He helped develop France's World Cup-winning generation and now new Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts wants to take Australian youngsters to the next level.
Melbourne City announced experienced French mentor Erick Mombaerts as the A-League club's new head coach on Thursday, filling the vacancy left by Englishman Warren Joyce's departure.
Among Mombaerts list of career achievements is stints in charge of France's under-18s and under-21s, where he coached 2018 World Cup winners Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.
The 64-year-old says a key part of his role with City will be developing local talent.
"In France we are one of the best countries to build young players ... I think I can bring this with me and help the young Australian players to develop also their level," Mombaerts said.
"I watch a lot of games and they (Australians) try to play good football. They try to play possession-based football but I think now it's important to reach the next level and the next level is to practice and to play this possession-based football but also be more effective."
Mombaerts, who also led Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos to an Emperor's Cup final in 2017, says he's been charged with combining flair with results for City.
While Joyce led City to the A-League finals in his two seasons at the helm, his often pragmatic style of football led to a high player turnover including a falling out with star striker Bruno Fornaroli early in the 2018-19 campaign which led to the Uruguayan's eventual exit.
Mombaerts says he's only too aware of the pressure that comes with taking over a club aligned with Premier League giants Manchester City and the deep pockets of their Abu Dhabi-based owners.
"The main target is to develop our style of play," he said."To be proud about City's style of play and also we want to win with this style of play. We want to be better than last season.
"In the future we want to challenge and we want to win the title, win the FFA Cup, win all the competitions."
Australian goalkeeper coach Neil Young will join Mombaerts' team alongside existing City coach Patrick Kisnorbo, with the Frenchman signing a three-year contract.