Clubs: Le Havre AC, Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Portsmouth FC, Real Madrid CF
• Started career with Le Havre, rapidly earning himself a reputation as one of France's top young midfielders.
• Moved to Chelsea in July 2005 aged 20 but fierce competition for places limited his first-team opportunities; played in the 2007 League Cup final victory over Arsenal in an unfamiliar right-back role but did not feature in the same year's FA Cup final against Manchester United FC.
• Crossed London to join Arsenal in August 2007 but similar problems breaking into the starting XI led to a €7.4m mid-season move to Portsmouth.
• A key contributor to Portsmouth's 2008 FA Cup success, scoring his first goal for the club in a fourth-round defeat of Plymouth Argyle FC (2-1) and starring in the Wembley final against Cardiff City FC (1-0).
• Joined Madrid for €20m in January 2009 and settled immediately; took on a similar midfield linchpin role for France and won his 25th cap in the first leg of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off against the Republic of Ireland.
• Registered his first goal for Madrid on the opening day of the 2009/10 Liga season, the winner in a 3-2 home victory against RC Deportivo La Coruña.
• Named in the France squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup but was ruled out of the finals by an intestinal problem developed during a pre-tournament training camp in the Alps.
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