The staff

A professional staff made in France

The Michel Hidalgo International Football Academy has a competent and qualified staff with significant experience in transmitting their knowledge and skills, allowing players to understand the world they’re living in. Although high-performance football is the main focus at the Academy, nothing has been neglected to provide balanced training, including sports and studies. Our Football Academy Coaching Staff ensures a comprehensive and holistic approach to player development.

President of the Academy

Laurence POTIER-LEPANSE

Co-founder of the Academy, together with Michel Hidalgo, Laurence was first committed to high-level competition …

as an athlete (4 x France handball champion, champion of Spain, 23 European Cup matches).
For more than 15 years, as the manager of “France Sport,” she worked closely with the French Football Federation to professionalize the camps and matches of foreign teams in France (500 teams received every year), and more recently, as the manager for FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup. For the Academy, she is the link between the staff and the coaches, the players and their families.

Laurence
Manager of the Academy

Abdelaziz Zino GHENADRA

As a former player and sports educator, Zino determines the Academy agenda and manages …

the weekly meeting and gathering of all the players. He is the tie between the academicians and the football clubs coaches. His task is to ensure that the timetables and schedules are followed and respected. He takes care of each academician personally and controls and assesses their skills, progress, and behaviour.

Head coach

Jérémy De MAGALHAES

Jérémy was trained at Stade Lavallois, where he signed his first pro contract when he was 19. In 2007, he played with AS Cannes …

in the National division, then moved to England to play for League 2 Barnet club. Since 2013, he has been entitled with “Brevet Fédéral” (UEFA A) as coach of U19, U20, and senior teams. Regarding the Academy, Jérémy oversees all training, physical prep, and video analysis. He coordinates with the technical staff (assistant coach, goalkeeper coach, trainer…). He sets his experience and know-how, optimizing every player’s performance.
SUPERVISOR

Christian LOPEZ

Boasts 39 selections with the French national team coached by Michel Hidalgo between 1975 and 1982, 9 times captain and …

semi-finalist of the 1982 World Cup ! Christian Lopez is known for being a successful player, four times French champion with AS Saint-Etienne in the late seventies in the libero position. Every week, he now coaches the players of the Academy to assess their progress and show them the way to become professional.

Assistant and Goalkeeper coach

François SQUARCINI

Qualified as coach with a UEFA A and B diploma and as goalkeeper coach with a CEBF from FFF, François is also …
the present goalkeeper of a Nationale 3 team. Trained at AS Cannes and coach as early as 15y old, he played a 32th final of the French Cup against OM Marseilles in 2021.
Francois
Alex
TRAINER

Alexandre GALLET

In charge of physical preparation at the Academy, Alex is also responsible for …
the rehabilitation of injured players and the programmes to prevent injuries. Awarded a physical preparation European diploma, he set his competences for the players of FC Lyon and Girondins Bordeaux.
HEAD OF EDUCATION

ISABELLE SORIA

Graduated from the University of Tours (France) and from the University of Houston (Texas, USA) in the field of business management, Isabelle …

is an interpreter and translator as a business negotiator. She spent 3 years in Africa, as an Education project manager. Back to France, she taught languages (English, Spanish and French) to students of university professional sectors for nearly 30 years. With a master’s degree in professional staff coaching, she closely accompanies the international careers of her students. In Houston and New Orleans, she won the University Table Tennis Championships 3 times.

Today, she’s putting her skills and experience to the benefit of our Academy in order to enable our players to complete their studies in the best conditions.

Isabelle

Football Academy Coaching Staff & Football coaches in FFF clubs

Our academicians are under the instructions of the technical staff of FC Antibes, AS Fontonne, FC Mougins, ES Cannet-Rocheville,  CDJ Antibes, RC Grasse, AS Cagnes le Cros, AS Cannes…

Together with the academy manager, the coaches decide which team our football players will be playing with, according to their age and their level. Graduated with the highest diplomas from the Football Federal Institutions, they are all fully dedicated to transmitting their knowledge and experience. They are very much required regarding the behaviour of our players during training and matches.

Football Academy Coaching Staff

About Michel Hidalgo

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MICHEL-HIDALGO-the-founder-and-honour-president
Michel Hidalgo is a revered football icon in France. Apart from his remarkable playing career with Stade de Reims and AS Monaco, his crowning achievement led France to victory as the European Champions in 1984. On one team, Michel united three of the era’s best French players—Michel Platini, Alain Giresse, and Jean Tigana. The French team secured their first historic trophy alongside Dominique Rocheteau, Maxime Bossis, and Christian Lopez!

Michel firmly believed that football should always be, first and foremost, a game. He was convinced to excel in football players must enjoy the sport individually and as a team while continually striving for excellence.

Michel Hidalgo’s journey from a steelworker to a football player is a testament to the power of will and determination in order to overcome obstacles and become professional.

As the world football ambassador, Michel dedicated most of his life to promoting football, its sports, and human values, in France and abroad.

Upon retiring from his professional career, he founded the Academy in 2008 as president and set up the basic principles himself.

His vision was to identify and nurture promising football talent and provide them with opportunities to showcase their abilities. The Michel Hidalgo Academy offers the chance Michel wished he had as a child who loved playing football: to learn, train, and compete against the best players, gain valuable insights, and possibly secure a place among the elite. Hard work, dedication, and sacrifices are essential to realizing this dream. As a continuity, he became the link between the academicians and the professional clubs in order to praise the talents of the players. Since Michel died in March 2020, we have been pursuing his work and objectives.

Our Academy allows you to train rigorously with high-performing teams, strive for excellence, and enjoy life in an outstanding environment!