Gilbert Gress (born 17 December 1941 in Strasbourg) is a French football coach and a former football player. He last managed RC Strasbourg. He was the mentor of Arsène Wenger.

Gilbert Gress
Gilbert Gress.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1941-12-14) 14 December 1941 (age 78)
Place of birth Straßburg, Germany (now Strasbourg, France)
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder, Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1960–1966 Strasbourg 156 (20)
1966–1970 VfB Stuttgart 152 (24)
1970–1973 Marseille 90 (8)
1973–1975 Strasbourg 69 (6)
Total 467 (58)
National team
1967–1971 France 3 (0)
Teams managed
1975–1977 Neuchâtel Xamax
1977–1980 Strasbourg
1980–1981 FC Brugge
1981–1990 Neuchâtel Xamax
1990–1991 Servette FC
1991–1994 Strasbourg
1994–1997 Neuchâtel Xamax
1998–1999 Switzerland
2000–2001 FC Zurich
2002 Metz
2003 SK Sturm Graz
2004–2005 FC Sion
2007 FC Aarau
2009 Strasbourg
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing careerEdit

The striker began his professional football career in the city of his birth with RC Strasbourg, where the fans soon nicknamed him the "angel of la Meinau" (L'ange de la Meinau; Engel von der Meinau, Meinau is the stadium of the club). Briefly after first playing for Strasbourg (May 1960) the team were relegated to the second division, but returned after one year to Division 1, where Gress played until 1966 and his departure to VfB Stuttgart. Strasbourg were at the time only in mid-table of the division, but won the 1966 Coupe de France.

During his time in Germany, he was called up for the first time to the France national football team. During the 1970–71 season, Gress returned to his homeland and joined Olympique Marseille, then two-time French champions. From 1973 to 1975, he came back to RC Strasbourg, before moving for one year to Neuchâtel Xamax in Switzerland and ending his playing career in 1977.

Gress completed 290 matches (201 for Strasbourg, 89 for Marseille) in France and scored 28 goals; in the federal league he came on 149 times.

Player honoursEdit

Olympique Marseille

National playerEdit

In 1966, after having won the Coupe de France, Gress was not called up to the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England by national coach Henri Guérin because Gress refused to shorten his long hair. Under the new coach Louis Dugauguez, Gress was first called up on 27 September 1967 (a 1–5 defeat against Germany in Berlin). Altogether Gress played only three times in the France national football team (1967, 1968 and 1971) and did not score any goals.

Coaching careerEdit

Since 1977, Gress has worked as a football manager, and it is hardly surprising that he received his first job in his home town at Racing Strasbourg, where he had won the 1979 French championship, and where he returned again in 1991 for three years. His popularity is expressed also in the establishment of a Gilbert Gress Fanclub. In addition, he worked in Belgium, Austria and in Switzerland, where in 16 years (including twelve with Neuchâtel Xamax) he won two national championships and the cup. In 1998, he was appointed Swiss national football coach. A debate preceded his resignation over his wages as a national coach. In the meantime, Gress had also accepted Swiss nationality. In June 2009, he was named RC Strasbourg manager, his third stint as manager of the club.[2] and was released after only two games on 12 August 2009.

Coaching honoursEdit

Neuchâtel Xamax
FC Zurich


  1. ^ "Gress, Gilbert" (in German). Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  2. ^ Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)