The heir apparent to Claude Makelele as France's midfield anchorman, Yann M'Vila has been virtually an immovable presence in the team since Laurent Blanc assumed the reins, starting eight UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers. He has barely missed a game for Stade Rennais FC over the past three seasons.
• Born in Amiens to a football-playing father from Congo, he joined the Rennes youth academy in November 2004.
• Made steady progress in Rennes's youth and amateur ranks and became a regular performer for France at every level from Under-16 to U21.
• Broke into the Rennes first team under coach Frédéric Antonetti in 2009/10, making his Ligue 1 debut on 15 August 2009 in a 1-1 draw at OGC Nice; went on to make 35 league appearances that campaign, all but two in the starting XI, and was on the 30-man shortlist for France's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad.
• Made his senior international debut on 11 August 2010 in friendly against Norway in Oslo and retained his place for the team's opening three UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers; scored his first goal for Les Bleus during a 2-1 win in Albania on 2 September 2011.
• Started 37 of Rennes's 2010/11 Ligue 1 games as the Brittany club challenged for the title before eventually dropping to sixth place; selected in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year but just missed out to Mamadou Sakho for the Young Player of the Year prize.
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