EXPECT Saudi Arabia to fight a dirty battle this winter with Game of Thrones villain Jaime Lannister at the helm.
At least, that’s what fans think, having seen coach Herve Renard in the dugout during Saudi’s historic 2-1 World Cup win over Argentina and loss to Poland.
Viewers at both games had to do a double take as cameras panned to 54-year-old Renard watching in Doha.
With his blond locks and chiseled chin, the Saudi manager looks like a dead ringer for one of the hit HBO series’ most beloved characters.
Ser Jaime, played by Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, begins the show as a ruthless knight infatuated with his sister Cersei, but gains his fair share of fans as the show progresses.
One fan said on Twitter: “Herve Renard brings the Game of Thrones vibes to the tournament.”
Another tweeted: “My crush on Jaime Lannister sadly extends to Herve Renard.”
Saudi will be praying Renard’s men can put their Group C opponents Mexico to the sword in their final game to secure their place in the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
Renard, who is dating the widow of former Senegalese boss Bruno Metsu, coached the likes of Cambridge, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Lille and Morocco before taking on his role as Saudi boss.
It’s his second time training at a World Cup but the Frenchman isn’t worried about a lack of experience.
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In fact, he seems to be quite the motivator, delivering an incredible team talk at half-time with his side trailing 1-0 to tournament favorites Argentina thanks to a Lionel Messi penalty.
Just three minutes into the second half, Renard’s announcement paid off as Saleh Al-Shehri fired brilliantly into the corner to equalise.
But winger Salem Al-Dawsari ensured his team took home the spoils after his miracle shot sealed a famous victory.
He intervened from the left and fired into the top corner in the 53rd minute and Saudi Arabia lasted well over 40 minutes.
The government declared a national holiday, such was the angry victory.
Rumor has it that the team received Rolls Royce as a reward for winning – but Renard has shut down those claims.
Renard said, “There’s no truth to that. We have a very serious federation and a sports ministry. It’s not time to get anything right now.
“We only had one game and there are still two very important games left. And we hope for more.