Herve Renard has resigned as coach of Africa Cup of Nations winners Ivory Coast to pave the way for a move to French Ligue 1 side Lille, the Frenchman announced on Friday. The 46-year-old led Ivory Coast to only their second Nations Cup title in Equatorial Guinea in February, defeating neighbouring Ghana in a dramatic penalty shootout, just two years after Renard had won the title with Zambia. Renard cited a new challenge as the reason for his departure. “My adventure with Ivory Coast was exceptional. And I sincerely think that the best moment to end our collaboration is after such a success,” he told reporters in Abidjan. “In all likelihood, I’m going to Lille barring a catastrophe.” Rene Girard, the current Lille coach, will end his two-year stay at the Ligue 1 side following Saturday’s match against Metz. Lille are sitting in eighth place in the league. For Renard, a move to club football opens up fresh opportunities. “I hope that my future club will allow me to advance to another level, and I hope, like any self-respecting coach, to one day participate in the European Champions League,” Renard added. Ivory Coast signed Renard on a two-year contract in August 2014, setting him the task to improve the fortunes of a side including the likes of Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and Didier Drogba – although the Chelsea forward retired before the 2015 Nations Cup. “We thank Mr Renard for our collaboration, for the work he did at the head of the national team,” said Pierre Gondo, spokesman for the Ivorian Football Federation. “We expressed to him our regret to see this collaboration end so soon.” Renard did not offer details concerning the intricacies of the termination of his contract, saying only that there would be discussions between his future club and the Ivorian Football Federation.