Michel takes charge of Qatar's Al Arabi

July 5, 2006

DOHA, July 5 (Reuters) - French coach Henri Michel, who led Ivory Coast to their first World Cup finals in Germany last month, took charge of Qatar's Al Arabi on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old said his immediate task was to improve the club's standing from third in the Qatar first division last year.

'It's a great challenge, but I am game for it. I like challenges,' he said. 'It's always good to coach a new team and watch new professional football.'

Michel coached the national teams of France (1984-88), Cameroon (1994), Morocco (1995-2000), UAE (2000-01) and Tunisia (2001-02) before taking charge of Ivory Coast in 2004.