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How a French coach revived Djibouti

BRONDBY, DENMARK - MARCH 22: Detail view of the Select Sport matchball and football shoes kicking the ball during the International friendly match between Denmark and Panama at Brondby Stadion on March 22, 2018 in Brondby, Denmark. (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)
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Djibouti had gone over two years without winning a single competitive match, but French coach Julien Mette came along and changed their minds.

From July 2017 to 2019 Djibouti didn’t play a single competitive match in Africa or anywhere else in the world.

Then along came Julien Mette, the French coach who revived the country and has not made them jump nine positions in the FIFA World Ranking.

“When you’re 200th, it reflects on the national football team and the country too, not just the national association and the players,” he told FIFA.com

“There are countries who attach less importance to it because they’re right up at the top and they have everything they need, but for little countries like Djibouti it is important.”

“Climbing nine places makes everyone feel proud,” he commented.

“The Ranking represents success in the highest-profile sport in the world, albeit a sport in which we never get talked about.”

The French coach explained: “So it goes without saying that we appreciate it, we care about it, and we don’t want to stay stuck at the bottom.”

“If you just talk about the FIFA Ranking, it’s the team first, which means the results are down to the players first and foremost.”

“It’s a collective effort, though. The players and the staff who help me on an everyday basis get what I’m doing when I shake everyone’s routines up,” Mette concluded.