Round of 32
Despite an encouraging start to the Pinault-Era (5th), Rennes were not going to go crazy during the close season in 1999. They kept their best players (Sommeil and Nonda) and only needed to compensate for the departure of Cissé. The club invested in Malicki, Diatta, Escudé, Bassila, Gava and Diouf to take part in the Intertoto Cup. Stade Rennais got all the way to the final against prestigious opponents, Zidane’s Juventus. After going out 2-4 on aggregate in spite of a creditable display over two legs, the Red and Blacks struggled to turn their attention back to domestic matters, and even if they managed 3 consecutive wins in October, they reached the halfway point of the season in 10th position with a meagre 26 points on the board. The new playmaker, Gava, was forced to retire from the game during the winter break, and was replaced by Gourvennec. This proved to be insufficient, as Rennes only managed 5 wins in the second half of the season, Le Guen’s team finished in a disappointing 13th place on 43 points. Knocked out in the first round of the League Cup, the Bretons were knocked out by Nantes 1-2 after extra time in the Quarter Finals of the French Cup.