to professional play for Nancy was terminated when he turned manager in 1944, at the age of 29, after being part of the Coupe de France winning Nancy side.

His old club offered him the manager's position in 1945; he used the following four years to perfect the 'line defence" technique that would make him famous, and in the process took Olympique Alès back to the first division for the second time in its history.

In 1949 he moved to Nîmes Olympique, which team too he took up to Ligue 1, before being tapped to bring his skills to the French national team in 1955. He had already been involved as a technical strategist with the team as early as their friendly against England in 1951.

He ended his career with stints at RCF Paris.

In recognition of his contributions to the science of defence and his excellence as a trainer, the main stadium at France's football academy at Clairefontaine was named for him. The stadium of his old club at Alès, where he is something of a hometown hero, is also named for him in memory of his contributions to the team as player and manager.

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