Robert Herbin

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Robert Herbin
Robert Herbin (1979).jpg
Herbin in 1979
Personal information
Date of birth (1939-03-30) 30 March 1939 (age 80)
Place of birth Paris, France
Playing position Defender/Midfielder
Youth career
Cavigal de Nice
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1972 Saint-Étienne 412 (88)
1974–1975 Saint-Étienne 1 (1)
Total 413 (89)
National team
1960–1968 France 23 (3)
Teams managed
1972–1983 Saint-Étienne
1983–1985 Lyon
1985–1986 Al-Nasr
1986–1987 Strasbourg
1987–1990 Saint-Étienne
1991–1995 Red Star Saint-Ouen
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Robert Herbin (born 30 March 1939) is a French retired football defender and manager.


Playing era

He was formed at Cavigal de Nice, but OGC Nice, one of the best French team at the moment, did not recruit him so he went to AS Saint-Étienne in 1957, becoming one of the best prospects of French football. As a defensive midfielder, he is comfortable in the fashioned 4–2–4 system at the beginning of the 1960s, providing his physique to his team. He became important for France, fourth at Euro 1960, and a member of the FIFA World Cup 1966 squad in England. He was a cornerstone of the first generation of the great AS Saint-Étienne winning side which clinched four titles in a row, from 1967 to 1970. For the 1969–1970 season, coach Albert Batteux moved Herbin at fullback along with Bernard Bosquier. The association was successful, and Herbin remained at that position till the end of his career.

Coaching era

After Albert Batteux's departure, Herbin became one of the youngest coaches in France, taking up the coach position at AS Saint-Étienne at the age of 33. He used the youth academy of the club, which gave him many talented young players such as Gérard Janvion, Dominique Bathenay, Jacques Santini and Dominique Rocheteau. He built up one of the best teams in Europe, but failed in UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich, because of the famous "squared goalposts" of Hampden Park in Glasgow. Thanks to him and the arrival of Michel Platini in summer 1979, les verts remained at the top flight of French football, winning their last French championship in 1981.

Herbin, close to Club President Roger Rocher, left with him in 1983 and joined Olympique Lyonnais, the great rival of AS Saint-Étienne. Herbin could not save the team from relegation though. Then, he coached Al-Nasr and RC Strasbourg, before coming back to AS Saint-Étienne in 1987. However, the glorious past of the team was far away and Herbin left the club again in 1990. He ended his managerial career at Red Star Saint-Ouen before working for French Football Federation at the federal council.


  • Herbin was well known for his red hair.
  • He is the only coach in modern French football who scored a goal for his team. During the last match of 1974–75 season, at the age of 36, he played as fullback against Troyes AC and scored a penalty. AS Saint-Étienne had already been declared the champions.


As a player


As a manager


External links

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