Calm, commanding and strong in the air, centre-back Matthieu Delpierre won the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart in 2006/07 and was appointed captain in December 2009. Although he represented his native France at various levels, senior international recognition has remained elusive.
• Born in Nancy, Delpierre received an early football education at the academy of FC Nantes before launching his professional career with LOSC Lille Métropole.
• Spent four seasons in French Ligue 1 with Lille, accumulating 81 league appearances and scoring three goals before signing for Stuttgart in 2004.
• Developed gradually under Giovanni Trapattoni before becoming a fixture in the Stuttgart defence under the Italian's successor, Armin Veh; started every game but one in the 2006/07 Bundesliga triumph and also helped the Swabian club to the German Cup final in same season.
• Made UEFA Champions League debut in his native France, in a 4-2 defeat by Olympique Lyonnais in October 2007; reached 100 Bundesliga appearances a year later.
• Replaced Thomas Hitzlsperger as Stuttgart captain on 1 December 2009, although the man who appointed him, coach Markus Babbel, was sacked five days later.
Did you know?
Delpierre scored on his Bundesliga debut in Stuttgart's 2-1 home defeat by Werder Bremen on 27 October 2004.
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