Marcel Desailly

France 2017

Part of the famed FC Nantes youth programme, Desailly made his senior debut in 1986. He spent six years at Les Canaris, before moving to Marseille. By this time he had already earned the nickname ‘The Rock’ due to his power and hard-tackling technique. Over the next two years he won consecutive Champions Leagues, scoring in the 1994 final, first with Marseille then with Milan, becoming the first player to win back-to-back European Cups with different clubs. While at Milan he played in midfield, rather than defence, and helped them to win two Serie A titles. A move to Chelsea followed, where he formed a formidable partnership with Frank Leboeuf, became captain and won The FA Cup. He lifted both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000 for France, and soon became French captain. As a player he was big, strong and fast with fantastic ability on the ball. He retired as one of the most influential players of his generation.

Full name: Marcel David Desailly
Born: 07/09/1968, Accra, Ghana
Clubs: Nates (1986-1992), Marseille (1992-1993), Milan (1993-1998), Chelsea (1998-2004), Al-Gharafa (2004-2005), Qatar SC (2005-2006)
International: 116 apps, 3 goals (1993-2004)
Position: Defender/midfielder


  • Serie A (2): 1993–94, 1995–96
  • UEFA Champions League (2): 1992–93, 1993–94
  • Supercoppa Italiana (1): 1994
  • UEFA Super Cup (2): 1994, 1998
  • FA Cup (1): 1999–2000
  • FA Charity Shield (1): 2000
  • FIFA World Cup (1): 1998
  • UEFA European Football Championship (1): 2000
  • FIFA Confederations Cup (2): 2001, 2003