Florent Ikwage Ibenge, the head coach of the leopards of DR Congo, was born on the 4th of December, 1961 in Leopoldville, Congo.

The former football star, has a very impressive coaching career, after beginning with Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in April 2012. After a very short stint in China, he returned to Congo as the head coach of As Vita club where he won silver medal in the CAF Champions league after losing ES Setif in the grand finale.

In between his contract with AS Vita Club, he was chosen to replace coach Jean-Santos Muntubila as the care-taker coach of the DR Congo national team in 2014 after Claude Le Roy, left the position vacant in 2013.

Combining both roles, he qualified the Leopards to Equatorial Guinea 2015 and progressed to the semifinals after defeating their bitter rivals Republic of Congo.

They were unfortunately defeated by the eventual champions of the tournament Ivory Coast in the semifinals and ended up finishing third following a victory against the host nation.

Florent Ibenge, led DR Congo based players to the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) title. His exploits got him a nomination for Africa’s best coach award in 2016, which was eventually won by Pitso Mosimane of Memolodi Sundowns.

The President of the Congolese Football Federation, led by Constant Omari has been handed the mandate to lead the team to success at the AFCON 2017 in Gabon.

Democratic Republic of Congo is drawn in Group C with the defending Champions, Ivory Coast, Togo and Morocco. The 1968 and 1974 Afcon champions will play their first game against Ivory Coast on January 16, 2017.

Source: GNA

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