Antoine Krilone Kombouaré (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃twan kɔ̃bwaʁe]; born 16 November 1963) is a French professional football manager and former player who most recently managed Ligue 1 side Toulouse.
Kombouaré as Lens manager in 2014
|Full name||Antoine Krilone Kombouaré|
|Date of birth||16 November 1963|
|Place of birth||Nouméa, New Caledonia|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1975–1983||WS Plum Nouméa|
|1999–2003||Paris Saint-Germain Reserves|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Kombouaré began his career at local club WS Plum Nouméa in Nouméa in 1975, before moving to Nantes in 1983. He later joined Paris Saint-Germain in 1990. At the Parisian club, he became famous for a winning header he scored in the dying seconds of a UEFA Cup quarter-final match against Real Madrid during the 1992–93 season. The header qualified PSG for the next round with a 4–1 scoreline. Kombouaré had already scored a decisive goal in similar circumstances against Anderlecht in the previous round. His habit of netting tie-deciding headers earned him the name of "Casque d'Or", which means "Golden Helmet" in French. In 1994–95, during a UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Johan Cruyff's Barcelona "dream team", Kombouaré captained PSG to a resounding and unexpected 2–1 win which qualified the French side for the semi-final, which they lost to A.C. Milan.
In all, Kombouaré spent five seasons in Paris, winning the Coupe de France in 1993 and 1995 and the Coupe de la Ligue in 1995. Kombouaré scored a penalty in the 1993 Coupe de France Final. He also played nine games in the title-winning side of 1993–94 under Artur Jorge. From 1992–93, he found his first-team appearances restricted by the presence of fellow defenders Alain Roche, Paul Le Guen and Ricardo. Kombouaré became a cult hero among PSG fans for his habit of scoring last-minute winning goals and his presence and composure in big games.
Kombouaré signed for Swiss side Sion in 1995 for an undisclosed fee, then joined Aberdeen a year later for £300,000; he was signed by manager Roy Aitken to add experience to the shaky Aberdeen defence. He made 50 appearances for Aberdeen and scored three goals. He left Aberdeen in May 1998.
In 2003, Kombouaré was already being tipped to coach PSG, the club where he made his name as a player, and had spent four years coaching the reserves team with positive results. However, the arrival of Vahid Halilhodžić at the helm forced him to change his plans. He therefore joined Strasbourg where he achieved an impressive 13th spot in the league, playing some good football along the way. However, a poor start to the 2004–05 season prompted him to leave the Alsace-based club.
In July 2005, Kombouaré was appointed at Valenciennes, then playing in the second tier of French football. In his first season, he led them to promotion to the top flight, a level from which the club had been relegated in 1993. In the three seasons that followed, Kombouaré helped the club to stabilize itself at the top level of French football. He improved the club's position in every season: 14th in 2006–07, 13th in 2007–08 and 12th in 2008–09, establishing his credentials as a coach who could achieve impressive results on a tight budget.
In May 2009, Kombouaré's former club PSG came calling back to him, offering him the position of manager. He accepted and signed a three-year contract, replacing Paul Le Guen, with whom he had played at Nantes and PSG. In 2009–10, the Parisian club, in spite of its new signings such as Mevlüt Erdinç and Grégory Coupet, performed poorly in the league and finished in mid-table. Kombouaré made up for this by leading the club to success in the Coupe de France, where they beat Monaco in the final.
In 2010–11, he again led the club to the Coupe de France Final, which they lost to French champions Lille. In the Coupe de la Ligue, PSG looked set for a final showdown with fierce rivals Marseille, but were stunned by Montpellier in the semi-final. The side performed much better in the league, finishing fourth in spite of a limited playing squad. The Parisians almost achieved qualification to the Champions League, but were let down by tiredness and an inability to perform when it mattered most. However, the attacking brand of football played under Kombouaré's guidance brought acclaim from both fans and writers for the capital club, with many people[who?] agreeing that PSG were playing their best football since Luis Fernández's first spell as coach between 1994 and 1996.
During the 2011–12 season, PSG crashed out of the Coupe de la Ligue and the Europa League during the first half of the season, and on 29 December 2011 – with his club top of the Ligue 1 table – Kombouaré was sacked by PSG sporting director Leonardo and replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, putting an end to much speculation about his position at the club. Despite holding top spot in Ligue 1 when he was sacked, the club ultimately finished as runners-up to champions Montpellier.
On 27 June 2012, it was confirmed that Kombouaré was appointed head coach of Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal on a one-year deal with an option for a second, but he was sacked on 31 January 2013.
On 14 October 2019, Kombouaré was appointed as manager of Toulouse FC. On 6 January 2020, Toulouse terminated Kombouaré as manager following the club's humiliating 1-0 loss to Championnat National 2 side Saint-Pryvé Saint-Hilaire FC in the Coupe de France. Under Kombouaré the club had lost ten matches in a row leading him to be dismissed and replaced by Denis Zanko.
- As of match played 4 January 2020
|Strasbourg||1 July 2003||3 October 2004||49||10||18||21||51||68||−17||20.41|
|Valenciennes||1 July 2005||1 June 2009||166||59||48||59||184||180||+4||35.54|
|Paris Saint-Germain||1 June 2009||29 December 2011||134||61||39||34||205||138||+67||45.52|
|Al-Hilal||27 June 2012||31 January 2013||22||14||3||5||50||24||+26||63.64|
|Lens||18 June 2013||30 May 2016||126||45||36||45||153||158||−5||35.71|
|Guingamp||30 May 2016||6 November 2018||100||32||26||42||116||153||−37||32.00|
|Dijon||10 January 2019||9 June 2019||25||8||4||13||28||37||−9||32.00|
|Toulouse||14 October 2019||5 January 2020||13||2||0||11||13||30||−17||15.38|
- Division 1: 1993–94, runner-up: 1992–93
- Coupe de France: 1992–93, 1994–95
- Coupe de la Ligue: 1994–95
- "Décret du 3 avril 2015 portant promotion et nomination" [Decree of 3 April 2015 on promotion and appointment]. Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French). 2015 (0081): 6288. 5 April 2015. PREX1507444D. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
- "Antoine Kombouaré". PSG70.free.fr (in French). Retrieved 24 August 2019.
- "Les grandes dates de la carrière d'Antoine Kombouaré". MFB TV (in French). Retrieved 24 August 2019.
- "PSG – Nantes 3-0, 12/06/93, Coupe de France 92-93". archivesparisfootball.wordpress.com. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- Haond, Patrick (28 May 2009). "Kombouaré agrees PSG deal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
- "Guingamp se sépare d'Antoine Kombouaré". L'Équipe (in French). 6 November 2018.
- "Dijon : Antoine Kombouaré succède à Olivier Dall'Oglio au poste d'entraîneur". L'Équipe (in French). 10 January 2019.
- "Kombouaré va quitter Dijon". France Football (in French). 9 June 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
- Dijon choisit Stéphane Jobard pour remplacer Antoine Kombouaré. Mercato365.com. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
- "Toulouse : Antoine Kombouaré nommé entraîneur". L'Équipe (in French).
- "TOULOUSE SACK KOMBOUARÉ". www.ligue1.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- "PSG – Strasbourg 1-0, 13/05/95, Coupe de France 94-95". archivesparisfootball.wordpress.com. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- "PSG – Bastia 2-0, 03/05/95, Coupe de la Ligue 94-95". archivesparisfootball.wordpress.com. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Antoine Kombouaré.|
- Antoine Kombouaré profile at Paris Saint-Germain official website