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Claude Jacques Puel (French pronunciation: ​[klod pɥɛl]; born 2 September 1961) is a French football manager and former player. He spent his entire playing career with AS Monaco, before becoming manager of the club, leading them to the league title in his first full season in charge. He has also managed Lille, Lyon, Nice, Southampton, and Leicester City.

Claude Puel
Claude Puel.jpg
Puel as Lille manager in 2006
Personal information
Full name Claude Jacques Puel[1]
Date of birth (1961-09-02) 2 September 1961 (age 58)[2]
Place of birth Castres, France[2]
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Youth career
1970–1977 Castres
1977–1979 Monaco
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1996 Monaco 488 (4)
Teams managed
1999–2001 Monaco
2002–2008 Lille
2008–2011 Lyon
2012–2016 Nice
2016–2017 Southampton
2017–2019 Leicester City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing careerEdit

Puel started his football career as a youth with Castres FC, where he was spotted by AS Monaco, joining their training centre in 1977. He played his first professional game in the 1979–80 season. He spent his entire career at Monaco, playing 601 official matches in total. During his time at Monaco, he won two championships and three French Cups.[3] He also played under compatriot Arsène Wenger who jovially recalled being on the wrong end of a sliding tackle saying "Even on the morning of a Cup final he could tackle and even if it was the manager then no problem!".[4]

Managerial careerEdit


Before being appointed as the manager of Monaco, he was the physical trainer and manager of Monaco's reserve team. He was appointed as the manager in January 1999. He won the French Championship in 2000, with players such as Ludovic Giuly and Marcelo Gallardo.[5] In July 2001, his contract was not renewed and he left Monaco after 24 years at the club as a player and a coach.


In July 2002, he was appointed manager of Lille, where he became one of the longest serving coaches in the French league, serving for six consecutive seasons.

Lille were one of the winners of the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup, having defeated U.D. Leiria of Portugal 2–0 in extra time in the final after a goalless aggregate draw.[6]


Puel joined Olympique Lyonnais, the team who had won the last seven French league titles, on a four-year contract on 18 June 2008.[7] In 2010, he helped the club reach the semi-final of the Champions League for the first time in its history. In his final game in charge in May 2011, he defeated his former club Monaco and ended their 34-year spell in the top flight.[8] Lyon terminated his contract on 20 June 2011, although he had just finished third, as he had not won a trophy in his three seasons.[9]


On 23 May 2012, Puel reached agreement on a three-year deal with OGC Nice.[10]


On 30 June 2016, Puel was appointed the manager of Southampton on a three-year deal.[11] On 14 June 2017, Puel's contract was "terminated with immediate effect".[12][13][14] His sacking yielded mixed reactions. In his only season in charge, Southampton reached the League Cup final and recorded an 8th-place finish in the Premier League, albeit with 17 fewer points than his predecessor Ronald Koeman attained the season prior. Puel was particularly criticised for his defensive tactics, with Southampton's scoring record one of the poorest in the league.[15] Sports journalist Paul Doyle called Puel "a victim of Southampton's admirably unreasonable expectations".[16]

Leicester CityEdit

On 25 October 2017, Puel was appointed as the new manager of struggling Premier League side Leicester City, replacing recently sacked Craig Shakespeare, on a contract running until June 2020.[17] His first game in charge came on 29 October, when they beat Everton 2–0 in the Premier League.[18]

From 31 January 2018 until the end of the season, Leicester recorded only three wins from 14 league games,[19] a dismal run that saw Puel accused of negative football.[20] His decision to block Riyad Mahrez's transfer to Manchester City on deadline day resulted in the player going absent from training for ten days.[21] Puel joined Leicester in 13th place and helped the club climb up the table to finish in ninth position.[22][23] After the season concluded, it was speculated that Puel would be leaving the club, though he continued as manager.[24]

A shock 2-1 FA Cup third round defeat to League Two Newport County on 6 January 2019,[25] in which Puel was jeered by Leicester fans for fielding an understrength side,[26] was voted by BBC viewers as the biggest upset of the competition.[27] Having gone six league games without a win,[28] Puel was sacked by Leicester on 24 February 2019, following a 4–1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace the previous day.[29]

Managerial statisticsEdit

As of match played 23 February 2019[30]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Monaco 13 January 1999 30 June 2001 113 56 24 33 049.6
Lille 1 July 2002 17 June 2008 299 119 94 86 039.8
Lyon 18 June 2008 20 June 2011 156 76 44 36 048.7
Nice 23 May 2012 24 May 2016 169 69 38 62 040.8
Southampton 30 June 2016 14 June 2017 53 20 13 20 037.7
Leicester City 25 October 2017 24 February 2019 67 23 18 26 034.3
Total 857 363 231 263 042.4



  1. ^ "Entreprise SC Lingoirlene à la Turbie (06320)" [Company SC Lingoirlene in la Turbie (06320)]. Figaro Entreprises (in French). Société du Figaro. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
    "Claude Puel". BFM Business (in French). Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Puel: Claude Puel: Manager". BDFutbol. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Five things you need to know about Southampton's new manager Claude Puel".
  4. ^ "Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recalls moment he was tackled by Southampton boss Claude Puel in Monaco training".
  5. ^ Pepper, Chris (20 February 2017). "What happened next? Monaco's last team to win Ligue 1 in 1999/2000". Squawka. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Lille l'a fait" (in French). Eurosport. 24 August 2004. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Puel appointed Lyon manager". FourFourTwo. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
  8. ^ "Lyon's Puel relieved but 'sad for Monaco'". UEFA. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Lyon fire Puel after trophy drought". Times Live. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Accord de principe avec Claude Puel". Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Puel appointed Saints' First Team Manager". Southampton FC. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Club Statement: Claude Puel". Southampton FC. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Claude Puel: Southampton sack manager after one season in charge". BBC Sport. 14 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Claude Puel sacked as Southampton manager after one season in charge". Guardian. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  15. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (14 June 2017). "Claude Puel sacked by Southampton with Thomas Tuchel on list of potential replacements". Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  16. ^ Doyle, Paul (15 June 2017). "Claude Puel a victim of Southampton's admirably unreasonable expectations". Retrieved 15 June 2017 – via The Guardian.
  17. ^ "Leicester City Confirm Claude Puel As First Team Manager". Leicester City F.C. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Leicester City 2–0 Everton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  19. ^ Steve Sutcliffe (5 May 2018), Leicester 0–2 West Ham, BBC Sport, retrieved 11 December 2018
  20. ^ Tottenham 5–4 Leicester, BBC Sport, 13 May 2018
  21. ^ Chris Bevan (10 February 2018), Manchester City 5–1 Leicester City, BBC Sport, retrieved 17 December 2018
  22. ^ "Premier League 2017/18". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  23. ^ "How Claude Puel calmed Leicester down and carried them up the table". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Brendan Rodgers linked with unlikely Leicester City move". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  25. ^ Michael Pearlman (6 January 2019), Newport County 2-1 Leicester in FA Cup third round, BBC Sport, retrieved 10 August 2019
  26. ^ Under-pressure Leicester boss Puel has been forced to defend his team selection after his side crashed out of the FA Cup, ITV News, 7 January 2019, retrieved 10 August 2019
  27. ^ FA Cup third round: Which result was voted the biggest shock?, BBC Sport, 7 January 2019, retrieved 10 August 2019
  28. ^ Adam Bate (24 February 2019), Claude Puel sacked by Leicester: Five reasons why it went wrong, Sky Sports
  29. ^ "Claude Puel sacked by Leicester after 16 months in charge". Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Claude Puel career sheet". footballdatabase. footballdatabase. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  31. ^ "C. Puel: Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 19 December 2016.