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Mathieu Valbuena

Published: Thursday 6 January 2011, 15.26CET
Olympique de Marseille
Published: Thursday 6 January 2011, 15.26CET

Mathieu Valbuena

Olympique de Marseille

Clubs: FC Libourne-Saint-Seurin, Olympique de Marseille

• Born in south-west France, Valbuena was rejected by local club FC Girondins de Bordeaux for being too small.

• Blossomed in France's third tier at FC Libourne-Saint-Seurin, winning promotion to Ligue 2 in 2006 and being voted the National Division's player of the year; the success earned him a dream three-year contract with Marseille.

• An injury-wrecked debut season was followed by a fine 2007/08 campaign, the highlight of which was a winning goal against Liverpool FC at Anfield in a UEFA Champions League group match.

• Career took a giant step forward after a game-changing performance, and goal, as a substitute in the 2010 French League Cup final against Bordeaux; also scored freely during the run-in to Marseille's first Ligue 1 title for 18 years.

• That contribution to Marseille's double trophy success earned him a first cap for France, which he celebrated with a goal in a 2-1 win against Costa Rica; included in the 2010 World Cup squad and ended the international year with the decisive strike in a friendly versus England.

• Scored a superb 87th-minute winner against Borussia Dortmund on matchday six of the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage to secure Marseille a place in the last 16, and ended the season as a French League Cup winner for the third successive season.

• Scored three times in 37 Ligue 1 appearances in 2012/13 to help OM to second and secure a return to the UEFA Champions League. 

UEFA honours

Last updated: 26/07/13 15.03CET

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