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Stéphane Sessegnon
Personal information
Full name Stéphane Sessegnon
Date of birth June 1, 1984 (1984-06-01) (age 25)
Place of birth Allahé, Benin
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Paris Saint-Germain
Number 10
Youth career
2000–2003 Requins de l'Atlantique
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2004 Requins de l'Atlantique 2 (0)
2004–2006 Créteil 68 (10)
2006–2008 Le Mans 61 (6)
2008– Paris Saint-Germain 54 (8)
National team
2004– Benin 35 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 January 2010.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 February 2010

Stéphane Sessegnon (born 1 June 1984 in Allahé) is Beninese footballer of Ivorian heritage who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1. He is a Benin international having starred for the nation at both the 2008 and 2010 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. Sessegnon plays a variety of positions in the midfield[1], most notably as a playmaker.

Contents

Career

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Early career

Sessegnon began his career with Benin Premier League side Requins de l'Atlantique, which means the Sharks of the Atlantic, in Cotonou, the largest city in Benin. After spending only a year in the club's senior team, he ventured to France joining US Créteil-Lusitanos, based in the Parisian suburbs. Sessegnon quickly integrated into the squad, which included fellow international Noel Seka, making his debut on the opening match day of the 2004–05 Ligue 2 season against Stade Reims appearing as a substitute in a 1–2 defeat.[2] He scored his first goal on 14 January 2005, scoring a brace, in a span of four minutes, in a 3–0 win over Gueugnon.[3] Though Créteil finished in 15th position, Sessegnon was labeled a revelation as he was the primary bright spot in helping the club escape relegation.[4]

The following season proved even better for the club, as well as Sessegnon. Créteil finished the season in 8th position, their highest finish ever in Ligue 2, and Sessegnon appeared in 33 league matches scoring 5 goals. In total, the player appeared in 68 league matches scoring 10 goals for Créteil.

Le Mans

With Sessegnon keen on a move to Ligue 1, on 19 May 2006, he signed with Le Mans agreeing to a three-year deal.[5] He made his debut for the club in a league match against Troyes appearing as a substitute in a 2–2 draw.[6] After featuring as a sub in his first five appearances, including receiving a straight red card in a match against Sedan[7], he earned his first start on 4 November 2006 against Auxerre.[8] Two weeks later, he scored his first career goal for Le Mans in a 1–1 draw with Rennes.[9] These positive performances resulted in Sessegnon cementing his place in the first 11 starting every following match that season, except one.

Though, utilized with Le Mans early on as a holding midfielder, Sessegnon was given a more advance role for the 2007–08 season, often starting on the right side of the midfield or as an attacker. This proved beneficial for Sessegnon as the new role displayed his versatility, which showed when he scored both goals in the club's 2–3 defeat to giants Olympique Lyonnais on 1 September 2007.[10] He scored again the following week in a 1–0 victory over Valenciennes.[11] Sessegnon also helped the club reached the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue that season where they lost to Lens in a thrilling 4–5 defeat in extra time.[12] Sessegnon played the entire 120 minutes.

Paris Saint-Germain

Due to his two impressive seasons with Le Mans, Sessegnon became the subject of several scouting missions by larger clubs. He drew interest from Premier League sides Arsenal[13] and Newcastle United[14] before opting to remain in France signing a four-year deal with the Parisian giants Paris Saint Germain.[15][16] The fee was said to be in the range of 8 to 10 million euros.[17] Sessegnon was giving the number 10 shirt and installed as the club's playmaker.

Sessegnon made his league debut with the club on 16 August 2008, starting in the club's 1–0 win against Bordeaux.[18] The following match day, he scored his first goal for the club in a 1–1 draw with Sochaux.[19] On 13 December 2008, he scored his third career brace against Auxerre in a 2–1 victory.[20] Due to this, he was named the UNFP Player of the Month for December.[21] Sessegnon also appeared in 9 matches in the UEFA Cup scoring one goal against Dutch club FC Twente.[22] During the season, Sessegnon formed a dazzling triangular partnership with captain and holding midfielder Claude Makélélé and centre midfielder Jérémy Clément, which contributed to the club going as high as 2nd position in the league, reaching the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals, and making it to the UEFA Cup quarterfinals. In total, Sessegnon made 49 appearances scoring 8 goals and also compiling 11 assists. For his efforts, he was nominated for the Player of the Year award and also named to the Team of the Year. The season effectively validated Sessegnon as a star player.

Contract dispute

After the season, several clubs contacted Paris Saint-Germain to discuss Sessegnon's availability on the market with English clubs Chelsea[23], Liverpool[24], Arsenal[25], Everton, and Manchester City[26] being the primary suitors. Following the overwhelming interest, on 23 June, Sessegnon went public demanding his parent club give him a pay raise, stating, "I think I am one of the best performers in the club."[27] The firing of manager Paul Le Guen also played a role in his demands.

Two weeks later, Sessegnon and the club reached an agreement on a contract extension with the player set to receive a substantial pay raise.[28] The agreement effectively put an end to rumors of a move to the Premier League.

International career

Sessegnon made his debut for Benin on 6 June 2004 in a 2006 World Cup qualification match against Cameroon starting in the team's 1–2 loss.[29] He appeared in the majority of the qualification matches, where Benin ultimately suffered elimination. He was a member of Benin squad that reached the 2008 African Cup of Nations, where the nation was eliminated in the group stage. During 2010 World Cup qualifying, Sessegnon scored his only goal of the campaign in the team's 4–1 romp over minnows Uganda. Benin reached the third round of qualifying finishing in a respectable second in their group, five points behind Ghana and ahead of contenders Mali. As a result of their second place finish, Benin qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, where the team failed to get out of the group stage for the second straight competition. Sessegnon scored his last goal for his nation in the team's 1–0 victory over Libya on 7 January 2010.

Career statistics

(Correct as of 10 March)

Club Season League Cup[nb 1] Europe[nb 2] Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Requins de l'Atlantique 2003-04 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
US Créteil 2004-05 35 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 36 5 4
2005-06 33 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 34 5 2
Total 68 10 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 70 10 6
Le Mans 2006-07 31 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 33 1 2
2007-08 30 5 3 5 0 1 0 0 0 35 5 1
Total 61 6 5 7 0 1 0 0 0 68 6 3
Paris Saint-Germain 2008-09 34 5 7 6 1 2 9 1 2 49 7 11
2009-10 20 3 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 21 3 4
Total 54 8 11 7 1 2 9 1 2 70 10 15
Career totals 184 26 22 16 1 3 9 1 2 207 27 27

International Goals - Benin

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 4 September 2005 Arab Contractors Stadium, Cairo, Egypt  Egypt 1 – 2 1 – 4 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 17 June 2007 Stade de l'Amitié, Cotonou, Benin  Togo 3 – 0 4 – 0 2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
3 8 June 2008 Stade de l'Amitié, Cotonou, Benin  Uganda 4 – 1 4 – 1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 7 January 2010 Stade de l'Amitié, Cotonou, Benin  Libya 1 – 0 1 – 0 Friendly

Notes

  1. ^ Includes Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, Trophée des Champions
  2. ^ Includes UEFA Supercup

References

External links


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