Juve’s French contingent, past and present

Juve’s French contingent, past and present
Juve’s French contingent, past and present
Juve’s French contingent, past and present

Over the years, 19 French players have donned the famous black and white jersey during their professional careers.

Juventus.com examines the contingent below:

Arthur Meille

Born in 1891, Meille spent a solitary season with the Bianconeri, bagging two goals in 11 appearances during the 1911/1912 campaign.

The striker, who would also go on to play for Foot Ball Club di Roma, made his Juventus debut in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Derby Della Mole rivals Torino.

Nestor Combin

Despite his place of birth being Argentina, Combin turned out for the France national side for four years, hitting four strikes in eight games.

Signed from Lyon in 1964, the now 75-year-old’s time in Turin saw him obtain a Coppa Italia winners’ medal before he left for Lombardy-based outfit Varese.

Michel Platini

Born in Joeuf back in 1955, Platini moved to the Bianconeri at the age of 27 and made his debut against Catania in August that year. It proved to be the start of a memorable journey in the black and white jersey.

The 59-year-old went on to spend five seasons at the club, scoring an incredible 104 goals in 224 appearances. Le Roi, as he was known to the Juventus faithful, recorded an impressive trophy haul in Turin, winning two Scudetto titles, a Coppa Italia, a Cup Winners’ Cup, an Intercontinental Cup, a European Cup and a Super Cup.

Platini, who has been president of UEFA for the past eight years, also managed the France national side from 1988 to 1992.

Didier Deschamps

Tenacious midfield metronome Deschamps arrived at the Stadio Delle Alpi from nearby Marseille in 1994 and would go on to become an important cog in the Juventus machine.

The 46-year-old, who also took the Bianconeri reins as manager for the 2006/07 term, won three Scudetto titles, a Coppa Italia, two Italian Super Cups, a Champions League, a Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup during his five-season stay.

In the aftermath of France’s disappointing Euro 2012 campaign which led to Laurent Blanc's resignation, Deschamps was appointed boss and recently led Les Bleus to a quarter-final finish at last year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Zinedine Zidane

Silky customer Zidane certainly made a name for himself during five seasons at the club.

Having transferred from Bordeaux back in 1996, Zizou would go on to dazzle the Bianconeri faithful with his excellent skills and fantastic footballing ability.

The 42-year-old bagged 31 strikes in 209 appearances at the club, where he also collected five winners medals in four different competitions. He moved to Real Madrid in 2002 for a then world record fee and retired following the culmination of the 2006 World Cup.

Jocelyn Blanchard

Defensive midfielder Blanchard joined Juventus from Metz in 1998, going on to appear 12 times in all competitions during the course of the campaign.

Having found first-team opportunities hard to come by, he returned to his native France with Lens in 2003. Blanchard recently plied his trade with Austria Karnten and has since hung up his boots.

Thierry Henry

Speedster Henry signed for the Old Lady back in early 1999, having caught the eye at Wednesday’s Champions League opponents Monaco. But after just three goals in 16 league starts, he was on the move again and left for Arsenal.

It was in England where the Frenchman truly fulfilled his potential, going on to become the Gunners’ all-time top scorer with 228 strikes as well as winning seven trophies during two separate spells.

The 37-year-old called time on his impeccable career following stints at Barcelona and MLS outfit New York Red Bulls, and now works in the English media.

David Trezeguet

Forward Trezeguet will always have a place in the Juventus faithful’s hearts. Having joined the club from Monaco in 2000, he hit 171 goals in 320 appearances to become the club’s all-time top foreign scorer, securing plenty of titles along the way.

The 37-year-old, who replicated his success with the France national side by triumphing in the World Cup as well as providing the winning goal against Italy in 2000’s European Championship final, also spent time in Spain, UAE and Argentina, before bringing the curtain down on his career with a spell at Pune City.

Trezeguet has since returned to the Bianconeri in a full-time capacity, becoming president of the club’s Juventus Legends project.

Lilian Thuram

France’s most capped player in history launched his career in 1990 with Monaco, before joining Parma six years later where he made over a centenary of appearances.

After a successful stint in Emilia-Romagna, Thuram made the journey north to the Bianconeri and subsequently won four Serie A titles in five years.

The 42-year-old was a dominant defender who was never easy to shrug off the ball and ended his playing days in 2008 following a 24-month spell with Barcelona in La Liga.

Vincent Pericard

France Under-21 international graduate Pericard spent two years with the Bianconeri in the early noughties, but struggled to hold down a first-team place.

Since leaving for pastures new in 2002, the 32-year-old has played for ten clubs in England and even retired in 2012 before making his grand return to the beautiful game with Wessex League Premier Division Moneyfields FC earlier this season.

Olivier Kapo

Having begun his professional career at Auxerre in 1999, he joined Juventus five years later on a free transfer. However, 14 appearances in three seasons with the Bianconeri saw him go out on loan twice to Monaco and Levante before he sealed a permanent switch to Birmingham City.

Kapo has played for a variety of clubs from all over the world during his long career, with the 34-year-old most recently turning out for Ekstraklasa outfit Korona Kielce in Poland.

Jonathan Zebina

Paris-born Zebina progressed through Cannes famed youth academy before heading to Italy where he featured for Cagliari, Roma and then Juventus in 2004.

During his six-year stay with Italy’s most successful club, the right-back, who also operated as a central defender, secured two Scudetto titles and a Serie B championship. The 36-year-old was most recently playing at Ligue 2 side Arles-Avignon.

Patrick Vieira

Despite his first foray into professional football at Milan not taking off as hoped, Vieira found his feet in England with Arsenal. His time in North London proved very successful and the 38-year-old managed to captain the Gunners to an unbeaten season in 2004.

Coveted by a plethora of teams from all over the globe, the Senegal-born star, who also won the World Cup and European Championships with France, joined Juventus at the beginning of the 2005/06 campaign where he would go on to bag the Scudetto.

An imposing midfield presence during his playing days, Vieira ended his professional career with Manchester City before taking up the position of Football Development Executive within the club. He then became their Elite Development Squad manager in 2013.

Jean-Alain Boumsong

Cameroonian-born defender Boumsong swapped England for Italy when he penned a four-year deal with the Bianconeri following the 2006 World Cup.

During his two-season stint in Turin, the 35-year-old scored three goals in 36 appearances before leaving for his native France in 2008.

Armand Traore

Left-back Traore arrived as a deadline day loan signing from Premier League side Arsenal back in 2010, but saw injuries limit him to only 12 appearances at the Stadio Olimpico.

Despite representing France at every youth level, the 25-year-old, who now plays for QPR alongside Bianconeri alumnus Mauricio Isla, switched international allegiance to Senegal four years ago.

Paul Pogba

Having joined from Manchester United on a free transfer back in the summer of 2012, the Frenchman has proved a sensation in Turin and established himself as a pivotal member of Juventus’ previous two Scudetto-winning squads.

Following a stellar World Cup where he helped Les Bleus to a quarter-final finish, Pogba’s dazzling performances at the heart of the midfield also saw him shortlisted for last year’s Ballon d’Or award.

Nicolas Anelka

Former Real Madrid and Chelsea forward Anelka joined the Bianconeri on a five-month loan deal from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua in January 2013.

He made his Juventus debut in a Champions League last 16 triumph over Celtic and went on to feature twice more in Serie A as the club secured their second successive Scudetto title.

Kingsley Coman

Juventus swooped to secure Coman’s services last July, after the forward rose through PSG’s youth ranks to become their youngest ever debutant against Sochaux in 2013.

A technical and creative player, the 18-year-old has made fleeting appearances for the first team this term but opened his Bianconeri account with a scorcher in January’s 6-1 Coppa Italia last 16 triumph over Hellas Verona.

Patrice Evra

Evra became the 19th French player to wear the black and white stripes when he signed for the club on a two-year contract last summer. The 33-year-old, who won the Champions League with Manchester United, appeared at four major international competitions for France and captained his country during the 2010 World Cup.

Having added experience and bolstered the Bianconeri rearguard with his natural born leadership skills, Evra has also chipped in with one goal in 24 appearances for Massimiliano Allegri’s troops this term.

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