Cavalli: Niger appoint ex-Algeria head coach

Former Algeria head coach Jean-Michel Cavalli has been appointed as the new manager of the Niger national team.

The new man has described his new role as “a marvellous challenge” according to France Football, having taken over from his compatriot Jean-Guy Wallemme, who was relieved of his duties in September.

The 63-year-old, who has penned a two-year deal with Niger, oversaw a two-year spell with Algeria following his appointment in 2006 as a replacement for Ali Meziane Ighil.

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Born in Ajaccio, Corsica, he represented hometown club Gazelec Ajaccio during his playing career as a midfielder, before moving onto AS Monaco in 1976.

During a nomadic managerial career which began with Gazelec in 1990, he’s since taken the reins of French clubs such as LOSC Lille, Racing Club de Paris and Nimes, while also overseeing the Corsica national team.

Cavalli also has extensive experience in African football.

Following his brief tenure with Algeria, he took over at various North African club sides including Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, Algerian heavyweights MC Oran and Sudanese giants Al-Hilal Omdurman.

In 2016, he returned to Algeria with USM Alger and MC Oran, either side of a stint in Egypt with Al-Ittihad Alexandria.

The veteran’s previous role was as technical director of Russian club PFC Sochi.

Cavalli’s first challenge will be a double-header against Ethiopia next month as part of qualification campaign for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, now rescheduled to January and February 2022.

Niger have been pooled in Group K alongside the Walias, as well as Madagascar and Ivory Coast, but must improve their form dramatically after losing both of their opening matches.

The Frenchman will also be asked to put up a strong showing in World Cup qualification, where Niger have been pitted against Algeria, Burkina Faso and Djibouti.

The Mena are currently ranked 112th in the world, according to the latest Fifa World Ranking.

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