He was called the ‘new Zidane’, played in the Cup and earned the highest salary in France; today, he has been without a club for 3 years and plays amateur tennis

Yoann Gourcuff emerged like a meteor in European football, but today he is without a club and is dedicated to amateur tennis.


This Thursday (22), the France receives the Austriaat 15:45 (Brasília time), for the 5th round of group 1 of the Uefa Nations Leagueurgently in need of a win to try to escape relegation in European competition.

Despite experiencing a difficult situation in the tournament, the blues have managed to assemble spectacular selections filled with stars in recent years. Proof that French football is going through one of the best phases in its history, generating good player after good player, and crowning this with the title of world Cup 2018

One of the great “wasted talents” of the last decade, however, was the midfielder Yoann Gourcuffwhich appeared as a meteor in the Rennesin the early 2000s, and was purchased by Milanwhich was the great power of European football at the time, in July 2006.

The point guard even won major titles, but did not establish himself in Milan, but lived the best phase of his career when he was loaned to bordeauxin 2008/09.

Soon after arriving at the wine land team, he simply “eat the ball” and led the team to the titles of the French Championship and the 2008/09 French League Cup, in addition to winning two more French Supercups (2008 and 2009).

At that time, he also became a mandatory name in the French national team’s squad, participating in the campaigns in the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 qualifiers, and being part of the final squad of the South African World Cup.

Thanks to his extremely technical style, with plastic plays and several plastic goals, he was nicknamed “Petit Zidane“, or “Little Zidane“.

Permanently acquired by Bordeaux in 2009, he continued to be part of what was perhaps the best squad in the club’s history, and which had several Brazilians, such as the defender Henrique Souzathe steering wheels Fernando and Wendel and the attacker Jussie.

In an interview with ESPN.com.brJussiê, who was part of the superteam of cruise between 2001 and 2004, he compared Gourcuff to the “brain” of that celestial team.

“Gourcuff was our Alex at Cruzeiro in 2003. Bordeaux in 2008/09 played around him and it worked very well”, recalled the former striker, who ended his career in Bordeaux.

“Unfortunately, later he was unable to continue a career that had everything to be brilliant”, he lamented.

The downfall of “Little Zidane”

The downfall in Gourcuff’s career began in August 2010, when, in a bold move on the French market, the Lyon went with everything and bought the midfielder for 22 million euros (R$ 112.09 million, at the current price), giving him the highest salary in the country at that time.

By changing clubs, “Little Zidane” could never be the same as he was in Bordeaux.

In five seasons at Lyon, Gourcuff suffered from a series of injuries, which made him lose almost 90 games in the medical department. In all, he entered the field 128 times and did just 19 goals, winning only two trophies: a French Cup and a French Supercup.

In the national team, his name also started to be forgotten, and he was not called up for Euro 2012, despite having been part of the entire campaign in the qualifiers.

The failure at Lyon was so great that he left the club for free in July 2015, at the end of his contract. Then he tried to resume his career at Rennes, the team that revealed him, but he was also unsuccessful, making three seasons erased by the team.

For the former steering wheel Dudu Cearáwho witnessed the “birth” of Gourcuff at Rennes between 2004 and 2005, comparisons with Zizou did harm to Gourcuff’s career.

“Gourcouff played a lot. He hit very well with both legs, had a gigantic vision of the game and was an excellent athlete. We always agreed when we played together: I would do anything to pass the ball to him, and he would help me to solve the game (laughs)”, said Dudu, in an interview with ESPN.com.br.

“Unfortunately, there was that thing about him being compared to Zidane, and that’s something that doesn’t exist. It was a huge and unreasonable expectation placed on him because of that comparison. Zidane is one, Gourcouff is another!”, he pointed out.

“But in fact he was a guy who played a lot, with enormous potential when we worked together at Rennes. He made a lot of difference on the field”, he added.

In 2018/19, it was the turn of the small Dijon bet on Gourcuff football. However, the midfielder played just eight games for the club before suffering a serious thigh injury, which ended his season early. With that, he opted for early contractual termination in January 2019.

After seeing his son without a club for more than a year and a half, Gourcuff’s father Christian claimed that the midfielder had hung up his boots. Officially, however, the athlete has never confirmed that he has actually retired.

It is unknown if “Little Zidane” will find a new team to try to get his last shots on the ball. However, he continues to dedicate himself to the sport, more specifically to the sneakerswhich was his great childhood passion alongside football.

Earlier this year, Gourcuff even played in an official tournament: the Larmor-Plage stage of Regional 1one of France’s regional tennis competitions.

The athlete played two of his team’s four games, standing out especially in the victory over Arthur Thuet, who was the big favorite.

Gourcuff, even, was undecided in childhood whether to try a career as a tennis player or football player. He dedicated himself fully to the sport of the yellow ball until he was 12 years old, and even crossed paths against none other than Rafael Nadal at Auray’s under-12 tournament in 1998.

However, the athlete ended up opting for football, entering the base categories of the Lorient and then going to Rennes. The rest is history…

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: called Zidane played Cup earned highest salary France today club years plays amateur tennis

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