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William Gallas
William Gallas.jpg
Personal information
Full name William Éric Gallas
Date of birth 17 August 1977 (1977-08-17) (age 32)
Place of birth Asnières-sur-Seine, France
Height 1.82.5 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Arsenal
Number 10
Youth career
1987–1992 AVG Football
1992–1994 INF Clairefontaine
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Caen 34 (0)
1997–2001 Marseille 84 (2)
2001–2006 Chelsea 159 (12)
2006– Arsenal 102 (12)
National team
1997–1998 France U21 11 (0)
2002– France 78 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:20, 13 February 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:13, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

William Éric Gallas (born 17 August 1977 in Asnières-sur-Seine) is a French footballer who plays for English Premier League club Arsenal and the French national team. Regarded as a highly capable player, he primarily plays as a centre-back.

Gallas began his career in France, before being signed by English club Chelsea in 2001. He transferred to rivals Arsenal as part of an exchange deal in 2006. While his career has been marked by both individual and team successes - including Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 - he has also encountered controversy as a consequence of his on-field behaviour and friction with other personnel. In 2007, he was named Arsenal's captain, but was removed from the role during the 2008-09 season after criticising team-mates in a media interview.

Gallas is also the cousin of Mathieu Bastareaud, a french rugby union centre playing for Stade Francais and capped as a player in the French national rugby union team.


Club career


Early career

William Gallas is a graduate of the French Football academy at Clairefontaine. He started his professional career at second division SM Caen helping them to promotion as champions in 1996. He was subsequently transferred to Olympique Marseille in 1997. Gallas spent four seasons at Marseille, playing alongside Robert Pirès among others. He made his debut in the UEFA Champions League playing for Marseille, and he also played against Chelsea in that competition in 2000.


Then Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri bought Gallas from Marseille in May 2001 for £6.2 million. He chose the number 13 shirt because it was his postcode back when he lived in Marseille. Marseille is in the Bouches du Rhône département of France where all addresses begin with a 13. Under Ranieri, Gallas developed centre-back partnerships with Marcel Desailly and later with John Terry; his partnership with Terry included a run of 16 games without conceding a single goal. He also played at right-back at times. It was with Chelsea and under Ranieri where Gallas obtained his first international cap.

Gallas was part of Chelsea's team which won back-to-back Premier League titles and a League Cup under Ranieri's successor José Mourinho. The Blues also made the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League that year, but were knocked out by Liverpool 1-0 in controversial circumstances when the ball was shown to have been cleared off the line by Gallas and never have fully gone in. Due to a serious injury to left-back Wayne Bridge in 2004-05 Gallas was forced to play out of position. Despite the purchase of Asier del Horno from Athletic Bilbao for £8 million in the 2005 close season, Gallas found himself often playing on the left, a situation he got increasingly frustrated with. However Gallas scored some vital goals as Chelsea retained their title in the 2005-06 in English football season at Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United. Gallas called the goal against Tottenham, a 25-yard injury-time winner, his "greatest ever" on Chelsea TV.[citation needed]

Gallas's contract with Chelsea was due to expire in May 2007. He refused to sign a new contract with Chelsea on improved terms after saying the club didn't offer him enough money and expressed a wish to play in Serie A, with Juventus and A.C. Milan both interested.[citation needed] Chelsea however did not agree to a transfer request by the player in May 2006, as they considered Gallas an important first team member.

After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Gallas refused to turn up at Chelsea's pre-season American tour,[2] citing tiredness after the tournament. Upon assigning squad numbers the club gave new arrival Michael Ballack Gallas' number 13 shirt as a punishment for not turning up, an indication that his future at Stamford Bridge was in serious doubt. His reception at the club's membership day at Stamford Bridge was mixed, with sections of fans clapping him while others booed or remained unmoved.

Despite reported links with several clubs around Europe, a move out of England looked unlikely. The 2006 Serie A scandal stopped any interest from Juventus or A.C. Milan, and the only club to express an interest was Arsenal. In a move which further crowded the ranks of defenders at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea signed Dutch international centre back Khalid Boulahrouz.

On 1 September 2006, Gallas transferred to Arsenal as part of a deal that took Ashley Cole to Chelsea[3] and Arsenal also received the sum of £5 million. The press reported that José Mourinho was furious Gallas had been allowed to move to their rivals and that the Cole-Gallas swap deal had been forced through by Chelsea executive Peter Kenyon. After the transfer, Chelsea issued a statement that Gallas threatened to deliberately score own goals if he was not allowed to leave Chelsea.[4] Gallas rejected Chelsea's claims and accused the West Londoners of lacking class and 'hiding behind false accusations'.[5] Claudio Ranieri, the former Chelsea manager who signed Gallas from Marseille said of the allegations; "I cannot believe these stories. It is absolutely incredible. I signed William and he was always a good professional on the pitch. Of course, I don't know what has happened in the last two years." Among the Chelsea faithful Gallas's departure turned him almost instantly from a cult hero into an object of betrayal and hatred. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor declared that the whole episode has left a "bad taste in the mouth" and that Chelsea's statement should be taken "with a large pinch of salt."


2006-07 season

Gallas applauding supporters.

Gallas signed a four-year contract with Arsenal, where he took the number 10 shirt vacated by the recently-retired Dennis Bergkamp. In an interview in the October 2006 issue of the Official Arsenal Magazine, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger explained the rather peculiar decision to hand him the squad number 10 (traditionally a forward's number):

Number three was uncomfortable for him and I had given the rest of the numbers out. In the end I thought it might be a good idea to give the number ten to a defender, because a striker would suffer a lot with the comparison with Dennis. At first I was reluctant to give Dennis's number out, and especially to a defender, but overall I think it's better that way.

Gallas made his full debut for The Gunners at left-back in the 1-1 home draw against Middlesbrough on 9 September 2006 and scored his first goal against Sheffield United on 23 September 2006.

2007-08 season

Gallas was confirmed as Arsenal captain on 9 August 2007, with Kolo Touré, serving as vice-captain. This caused some controversy as Gilberto Silva was expected to receive the captain's arm band. Many people have questioned Wenger for this decision. His first competitive game as Arsenal captain was on 12 August 2007 against Fulham, which ended in a 2-1 victory for Arsenal.[6] Gallas suffered a groin injury in the game against Blackburn on 19 August, but returned to play for Arsenal in their 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on 20 October. In the traditional Arsenal vs Manchester United clash at the Emirates Stadium on 3 November, he scored a last minute goal to give the Gunners a draw.

On 24 November 2007 Gallas scored against Wigan when Bacary Sagna crossed in and Gallas fired a header through the arms of Wigan's goalkeeper Pollitt to open the deadlock.

On 16 December 2007 Gallas scored against his old club Chelsea, which was to be the only goal in the match to secure 3 points for Arsenal. Gallas later reflected on his goal against former club Chelsea, claiming that "When Cesc sent the corner in for my goal, I saw Petr Čech come off his line and to be honest I was sure he would catch it. So I was surprised when he didn't take it, and it was just a reflex reaction to head it into the goal. I just happened to be there at the right time".[7]

Gallas attracted some criticism as a result of his actions in a 2-2 draw against Birmingham City on 23 February 2008—a game in which his teammate Eduardo da Silva had his leg broken following a challenge by Martin Taylor. When Gaël Clichy of Arsenal conceded a penalty in injury time at the end of the second half, Gallas walked into the Birmingham half, apparently in protest. He stood there as Birmingham striker James McFadden converted the penalty. He then had to be restrained as he appeared to confront the crowd in fury. After the final whistle, Gallas sat down on the pitch as the rest of the players left the field before being consoled by manager Arsène Wenger.

Gallas also scored for Arsenal against Bolton in a 2-3 win on 29 March 2008, starting the comeback which 10-man Arsenal ultimately completed.

Amid speculation that Gallas would be replaced as club captain following his behaviour during the Birmingham City game, Wenger said that he would consider the matter at the end of the season.[8]

2008-09 season

In August 2008, it was announced that Gallas would remain the club's captain for the 2008-2009 season.[9] In the 2008-09 season, Gallas has proved especially prolific in the Champions League. He scored 6 goals in Arsenal's campaign, including two against FC Twente and an equalizer against Dynamo Kiev as well as a header against Spurs.

On 29 October 2008, he scored his first league goal of the season against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium, scoring Arsenal's second goal in a 4–4 draw.

On 8 November 2008, in a 2–1 victory over Manchester United, he received praise for his display whilst playing alongside former United defender Mikaël Silvestre. It was claimed he outshone United defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić.[10]

In November, Gallas gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he revealed tensions within the squad which were disruptive to team morale, and suggested that Arsenal's younger players needed to show more courage if they were to be successful.[11][12] He was dropped from the squad for the next match, against Manchester City, and was reported to have been fined two weeks' wages.[13] Reports that he had been stripped of the captaincy permanently[14] were confirmed by Arsenal on 24 November; he was succeeded by Cesc Fàbregas. Wenger confirmed that Gallas still had a future with the club, contrary to media speculation, and Gallas played in the following day's Champions League match.[15][16]

On 17 March 2009, Gallas scored the winner in a 2-1 win against Hull City in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.

On 10 April 2009, it was confirmed that Gallas would miss the remainder of the season after damaging the medial ligament in his right knee during the UEFA Champions League 2008-09 quarter-final first leg tie against Villareal CF. The match finished 1-1 with Gallas only lasting 43 minutes of the first half.

2009-10 season

Despite enduring a below-par season, William Gallas started the 2009-10 campaign in fine form, scoring 3 goals in his first 3 games. He has formed a partnership with Belgian centre back Thomas Vermaelen[17], Arsenal's only major summer signing, and the pair scored 7 goals between them in their first eight league games. On 22 August, in the first home game of the season, he scored a bizarre goal against Portsmouth; Vermaelen had attempted to score a slide-in from a corner kick but Gallas accidentally flicked the ball onto his face and it bounced into the net.[18]

International career

Gallas was a part of the France U-18 European Championship winning side. He also played for the France U-20 team in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship along with fellow Frenchmen Willy Sagnol and Thierry Henry.

He is now a regular member for France, having formed Raymond Domenech's first-choice centre-back partnership with Lilian Thuram during the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2008. He made his full France debut in a 5-0 victory over Slovenia in a Euro 2004 qualifier on 12 October 2002, and was a member of the squad for the tournament's finals. He was in the 2003 Confederations Cup winning side, and more recently he was a member of the squad that reached the 2006 World Cup final. Following the World Cup, he criticised the Portugal team for diving, saying that when the French faced them in the semi-finals they needed to look out for their unfair style of play[19].

Gallas won his 50th cap for France in the 3-1 win against Italy on 6 September 2006 at the Stade de France in a Euro 2008 qualifying match.

Gallas is still eligible to represent Guadeloupe internationally as well, as they are not FIFA affiliated. His cousin, Ludovic Quistin, has represented Guadeloupe.[20]

On 10 October, he scored for France against Faroe in the 53rd minute.

On 18 November he scored the winning goal against the Republic of Ireland in extra time. This meant that France qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The goal was controversial as it was scored after his team mate, Thierry Henry handled the ball twice.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 17 August 2005 Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier, France  Côte d'Ivoire 1 – 0 3 – 0 Friendly
2 16 August 2006 Kosevo Stadium, Sarajevo, Bosnia  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 – 1 1 – 2 Friendly
3 10 October 2009 Stade du Roudourou, Guingamp, France  Faroe Islands 3 – 0 5 – 0 2010 World Cup qualification
4 18 November 2009 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  Republic of Ireland 1 – 1 1 – 1 2010 World Cup qualification

Club career statistics

(correct as of 10 February 2010)
Club Season League Cup[21] Europe Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
2001–02 30 1 0 8 1 0 3 0 0 41 2 0
2002–03 36 4 0 8 0 0 2 0 0 46 4 0
2003–04 32 0 0 5 0 0 11 1 0 48 1 0
2004–05 28 2 1 6 0 0 12 0 0 46 2 1
2005–06 33 5 1 4 0 0 12 0 0 49 5 1
Total 159 12 2 31 1 0 40 1 0 230 14 2
2006–07 21 3 0 2 0 0 6 0 0 29 3 0
2007–08 31 4 0 3 0 0 8 0 0 42 4 0
2008–09 23 2 0 4 1 0 9 3 0 36 6 0
2009–10 26 3 0 1 0 0 7 1 1 34 4 1
Total 101 12 0 10 1 0 30 4 1 141 17 1
Career totals 260 24 2 41 2 0 70 5 1 371 31 3











  1. ^ "Euro 08 Profile". UEFA. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  2. ^ "William Gallas statement". Chelsea F.C.. 2006-08-01. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  3. ^ "Cole moved after deadline". The Daily Telegraph. 2006-09-02. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Gallas 'issued own-goal threat'". BBC Sport. 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  5. ^ "Gallas denies Chelsea claims". Sky Sports. 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Gallas named captain as Wenger looks to older heads". 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  7. ^ Arsenal matchday programme before Tottenham Hotspur game, December 2007
  8. ^ "Wenger to consider Gallas captaincy". BBC Sport. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Wenger - Why William Gallas will be captain". 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  10. ^ " Ratings: Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United". 8 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  11. ^ "Gallas launches Arsenal outburst". BBC Sport. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  12. ^ "Gallas urges Arsenal's young stars to fight harder". International Herald Tribune. Associated Press. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  13. ^ Solhekol, Kaveh (22 November 2008). "William Gallas heads for Emirates exit". The Times (London). Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "Gallas 'stripped' of captain role". BBC Sport. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  15. ^ Clarke, Richard (24 November 2008). "Fabregas named as new Arsenal captain". Arsenal F.C.. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  16. ^ "Arsenal name Fabregas as captain". BBC Sport. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  17. ^ "Arsenal should be ahead of the rest, says bullish Arsène Wenger". The Guardian. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  18. ^ Premier League Arsenal 4-1 Portsmouth
  19. ^ "William Gallas warns France to watch out for Portugal". 2006-07-05. Retrieved 2006-09-07. 
  20. ^ International call-up for Seagull signing, This is Somerset 11 September 2008. Retrieved on 2008-10-30
  21. ^ Includes FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Thierry Henry
Arsenal captain
Succeeded by
Cesc Fabregas

Simple English

William Gallas
Personal information
Full name William Éric Gallas
Date of birth 17 August 1977 (1977-08-17) (age 33)
Place of birth    Asnières-sur-Seine, France
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Arsenal
Number 10
Senior clubs
Years Club
Olympique Marseille
National team
2002-2009 France

William Gallas (born 17 August 1977) is a French football player. He plays for Arsenal in England. He plays as a Defender.

Before joining Arsenal, Gallas has played for Olympique Marseille of France and Chelsea of England. He also played for France in the 2006 World Cup, winning the runner-up. In 2006 he turned to join Arsenal.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
FranceLeague Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue EuropeTotal
1995/96CaenDivision 2160160
1996/97Division 1180180
1997/98Olympique MarseilleDivision 13030
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
2001/02ChelseaPremier League301301
2006/07ArsenalPremier League213200060293
CountryFrance 11821182
England 23421811023326625
Total 35123811023338327

International career statistics

France national team



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