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Marcel Desailly


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One of the best defenders ever and one of my fav players as i was growning up.


Born as Odenke Abbey to Ghanaian parents, Marcel had his name changed when his mother married a French diplomat who adopted all the children. He arrived in France as a four-year-old and began his career at FC Nantes, turning professional in 1986. In 1992, he moved to Olympique de Marseille, and won the European Cup the following year. In 1994, while a member of A.C. Milan, he again won the Cup, being the first player to win the Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs. (Desailly's team had defeated Milan in the 1993 Champions League final, also making him the first player to transfer to the Final's opposing side, a claim which is clearly untrue as Raymond Kopa had done the same in 1957.) During his time in Milan he won two Italian league titles, in 1994 and 1996. Although he prefers to be a defender, he also played midfield for some time.

Desailly then moved to the English club Chelsea, where he played centre-back until the end of the 2003–04 season. After Euro 2004, he retired from international football as the all-time leader in appearances for France (116). Desailly's record has since been surpassed by fellow defender Lilian Thuram.

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.

Desailly is considered one of the most accomplished players of the game and one of the best players of the past two decades, having won virtually every major team award. He is currently a Unicef ambassador to Ghana and is being mentioned as a possible candidate for the coaching position of Ghana's national team.

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