Lyon hoping to organise Gerard Houllier memorial friendly vs. Liverpool

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Following the sad passing of Gerard Houllier, one of his former clubs, Lyon, is looking to organise a memorial friendly against the club where he had most success, Liverpool.

Houllier passed away in December, at the age of 73, with tributes flooding in for a man widely considered among the most humble, generous and accomplished in football.

The Frenchman managed seven clubs during his career, along with the French national team, with arguably his most successful stint coming on Merseyside, winning five trophies in 2001 alone.

Following his exit from Liverpool, Houllier took over at Lyon in 2005, and led them to back-to-back Ligue 1 triumphs before departing for a less-intensive role as technical director with the French Football Federation.

Both Liverpool and Lyon hold Houllier close to their hearts, and this was emphasised on Tuesday, following the latter’s 5-1 win over Ajaccio in the Coupe de France.

Speaking to Eurosport, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed their plans for a Gerard Houllier Trophy game against Liverpool.

“We will organise a match, a trophy with Liverpool,” Aulas explained, with Lyon also set to rename their training ground after Houllier.

“We are in the process of formalising this whole event.

“We will have the opportunity to achieve this trophy against Liverpool and ensure that we remember that Gerard was great in Lyon but also in Liverpool and Paris.”

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Wednesday, July 31, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and manager Jürgen Klopp before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais at Stade de Genève. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is likely this friendly would take place during the next pre-season, and would serve as a fitting occasion to mark the legacy of Houllier at Liverpool, Lyon and French football.

The two sides faced each other in a friendly in 2019, with the Reds emerging as 3-1 victors in Geneva, and despite the difficulty of negotiations over the proposed transfer of Nabil Fekir the previous year, relations appear to be strong.

Whether the game would be held at Anfield, the Parc Olympique Lyonnais or perhaps another venue – with Aulas’ mention of Paris suggesting the Parc des Princes could also be an option – remains to be seen.

But there is a likelihood that, travel permitting, Liverpool would be keen to host the event, which if supporters are able to attend would be the perfect sendoff to a club legend.

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