Jan 25, 1955
|Age||67 years old|
Hailing from the Loir-et-Cher region of France, Jean-Paul Rabier was developed at Stade Lannionais initially, before joining Stade Rennais, aged 17 in 1972. He won the Coupe Gambardella (French FA Youth Cup) with Rennes' youth side in 1973, and was integrated into the Professional setup that same year, making four appearances. In the following year, he rapidly staked a claim for a berth in the First Team starting line-up. He started out by filling all the roles in defence, mostly in central defence. But with stiff competition for places coming from Notheaux and Rizzo in the 1976/1977 season, he saw his game time dwindle, before finally making the breakthrough as a First-Team regular the following seasons. Midfielder by trade, it would be here that he would be used primarily in his last two years with Rennes, starting in defensive midfield, but then pressed into service as a playmaker in his last season with the club. In total, he made over 150 appearances for Stade Rennais. In 1979, he was recruited by Valenciennes, who were playing in the First Division at the time, and he went on to spend three seasons there. After that, he signed for Laval, where he would be part of the famous European cup run of the Tangos, helping his side to eliminate the great Dynamo Kiev side in 1983/1984. He ended his professional playing days with Lens in the 1984/1985 season, before going into football management from 1988 onwards. He would manage sides in the Second Division, such as Guingamp, Rouen and Besançon. He also managed to gain experience in International football, coaching teams in Algeria, Qatar (where he was voted Coach of the Year in 2007) and Japan. He also took the reins of some African national sides, such as Burkina Faso (2002-2004) and Madagascar, between April 2010 and February 2011.