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
Place of birth Paris, France
Date of death 27 April 2020(2020-04-27) (aged 81)
Place of death Saint-Étienne, France
Position(s) Defender, midfielder
Youth career
Cavigal de Nice
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1972 Saint-Étienne 412 (88)
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 (30 March 1939 – 27 April 2020) was a French football defender and manager.

A one-club man as a player AS Saint-Étienne, he later managed the team for eleven years. He won five Ligue 1 titles as a player and four as a manager, and his team lost the 1976 European Cup Final to FC Bayern Munich at Hampden Park.[1]

Born in Paris, he moved to Nice as a child as his father played trombone at the Opéra de Nice. He moved from a local club to Saint-Étienne at age 18, for 2.5 million French francs (around €3,600 in 2020).[2]

Herbin was dismissed by Saint-Étienne in February 1983 amidst the slush fund scandal that ended their period of national dominance. He was instantly hired by their Rhone derby rivals Olympique Lyonnais and could not prevent their relegation three months later, going on to spend two seasons in Ligue 2 with them.[2] After a big-money job with Al-Nassr FC in Saudi Arabia and work with RC Strasbourg Alsace, he returned to Saint-Étienne in 1987 but was unable to restore their success over the next three years.[2]

He was recognisable for his large red hair, and for his reserved personality he was known as "Le Sphinx".[1] In retirement, he lived alone with his dog near Saint-Étienne and avoided social events, while also suffering from alcohol and tobacco abuse.[3]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Owen, David (28 April 2020). "Robert Herbin, the Sphinx at the heart of St Etienne's glory years, dies aged 81". Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b c Commolet, Clément (28 April 2020). "Cinq choses que vous ignorez encore sur Robert Herbin, l'entraîneur mythique des Verts" [Five things you never knew about Robert Herbin, the legendary manager of Les Verts]. Ouest-France (in French). Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  3. ^ Bérard, Christophe (24 April 2020). "Saint-Etienne : l'ex-entraîneur des Verts Robert Herbin hospitalisé dans un état grave" [Saint-Etienne: Former manager of Les Verts Robert Herbin hospitalised in serious condition]. Le Parisien. Retrieved 22 August 2020.

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