While he may never have won the crowd appreciation that his talents merited, the former defensive midfielder was always much cherished by his coaches. A symbol of the Nantes side of the 1990s fabled for their one-touch, attacking football, he experienced his greatest successes at Sampdoria and Real Madrid, most notably winning two UEFA Champions League titles, a UEFA Super Cup and a Toyota Intercontinental Cup with Los Merengues, while becoming one of the world’s finest players in his position at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A stalwart for Les Bleus, he was also a member of the golden generation of talents that lifted the 1998 FIFA World Cup™, UEFA EURO 2000 and the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. Since hanging up his boots, he has served as a FIFA Ambassador for Oceania and has focused his efforts on promoting the development of the continent, and in particular his native New Caledonia.
Inspired throughout his career by coaches of the calibre of Jean-Claude Suaudeau, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Jupp Heynckes, Guus Hiddink, John Toshack and Vicente Del Bosque, he could hardly have had better tutors should he choose to turn his attentions to coaching.
1990-1995: Nantes (France)
1995-Dec. 1997: Sampdoria (Italy)
Dec. 1997-2000: Real Madrid (Spain)
2000-2001: Middlesbrough (England)
2001-2004: Olympiakos (Greece)
2004-Jan. 2005: Servette (Switzerland)
Jan. 2005-Oct. 2005: Bastia (France)