Having equaled the Ligue 1 record on Sunday, SC Bastia goalkeeper Mickaël Landreau is set to overtake Jean-Luc Ettori's mark of 602 in Wednesday's Corsican derby against AC Ajaccio.
The 34-year-old played his first Ligue 1 game on 2 October 1996 for his first club FC Nantes, saving a Lubomír Moravčík penalty in a game against his current side. The 11-times capped international was at the Stade Armand-Cesari again on Sunday to make his 602nd French league appearance, with his side winning 2-0 against Évian Thonon Gaillard FC. "When I played my first game here, I would never have imagined I'd still be here today," Landreau said. "The game is so demanding, so hard, but here we are."
Former AS Monaco FC and France goalkeeper Ettori, who played from 1975 to 1992, came down to help Landreau warm up before the game, and had a long chat before kick-off. The 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-finalist certainly bears his fellow custodian no malice, saying "he totally deserves this record". Nantes fans also showed their appreciation, holding up a banner in Landreau's honour at their game at EA Guingamp on Saturday.
"I saw that on TV," Landreau said on Sunday after collecting the 255th win and 219th clean sheet of his career. "I was very touched. So many memories of those days with Nantes came back to me. And it was not easy to take it in because we had a game to prepare for. But we won without conceding, so now I can enjoy the moment."
As to his fondest memories of that long league career, Landreau chose his two league titles – with Nantes in 2001 and with LOSC Lille in 2011 – and his three French Cups. "Winning those two titles ten years apart was something fantastic," he reflected. "The first one came with Nantes, my first professional club, which is always special; the second with Lille at Parc des Princes. That was a bright day too." Another famous occasion now awaits on Wednesday.
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