A tall, imposing central defender who earned high praise as a youngster with AJ Auxerre, Jean-Alain Boumsong experienced fluctuating fortunes outside of France before returning home in January 2008 to play for Olympique Lyonnais. He was a member of France's squad at three successive major tournaments from 2004 to 2008.
• Born in Cameroon, he moved to France aged 14; joined renowned training academy at Le Havre AC, making debut in the French top flight at 18.
• Recruited by Auxerre in 2000, he became a stalwart of Guy Roux's side alongside another highly-rated young centre-back, Philippe Mexès; scored late winner in final of 2003 Coupe de France and won first cap for France a few weeks later at FIFA Confederations Cup.
• Scored on only UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying appearance (3-0 at home to Israel) but had only a minute on field at the finals (against Switzerland); no action at all at 2006 FIFA World Cup despite six qualifying starts and made just one substitute appearance at UEFA EURO 2008.
• Left Auxerre for Rangers FC in 2004; moved to Newcastle United FC after a few months but never comfortable in British football and joined Juventus, just relegated to Serie B, in 2006.
• Returned to France with Lyon midway through 2007/08 season, winning Ligue 1/Coupe de France double; scored against Auxerre (3-0) on only league start in first three months of 2009/10 campaign.
Did you know?
Boumsong has won the Coupe de France twice – with Auxerre in 2003 and Lyon in 2008. On each occasion the defeated opponents in the final were Paris Saint-Germain FC.
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