A loyal servant of Olympique Lyonnais since making his way through the club’s youth academy, Sidney Govou has witnessed first-hand Lyon’s meteoric rise to power and subsequent dominance in France during the last decade. With seven consecutive French league titles and over 100 goals to his name, he is nothing less than the club’s talisman, having been involved in some of the most memorable moments in Lyon’s history, including a marvellous brace against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League in 2000, and his extra-time goal that won Les Gones the French Cup in 2008.
Quick, skilful, methodical, and a good finisher, the right winger has tormented defences all over France. Always willing to come back and help out his defence, to the point of playing right-back when necessary, he has been one of the country’s most consistent performers over the last ten years. Logic dictates that he is now also one of its most experienced internationals, having received his first cap back in 2002. Even though he has never been an automatic choice, and has even been left out of squads on occasion, he has had the good fortune to take part in the last three major international competitions.
At UEFA Euro 2004 in Portugal, he was called up in response to an injury suffered by Ludovic Giuly. History repeated itself at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, where Djibril Cisse’s unfortunate leg break just prior to the tournament proved to be a lucky break for Govou, who suddenly found himself on the flight to Germany. His most impressive achievement for France to date came in a qualifying match for Euro 2008 versus Italy, newly crowned world champions. Although he had not played one single minute for Lyon that season, Raymond Domenech named him in his starting line-up, a vote of confidence that Govou repaid by scoring two fine goals in a stunning victory for Les Bleus.