First capped by France in October 2002, Philippe Mexès has enjoyed a new lease of life at international level under Laurent Blanc, building up a resilient, new-look central defensive partnership with Adil Rami until injury struck in the spring of 2011. He joined AC Milan, after seven years with AS Roma, last summer.
• Born in Toulouse, Mexès joined the AJ Auxerre youth development programme and made his senior debut at the age of 17 in November 1999 against Troyes AC.
• A winner of the European U18 title with France in 2000, he was a runner-up at the U21 tournament two years later and received his first senior cap as a late substitute in a UEFA EURO 2004 qualifier against Malta.
• Formed a youthful and fruitful central defensive partnership at Auxerre with U21 partner Jean-Alain Boumsong, making 133 league appearances and scoring seven goals before a contractually complex 2004 switch to Roma; won the 2003 French Cup with Auxerre and the FIFA Confederations Cup with France a few weeks later.
• Despite becoming a regular in Luciano Spalletti's Roma side, he was not selected by Raymond Domenech for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO 2008 or the 2010 World Cup, but did start the first six games of Laurent Blanc's reign in autumn 2010.
• A Coppa Italia winner in 2007 and 2008, he finished as a Serie A runner-up with Roma for the fourth time in 2010, scoring his first European goal, in a 2-1 UEFA Champions League home win against CFR 1907 Cluj, later that year.
• Damaged ligaments in his left knee against Juventus in April 2011, an injury which delayed his debut for Milan – who he joined on a free transfer that summer – until October and a UEFA Champions League encounter with FC BATE Borisov.
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: runner-up 2002
UEFA European Under-18 Championship: winner 2000
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