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Marcel Desailly
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 04/2015


Personal information
Full name

Marcel Desailly
Date of birth
7 September 1968
Place of birth
Accra, Ghana
Height
1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Playing position
Centre Back / Defensive Midfielder


SENIOR CAREER*

Nantes
1986-1992
162x apps / 5x goals

Marseille
1992-1993
47x apps / 1x goal

Milan
1993-1998
137x apps / 5x goals

Chelsea
1998-2004
158x apps / 6x goals

Al-Gharafa
2004-2005
28x apps / 6x goals

Qatar SC
2005-2006
7x apps / 0x goal

TOTAL
539x apps / 23x goals


NATIONAL TEAM

France
1993-2004
116x apps / 3x goals


(* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only)


Marcel Desailly is a retired French footballer and star of the France national football team squad, with whom he won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. 

He also enjoyed a distinguished career at club level with several major European clubs.


CLUB CAREER

Born as Odenke Abbey to Ghanaian parents, Marcel had his name changed when his mother married the head of the French Consulate in Accra who adopted all the children (the former professional footballer Seth Adonkor, seven years his elder, was a half-brother of his). 

He arrived in France as a four-year-old and, following Adonkor's lead, began his career at FC Nantes. 

There, as part of the famed FC Nantes youth programme, he played alongside a young Didier Deschamps, who was a very good central back, who became his closest friend. 

Desailly turned professional in 1986, two years after his half-brother had died in a car accident. 

In 1992, he moved to Olympique de Marseille, where he reunited with Deschamps, and won the UEFA Champions League the following year. 

In 1994, while playing for AC Milan, he again won the Cup (scoring in the final himself), being the first player to win the Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs. 

During his time in Milan he won two Italian league titles, in 1994 and 1996. Although he prefers to be a sweeper and central defender, he played as a defensive midfield for Milan.

Desailly then moved to the English club Chelsea in 1998 for £4.6m, where he captained the side and played sweeper and centre-back until the end of the 2003-04 season. 

It was at Chelsea that Desailly formed a formidable partnership with Frank Leboeuf.

He picked up one major trophy in his six seasons with Chelsea, being on the winning side in their FA Cup triumph over Aston Villa in 2000.

Desailly was snapped up by Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa in 2004. 

He was appointed as the club captain and under the French coach Bruno Metsu they won the Qatar League in 2005. 

He then joined Qatar S.C., leading them to second place in the league before retiring from professional football.

Marcel Desailly in his playing days was amazing to watch because he had the attribute of a sweeper,defensive midfielder,good tackler of the ball and also had an eye for goals.

In 2014, Desailly had meet the Football Association of Malaysia and said he was ready and willing to coach the Malaysia national football team.

He also pointed that it is now up to the football association whether to hire him or not.


LEGACY  

Marcel Desailly is currently residing in Ghana. 

He is considered one of the most accomplished players of his generation and one of finest French defenders. 

He is currently a Laureus Academy member and OrphanAid Africa Lifetime ambassador to Ghana and France (since 2005). 

He was mentioned as a possible candidate for the coaching position of Ghana's national team.

He has since then pulled out of the race to coach the Ghana National Team, although the option is likely to keep coming up. 

He has opened (June 2011) a sports facility in Ghana called Lizzy Sports Complex, in memory of his late mother, geared to young players and children in particular. 

Many African National teams use the centre to camp and prepare for international tournaments.


INTERNATIONAL CAREER

Desailly made the controversial decision to play for France, instead of his parents home country of Ghana.

He has often said that he feels totally French and while having ties with his native country, never even considered playing for another country than France. 

This stance was restated in his autobiography, published in 2002. 

He made his international debut in 1993, but was not established as a first choice defender until 1996. 

He was an important part of the French team which won the 1998 World Cup, albeit being sent off in the final. 

Like other team members, he was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur in 1998.

Two years later success continued, as France won Euro 2000. 

After the tournament, Desailly was made captain of the national team, following the retirement of Didier Deschamps. 

In 2001, he led France to victory in the Confederations Cup.

In April 2003, Desailly surpassed the record for the number of appearances for the French team, a number which eventually reached 116 when he announced his retirement from international football following Euro 2004. 

bthat record was broken during the 2006 World Cup by Lilian Thuram.


POST-PLAYING CAREER

Desailly's autobiography, Capitaine, was published in France by Stock in 2002.


MEDIA WORK

Following retirement, Desailly became a pundit for BBC Sport predominantly giving his opinion from the touchline at both half time and full-time as opposed to residing in the studio with Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Martin O'Neill.

He worked for BBC Sport in the United Kingdom during the 2006 World Cup, as one of their Match of the Day analysts.

He also worked for BBC Sport at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and Euro 2008 and is a regular commentator for French television channel Canal Plus.

He also became a spokesperson for sports betting website Betclic.

In 2010 Desailly joined the ITV Sport team for their World Cup coverage from South Africa.


CHARITY WORK

Desailly is a supporter of the 1GOAL Education for All campaign.

He is also the UNICEF national Goodwill Ambassador for Ghana.

He is the Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador for his personal Charity OrphanAid Africa, that helps abandoned children in Ghana. 

He is a member of the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation.


LICENSED MERCHANDISE

A mobile video game entitled Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer, developed by Gameloft was released for mobile phones in 2003.