As a twelve year old played the later French national team coach in the youth of Fesches -le -Chatel, before moving in 1969 to 17 years to AS Saint- Étienne, the then flagship club of Division 1 (now Ligue 1). Here he experienced many sporting highlights, because " les verts ", the Greens, dominated the league and won Santini's time to four league titles and two cup wins. Outstanding reaching the finals in the European Champions Cup (now Champions League) in 1976, when one unfortunate defeated Bayern Munich 0-1. Here Santini once met the inside of the post. The rebound landed on the line but because the posts were square. In 1981, Santini was his place in midfield for Montpellier HSC.
From 1983 to 1985 he served as player-coach in Lisieux, then began his career in the professional field at FC Toulouse, where he remained until 1989. He then worked for three years at OSC Lille. Finally, he found his way 1992, as football coach to the scene of his greatest successes in the Geoffroy- Guichard stadium, " chaudron " ( cauldron ) and called for a long time exceedingly feared by all clubs that had to be guesting there. But when Santini came in his new role, the best years of " Stéphanois " were long gone. From December 1994 to June 1995 was followed by the station FC Sochaux, quasi one of the local associations of the infants in the Territoire de Belfort.
1995 appointed him to the French Football Federation (FFF ) to Directeur Technique National, a responsible post which Santini held until 1997. In a similar capacity, he subsequently joined as Technical Director at Olympique Lyon and laid the foundation that the Lyonnais could establish itself in the top French and even made it into European heights. In 2000, he took over the coaching job here and won first in 2001 the League Cup and won the first league title in club history in 2002 at the heart of France. He was voted coach of the year 2002.
When the coach Roger Lemerre was forced to resign after the wayward football World Cup 2002 in Japan and South Korea, Santini joined on 19 July 2002 at its successor and won 2003 with an only slightly modified " Équipe Tricolore " the Confederations Cup. In 2003 he was elected to the World National Coach of the Year.
When the FFF refused Santini contract may be renewed before the EURO 2004 in Portugal and only the truncation instead wanted to wait there, the coach announced his retirement after the tournament, in which France failed in the quarter- finals on eventual champions Greece.
Even before the EURO 2004 Santini had been agreed with the English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur on an engagement. As Kotrainer he brought Dominique Cuperly with, his former assistant at Olympique Lyon, who had previously worked for many years with Guy Roux. Tottenham Hotspur fallen behind in the competition of the big London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea far behind in third place, hoping for a renaissance, and Santini immediately announced his philosophy: " What I ask of my football players? Talent, ambition and perspective. I need players who are proud to wear the jersey of their club and the fret after a defeat. "
" Jacques, the architect ," he was called in the English press, and the initial success seemed the advance praise for the Frenchman who speaks English poorly, to justify. But when stopped sporting failure and would not stop, got the installed by Chairman Daniel Levy continental system with sports manager Frank Arnesen, coach Santini and his assistant Martin Jol from the joints and proved to be the main reason for many irritations to in November 2004 Santini's resignation led. Finally, he had also been concerns the criticism of the fans as he had died in the " Spurs " Idol Bill Nicholson not proven its due honor and the sentiments of the trailer shown against ignorant.
2005-2006 trained Santini as the successor to Guy Roux Erstligamannschaft of Auxerre.
His positions as manager: