Mikaël Silvestre: Wikis



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Mikaël Silvestre
Mikael Silvestre 2009-09-20.jpg
Personal information
Full name Mikaël Samy Silvestre[1]
Date of birth 9 August 1977 (1977-08-09) (age 32)
Place of birth Chambray-lès-Tours, France
Height 1.84 m (6 ft +12 in)[2][3][4]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Arsenal
Number 18
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1998 Rennes 49 (0)
1998–1999 Internazionale 18 (1)
1999–2008 Manchester United 249 (6)
2008– Arsenal 20 (2)
National team
2001– France 40 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:26, 15 March 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:18, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Mikaël Samy Silvestre (born 9 August 1977) is a French football defender. He currently plays for Arsenal. He also plays for the French national team. Silvestre is adept as both a centre-back and a left full-back, though he has stated that he prefers playing in the centre.[5]


Club career

Early career

Born in Chambray-lès-Tours, Silvestre started playing football in the Tours area, in the Loire Valley, where his father Franck, originally from Guadeloupe, was an amateur player. Mikaël Silvestre was then drafted by the Rennes Football Academy in Brittany and began his league career with the French club in the 1995/96 season. His time at the club helped build his reputation, and in the 1997/98 season was signed by Internazionale. He made 18 league appearances for Inter, as well as 6 European Cup games. Silvestre signed for Manchester United on 10 September 1999 for £3.5 million.[citation needed]

Manchester United

He made his debut against Liverpool at Anfield in 1999. His first season at Manchester United was not exceptional replacing an injured Ronny Johnsen in the centre with Jaap Stam; he appeared to struggle initially to adapt to the English league. By the 2001-02 season, however, Silvestre had established himself in defence ahead of the veteran Denis Irwin, and was proving to be adept both in defence and getting forward. He set up numerous goals for Ruud van Nistelrooy, notably away to Deportivo de La Coruña in a 2–0 towards the end of the season. There was criticism put his way after the Bayer 04 Leverkusen game where he was largely blamed for the late equaliser in the 1–1 draw, but this typified Manchester United's season as a whole, and he was one of their better performers.

During the next season he carried on initially where he left off at the left of Manchester United's back four, but following injury to Rio Ferdinand and the poor performance of an aging Laurent Blanc, he was switched to his favoured position of central defence. This first happened at half-time in the UEFA Champions League match away in Basel when the team were 1–0 down and struggling with a young John O'Shea looking shaky at the heart of the defence. Silvestre and O'Shea were switched for the second half and the team immediately looked more solid defensively. From this point Silvestre forged a successful partnership mid-season with Wes Brown at the heart of the defence until Ferdinand's return, looking calm and assured, using his pace to good effect, whilst continuing to provide goals with his accurate diagonal balls.

The beginning of the 2003-04 season saw Silvestre paired with Ferdinand in the centre of the team's defence. However, this was cut short following Ferdinand's eight month ban for missing a drug test. In the latter half of this season when being paired with an unfit Wes Brown, Manchester United's defence proved to be rather less secure and both Brown and Silvestre were at fault for numerous goals and despite winning the FA Cup with a 3–0 victory over Millwall, this uncertainty at the heart of the defence was to continue into the start of the 2004-05 season.

Competition for places grew significantly during the January transfer window in 2006 with the signings of Nemanja Vidić and Patrice Evra. Although both struggled to adapt initially, both have since gone on to establish themselves as firm fan favourites and key members of the Manchester United squad. Following the partnership of Vidić and Ferdinand at the heart of the defence, and Evra's holding of the left-back position, Silvestre found it more difficult to secure a place in the Manchester United starting line-up. However, his form improved toward the end of the season. He admitted that he was given the option to leave during the January transfer window during 2006, with an opportunity to join former Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier at Lyon. He did however decide to stay and fight for his place at United.

On 11 August 2006, his loyalty to the club was rewarded with a new contract extending his stay at the club until at least 2009. Alex Ferguson commented: "Mikael has been an important member of the squad for seven years now. His experience at the Club will help the younger players as they develop and he has a central role to play in the first team."

He started the 2006-07 season against Watford, scoring a goal, his first away goal for United, to give United the lead, and then 15 minutes later making a defensive error to aid their equaliser. He was starting to reassert himself in the left-back role when he broke a metatarsal in a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal. After recovering and playing several games, he dislocated his shoulder in a Champions League win against Lille OSC, meaning he was unable to play for the rest of the season.[6] He did however win his fourth Premier League winners medal that season as United won the league for the first time since 2003.

Silvestre revealed that in the summer of 2007 he turned down the opportunity to sign for Newcastle United, because he refused to play in the same side as Joey Barton (who attacked Silvestre's close friend Ousmane Dabo).[7]

With Gabriel Heinze moving to Real Madrid, Silvestre was set to battle Evra for the starting left back spot in the first eleven at Manchester United in the 2007-08 season. On 15 September, however, Silvestre was stretchered off with knee ligament damage. On 16 September, it was revealed that Silvestre had been ruled out for the rest of the season. On 24 September, Ferguson revealed that: "I'm sure Mikael will be back in March," he also said. "We had him operated on in France last week and it all went well. It was pleasing to see there was no further damage other than the cruciate ligament. That's a big bonus because sometimes there can be cartilage problems that also come along."

On 20 March, Silvestre made his comeback in the Manchester United reserves in a 4-1 win over Manchester City.[8][9]

On 9 April 2008, Silvestre made his first start after 7 months in a Champions League quarter-final match versus A.S. Roma.[10]


Silvestre playing for Arsenal.

A transfer to Bordeaux was mooted in the summer of 2008. However, it is believed that Silvestre turned the transfer down to see out the remaining year of his contract, and potentially receive a testimonial match at the end of the 2008-2009 season.[11] On 19 August 2008, it was suggested that Silvestre had backed out of a move to Manchester City, after hearing that Arsenal were interested in signing him.[12]

The transfer to Arsenal was completed for an undisclosed fee on 20 August 2008, with Silvestre signing a two-year contract[13]. The transfer made Silvestre the first player to transfer directly between Manchester United and Arsenal since Viv Anderson (who moved in the opposite direction) in 1987, and the first player to move from United to Arsenal since Brian Kidd in 1974. He was given the number 18 shirt, last worn by Pascal Cygan.

Silvestre made his debut for the club in a 3–1 victory over Everton on 18 October 2008, his 250th game in English football. In his first Champions League game for Arsenal, against Turkish side Fenerbahçe, he scored an own goal as Arsenal won 5–2. His first Premiership goal for Arsenal came against Tottenham Hotspur on 29 October 2008, but Silvestre and 2 others were criticised by manager Arsène Wenger after the match ended in a 4–4 draw.[14] On 8 November 2008, Silvestre played his first game against former side Manchester United, in a fixture that Arsenal eventually won 2–1.

International career

He earned his first senior cap for France on 27 February 2001 in a friendly against Germany that ended in a 1-0 win. He won the Confederations Cup both in 2001 and 2003 with France. However, he received criticism for his performance in Euro 2004, where he gave away penalties to both England and Croatia, before France were knocked out by Greece in the quarter-finals. Previously he was a member of French junior team at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship. He also played one game in the French squad that made the 2006 FIFA World Cup final.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other[15] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Rennes 1995–96 1 0
1996–97 16 0
1997–98 31 0
Total 48 0
Internazionale 1998–99 18 1
Total 18 1
Manchester United 1999–2000 31 0 0 0 4 0 3 0 38 0
2000–01 30 1 2 0 0 0 14 0 1 0 47 1
2001–02 35 0 2 0 0 0 13 1 1 0 51 1
2002–03 34 1 2 0 5 0 13 0 0 0 54 1
2003–04 34 0 5 1 0 0 6 1 1 1 46 3
2004–05 35 2 4 0 2 0 8 0 1 0 50 2
2005–06 33 1 4 0 5 0 6 0 0 0 48 1
2006–07 14 1 2 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 21 1
2007–08 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 6 0
Total 249 6 21 1 14 0 69 2 8 1 361 10
Arsenal 2008–09 14 2 2 0 1 0 6 0 0 0 23 2
2009–10 6 0 2 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 13 0
Total 20 2 3 0 4 0 8 0 0 0 36 2
Career total 336 9 24 1 18 0 77 2 8 1 464 13

Statistics accurate as of 17 January 2010[16][17]


Silvestre and his wife, Séverine, have children named Evie and Cléo.[18]



Manchester United




  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946-2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 562. ISBN 1852916656. 
  2. ^ "PFA Profile". PFA. 4 November 2008. http://www.givemefootball.com/player-profiles/mikael-silvestre. Retrieved 4 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "Mikaël Silvestre". EuroSport - Yahoo!. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/mikal-silvestre.html. Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  4. ^ (French) Mikaël Silvestre - Player Profile at L'Équipe Football
  5. ^ "Silvestre sweet on prospects". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 18 August 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/3161475.stm. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Injured Silvestre out for season". BBC. 14 March 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/6429435.stm. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "Silvestre turned down Newcastle to avoid Barton". Daily Mail. 2007-08-12. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=474948&in_page_id=1779. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Neville steps up comeback". Sky Sports. 2008-03-20. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_3329154,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  9. ^ Steve Bartram (2008-03-20). "Reserves: United 4 City 1". ManUtd.com. http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={B4CEE8FA-9A47-47BC-B069-3F7A2F35DB70}&newsid=542881. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  10. ^ Gemma Thompson (2008-04-09). "Report: United 1 Roma 0". ManUtd.com. http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={B4CEE8FA-9A47-47BC-B069-3F7A2F35DB70}&newsid=548105. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  11. ^ Silvestre set to stay
  12. ^ "Arsenal hijack Silvestre move". The Independent. 2008-08-20. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/arsenal-hijack-silvestre-move-903191.html. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  13. ^ "Arsenal sign Man Utd's Silvestre". BBC Sport. 2008-08-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/7573520.stm. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  14. ^ "Arsene Wenger blames William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Emmanuel Adebayor for Spurs fiasco". The Mirror. 2008-10-31. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/2008/10/31/arsene-wenger-blames-william-gallas-mikael-silvestre-and-emmanuel-adebayor-for-spurs-fiasco-115875-20856399. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  15. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
  16. ^ "Mikaël Silvestre Career Stats". Soccerbase. 02 January 2010. http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=16494. Retrieved 02 January 2010. 
  17. ^ "Mikaël Silvestre Career Stats (2)". national-football-teams.com. 02 January 2010. http://www.national-football-teams.com/v2/player.php?id=21007. Retrieved 02 January 2010. 
  18. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1172960/Fan-frenzy-Hannah-Montana-premiere-Miley-Cyrus-flashes-legs-VERY-short-dress.html

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