Yoann Gourcuff: Wikis


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Yoann Gourcuff
Yoann Gourcuff VS Rennes.jpg
Personal information
Full name Yoann Miguel Gourcuff[1]
Date of birth 11 July 1986 (1986-07-11) (age 23)
Place of birth Ploemeur, Brittany, France
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Bordeaux
Number 8
Youth career
1997–2001 Lorient
1998–2001 PEF Ploufragan
2001–2003 Rennes
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Rennes 66 (6)
2006–2009 Milan 36 (1)
2008–2009 Bordeaux (loan) 37 (12)
2009– Bordeaux 21 (5)
National team
2001–2002 France U16 1 (0)
2002–2003 France U17 12 (2)
2003–2004 France U18 7 (4)
2004–2005 France U19 17 (7)
2006–2008 France U21 18 (4)
2008– France 17 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 28 September 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Yoann Miguel Gourcuff (born 11 July 1986) is a French professional footballer who currently plays for Ligue 1 club Bordeaux and the French national team.[2] He operates mainly as an attacking midfielder, but can also be utilized as a withdrawn striker.[3]

Yoann is the son of Christian Gourcuff,[4] the current manager of Ligue 1 club FC Lorient, where Yoann began his career. In 2001, he followed in his father's footsteps and joined Rennes. After progressing through the youth ranks and making the senior team, Gourcuff quickly became a fan favorite among supporters and his individual achievements soon led to interest from clubs abroad, which resulted in a move to Italian club AC Milan.[5] Gourcuff achieved many club honours despite not being able to break into the starting eleven, which resulted in the player being sent on loan to his current club Bordeaux.[6] Following a successful season, in which he earned several club and individuals honours, Gourcuff signed with Bordeaux permanently.[7] His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to French legend Zinedine Zidane.[8] He is the reigning Ligue 1 Player of the Year[9] and was recently announced as France Football Magazine's French Player of the Year.


Early life

Gourcuff was born on 11 July 1986 in Ploemeur, Morbihan, Brittany to parents Dr. Marine Thalouarn and Christian Gourcuff, both being Breton.[10] Gourcuff comes from a very athletic family. His mother was a basketball player, his older brother, Erwan, is a competitive swimmer and cyclist, while his father was a former footballer who played for several clubs in such countries as France, Switzerland and Canada, however, he is more known for his time at Rennes, Lorient, and Le Mans. Gourcuff's father later moved into the managerial role having stints at Rennes, Le Mans, Lorient (twice), and Qatari club Al-Gharafa. He currently serves as manager of Lorient, his third stint at the club, whom he has managed since 2003.[11]

As a youth, Yoann excelled at both football and tennis, becoming the top player of his age group (12),[10] but eventually opted to focus on football.[12]


Early career

Gourcuff began his career with FC Lorient, who were, at the time, managed by his father. During his time at Lorient, he also trained at the Pôle Espoirs Football de Ploufragan,[12] a smaller regional version of the Clairefontaine Football National Academy. Further to his father's departure to Stade Rennais, Gourcuff, who initially considered Nantes,[12] followed suit and signed an élite (youth) contract with the club in 2001. While in the youth system at Rennes, he participated in the Coupe Gambardella and scored a goal in their 4–1 demolition of Strasbourg in the final match helping the club win the 2003 edition of the youth cup.

As expected, Gourcuff signed his first professional contract in November 2003[12] and was promoted to the first team for the latter part of the 2003–04 season. He made his league debut on 7 February 2004 in a 0–2 defeat against Auxerre, coming on as a substitute in the 76th minute.[13] He made eight more appearances that season, which included his first start against Bordeaux in a 3–1 victory.[14] The 2005–06 season was more successful for Gourcuff. Wearing the number 10 shirt, he appeared in 36 matches, scoring six goals, which included his first ever league goal against Monaco in a 2–0 win[15] He formed partnerships with fellow Frenchman Olivier Monterrubio and the Swede Kim Källström, helping Rennes to finish 7th in Ligue 1 and winning them a place in the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup.


Having been linked with a host of big name European clubs such as Dutch club Ajax, Spanish side Valencia, and English club Arsenal of the Premier League[16], at the end of the 2006 season, Gourcuff moved to AC Milan in Italy. He signed a five year contract with the transfer fee being approximately 3.5 million.[17] He made his competitive debut for the Rossoneri on 9 August in the club's Champions League third qualifying round tie against Red Star Belgrade, appearing in the 81st minute as a substitute for Andrea Pirlo.[18] He scored his first career goal for Milan in the club's opening Champions League group stage match against AEK Athens.[19]

Over the course of two years with the club, Gourcuff's playing time was effectively insufficient appearing in only 36 league matches, 23 of them as a substitute. His meager playing time and slow development at the club was primarily due to injuries[20] and manager Carlo Ancelotti overlooking and being critical of him[21][22][23], stating that the player had psychological issues.[24] Gourcuff was also in direct competition with the Brazilian international and 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year winner Kaká, which caused further limits in playing time. Gourcuff did, however, earn a winner's medal with the club after they won the 2006–07 edition of the Champions League. Though, he did not crack the starting 11 or the bench for the match, his three appearances for the club in the competition made him eligible to receive a medal. He was also a part of the squads that won the 2007 UEFA Super Cup and the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.[25]

Following the season, on 31 May 2008, Adriano Galliani revealed Milan would loan Gourcuff to French first division club Bordeaux for the entire 2008–09 season, to allow him more playing time.[26]


"That goal was no accident." "It showed there was something magical about him. I felt ill when Zidane retired. Watching Gourcuff has cured me. When I see players like him, I feel like a small boy again."

Christophe Dugarry, on Gourcuff's goal against PSG.[27]

At Bordeaux, Gourcuff quickly asserted himself into the squad scoring on his league debut against Caen in a 2–1 victory[28] and also helping Bordeaux capture their 2nd Trophée des Champions title. He scored Bordeaux's 4th and final goal in their 4–0 triumph over Vannes in the Coupe de la Ligue final. He also provided the assist on the third goal. He scored two goals in Bordeaux's Champions League campaign against Roma and CFR Cluj. On 11 January 2009, he scored a spectacular goal that was voted the goal of the season by fans against Paris Saint-Germain in a 4–0 victory.[29] Upon receiving the ball from teammate Matthieu Chalmé, just outside of the box, Gourcuff performed a swift Marseille turn, eluding PSG defender Sylvain Armand, followed by quickly shifting the ball from his right foot to his left causing Sammy Traoré to lose balance, before bringing the ball back to his right foot and blasting it past PSG goalkeeper Mickaël Landreau with the outside of his right foot.[30]

Gourcuff, with Bordeaux, during team's lineup before match

The following two weeks, he scored his 5th and 6th goals, respectively, against Nantes in a 2–1 victory[31] and Lille in a 2–2 draw.[32] After going goalless in the league for seven straight weeks, Gourcuff got back on track scoring against relegation-bound Le Havre.[33] On the 33rd match day, he scored his first career brace against his former club Rennes.[34], his 8th and 9th goals of the season. The following three weeks, Gourcuff maintained his form scoring in all three matches, against Sochaux,[35] Valenciennes[36], and Le Mans[37] giving him a tally of 12 goals for the season. Bordeaux won all three matches, which effectively put them in 1st position heading into the final week of the season. Bordeaux eventually won the league capturing the sixth title in the club's history. The club also recorded their second ever double, as a result of their Coupe de la Ligue title. For his efforts during the 2008–09 season, Gourcuff was awarded the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award. He was also named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.[38] His performances during the 2008–09 season later earned him a nomination by the French magazine France Football for the 2009 Ballon d'Or award,[39] won by Lionel Messi with Gourcuff finishing in 20th place with 6 points.[40]

Due to Gourcuff's impressive season, his parent club announced that they would be open to the player returning to Milan for the 2009–10 season. However, the club's plans were put on halt after learning of Bordeaux's intent to meet Gourcuff's buy-out clause of €15 million included in the loan deal. Despite general manager Adriano Galliani and new manager Leonardo's efforts to persuade Gourcuff to return[41], on 28 May, it was announced that Bordeaux had signed Gourcuff permanently from Milan[42] with Gourcuff agreeing to a four year deal.[43] The transfer fee was undisclosed, but was in the region of 13 to €15 million.[44]

2009-10 season

Gourcuff during an August 2009 training session

Yoann began the 2009–10 season claiming his 4th silverware with Bordeaux on 25 July 2009, winning the 2009 Trophée des Champions title in a 2–0 victory over Guingamp. As a result of his performance, he was named Man of the Match. Two weeks later, he scored a brace in the club's opening match of the league season against Lens. The final result was 4–1.[45] The victory also set a record in league play for most consecutive wins for the club with 12.[46] On 23 August, he scored another set of goals, this time against Nice in a 4–0 victory.[47] In the UEFA Champions League, Gourcuff assisted on Bordeaux's only goal in their opening 1–1 draw against Italian club Juventus scored by Jaroslav Plašil. On 30 September, Gourcuff suffered a groin injury in the club's 1–0 victory over Israeli club Maccabi Haifa[48][49], which forced him to miss two league matches, with Bordeaux losing both matches, and an international call up. He returned to the team for Bordeaux's back-to-back matches with German powerhouse Bayern Munich. In the first match, which Bordeaux won 2–1, Gourcuff missed a penalty after attempting to cheekily chip the ball over goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt[50], however in the second match, he made amends scoring the game winning goal in their 2–0 victory at the Allianz Arena.[51] Bordeaux eventually finished the group stage portion undefeated.

For most of November and the early part of December, Gourcuff suffered a slight dip in form in league play going scoreless and also not providing any assists. Manager Laurent Blanc later stated that Gourcuff had lacked confidence since returning from his injury following Gourcuff's second penalty miss of the season in the club's midweek 1–0 victory over Montpellier on 16 November.[52][53] However, three days later, Gourcuff would return to form scoring a goal and providing the assists on the other three goals in Bordeaux's 4–1 thrashing of Lorient, who are, ironically, managed by his father.[54] On 20 December, he was declared by magazine France Football the French Player of the Year for 2009 beating out the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Hugo Lloris, Thierry Henry, and Franck Ribéry with the latter winning the award the past two seasons prior.[55] On 23 February, Gourcuff assisted on Bordeaux's only goal, scored by Michaël Ciani, in their shutout victory away to Greek club Olympiacos in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League knockout round match following his delivery of a powerful and driven free kick into the box that landed at the head of the defenseman. In the second leg, he scored the opening goal in the 5th minute converting a free kick to put Bordeaux up 2–0 on aggregate. The team eventually won the tie with a 3–1 aggregate scoreline.

International career

Gourcuff has been capped for France at schoolboy level earning his first cap at the age of 14 with the under-15 team. He made only one appearance with the under-16 squad. Due to his increased playing time with Rennes, he only made 12 appearances with the under-17 team and, as a result, the squad failed to qualify for the 2003 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship. He returned to international level with the under-19s and was part of the winning team at the 2005 European Under-19 Football Championship. Leading up to the tournament, Gourcuff scored goals against Armenia in the first qualifying round[56] and Spain in the Elite round.[57] The 1–0 victory over Spain assured France's qualification for the tournament. In the tournament, Gourcuff scored an impressive hat-trick in a 3–1 victory over Norway converting two penalty kicks and scoring in the run of play.[58] He assisted on two goals in their 3–2 semi-final win over Germany and played the full 90 minutes in championship match against England. France won the match 3–1 giving the nation their sixth under-19 title and Gourcuff his first international honor.[59]

Gourcuff (8), preparing to take a corner kick for France.

Gourcuff was a regular in the under-21 team making 18 appearances and scoring four goals, but never got the chance to participate in a UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship as France missed out on both times he was eligible losing in the playoffs.

Gourcuff earned his first call up to the senior team on 11 August 2008 for the team's friendly match against Sweden that was played on 20 August.[60] He earned his first cap in that match appearing as a substitute in the 92nd minute when France's 3–2 victory had been all but confirmed.[61] He scored his first goal for Les Bleus on 11 October 2008 against Romania in a 2010 World Cup qualification match. The wonder strike from almost 30 yards out drew the match at 2–2 ensuring France's positioning in the group.[62] Since the match against Serbia, held a month before the match against Romania, manager Raymond Domenech has installed Gourcuff in the attacking midfield position, just behind the striker, a position that some believe has yet to be filled since the retirement of Zinedine Zidane following the 2006 World Cup.[63][64]

Career statistics

(Correct as of 17 March)

Club Season League Cup[nb 1] Europe[nb 2] Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Rennes 2003-04 9 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 2
2004-05 21 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 22 0 4
2005-06 36 6 8 1 0 0 5 0 1 42 6 9
Total 66 6 14 2 0 0 5 0 1 73 6 15
2006-07 21 1 3 4 0 0 8 2 2 33 3 5
2007-08 15 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 0 19 0 1
Total 36 1 4 5 0 0 11 2 2 52 3 6
2008-09 37 12 8 5 1 4 7 2 3 49 15 15
2009-10 24 5 6 5 2 1 6 2 2 35 9 9
Total 61 17 14 10 3 5 13 4 5 84 24 24
Career total 163 24 32 17 3 5 29 6 8 209 33 45


(Correct as of 3 March)[65]
National team Season Apps Goals Assists
France 2008–09 11 1 5
2009–10 6 0 1
Total 17 1 6

International Goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 October 2008 Stadionul Farul, Constanţa, Romania  Romania 2 – 2 2 – 2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification






  1. ^ Includes Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, Trophée des Champions, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana
  2. ^ Includes UEFA Supercup, FIFA Club World Cup


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External links

Simple English

Yoann Gourcuff
File:Yoann Gourcuff
Personal information
Full name Yoann Miguel Gourcuff[1]
Date of birth 11 July 1986 (1986-07-11) (age 24)
Place of birth    Ploemeur, France
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Olympique Lyonnais
Number 29
Youth clubs
PEF Ploufragan
Stade Rennais
Senior clubs
Years Club
Stade Rennais
Girondins Bordeaux
Olympique Lyonnais
National team
2008- France

Yoann Miguel Gourcuff (born 11 July 1986) is a French football player. He plays for the France national team and Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1. Gourcuff plays as a midfielder and sometimes as a striker.[2]

Yoann Gourcuff began his career in 1992 with F.C. Lorient. In 2001 he began to play for Rennes. While playing for Rennes, he attracted many supporters and the interest of other teams. Gourcuff moved to the Italian club AC Milan in 2003.[3] He achieved many club honors with AC Milan, but did not play with the starting eleven players. In 2008 Goucuff was loaned to the French football team Girordins Bordeaux.[4] After playing a good season, he became a permanent player for Bordeaux. Gourcuff has been compared to Zinedine Zidane because of his playing style and ability. Gourcuff has won the UNFP Ligue Player of the Year award. He was named French Player of the Year by the magazine France Football in 2009. In August 2010, he joined Olympique Lyonnais.

Gourcuff played his first game with the France national football team in August 2008.[5] He scored his first international goal against Romania two months later.[6] Since joining the national team, Gourcuff has been the team's playmaker. The role of playmaker had been empty since Zidane's retirement in 2006.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
FranceLeague Coupe de France EuropeTotal
2003/04Stade RennaisLigue 190000090
ItalyLeague Coppa Italia EuropeTotal
2006/07MilanSerie A2114082333
FranceLeague Coupe de France EuropeTotal
2008/09Girondins BordeauxLigue 1371251724915
CountryFrance 103187112212221
Italy 36250112524
Total 1392012123417425

International career statistics


France national team


  1. Yoann Gourcuff search. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. August 12, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  2. Yoann Gourcuff: The new Zidane?. The Independent. January 27, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  3. AC Milan sign French talent Gourcuff. Monsters and Critics. June 22, 2006. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  4. Gourcuff joins Bordeaux on loan from Milan. June 3, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  5. GOURCUFF Yoann (in French). French Football Federation. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  6. France vs. Romania, Match Report. Fédération Internacionale de Football Association. October 18, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  7. Gourcuff, Yoann. National Football Teams. Retrieved August 28, 2010.

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