Olympique Lyonnais is also known as Lyon. It is a French football club located in Lyon. It competes in France’s top-ranked football division, Ligue 1. The club was founded in 1950. The club received its first Ligue 1 championship in 2002. Lyon has also won eight Trophees des Champions, five Coupes de France, and three Ligue 2 titles. Let’s discuss the top 10 best players of Olympique Lyonnais.
1. Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette was born on 28 May 1991. He is a French football player who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Lyon. Further, he plays mainly as a striker but has also played in different positions like the second striker, wide forward, and attacking midfielder.
He started his playing career with his hometown club Lyon in 2010 just at the age of 19. Initially, he played as a wide forward. Later, he was deployed as a striker and ranked as Ligue 1 top goalscorer. He also won Ligue 1 Player of the Year in the 2014–15 season. In 2017, he was the highlight of a then-club record association football transfer when he signed for Arsenal in a transfer worth up to £47.5 million. He won the FA Cup in England.
Lacazette started playing for the senior side of the France team in 2013 after he played for his nation across all youth levels. He was a key player in France’s victory in the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship. There he scored the match-winning goal in the final match against Spain. He has scored three goals in sixteen matches for his nation.
2. Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris was born on 26 December 1986. He is a French football player who plays as a goalkeeper. Further, the captains both Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the France team. He has also received the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year award three times.
Lloris started his playing career with hometown club OGC Nice. He started playing in October 2005. After playing at the club for three seasons, he moved to seven-time Ligue 1 champions Olympique Lyonnais. He received several awards in his first season with Lyon. In his second season, he earned award nominations at the European level for his playing skills in the UEFA Champions League. Further, he joined Tottenham in 2012 and assisted the team in reaching the Champions League final in 2019.
3. Juninho Pernambucano
Juninho Pernambucano is a former Brazilian football player who was recently the sporting director of the French club Olympique Lyonnais. He is known as a dead-ball specialist for his bending free kicks. He holds the record for scoring the highest number of goals through free kicks. Further, he is one of the greatest free kick-taker of all time.
Juninho started his playing career in 1993 with the Brazilian club Sport do Recife. He joined Vasco da Gama two years later where he played more than 100 matches and won six titles. He joined Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais in 2001 where he played for the next eight years. Juninho received seven consecutive league titles and scored 100 goals in 343 official matches for the club. After his departure from Lyon in 2009, he played in Qatar with Al-Gharafa and in the United States with New York Red Bulls.
He started playing in his international match in 1999. Juninho played 40 matches for the Brazilian team and scored six goals. He played for Brazil at the 2001 Copa America and was part of the team which won the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup. Then he took retirement from international football after the 2006 World Cup. He was a football commentator for Brazilian sports network Rede Globo from 2013 to 2018.
4. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema was born on 19 December 1987. He is a French football player who plays as a striker for the La Liga club Real Madrid and the France team. Benzema is a creative and prolific forward who is known for his playmaking and finishing skills. He is one of the best forwards of his generation. Further, he ranks as Real Madrid’s joint-second highest all-time top goalscorer.
Benzema started his playing career with hometown club Olympique Lyonnais in 2005. He played a key role in winning three Ligue 1 title wins. Benzema was also named the league’s Player of the Year in 2008. He was also the league’s top goalscorer in the team of the year and also helped win his fourth league title and first Coupe de France. He was the highlight of a then French record football transfer when signed for Real Madrid in a transfer worth €35 million. Benzema eventually achieved a consistent goalscoring rate with the club after failing to establish himself in his debut season, who were integral to a period where Real Real Madrid won four UEFA Champions League titles from 2014 to 2018.
5. Gregory Coupet
Gregory Coupet was born on 31 December 1972. He is a former French football player who played as a goalkeeper. He played for Saint-Etienne, Lyon, Atletico Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the France team throughout his playing career. Further, he holds the record for winning most Ligue 1 titles.
6. Florent Malouda
Florent Malouda was born on 13 June 1980. He is a former football player and French football coach. Malouda spent most of his playing career at Lyon and Chelsea as a left winger. He won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles with Lyon and the UEFA Champions League in 2012 with Chelsea.
Malouda played for France from 2004 to 2012. Malouda played for Les Bleus on 80 occasions, including in two FIFA World Cups and two European Championships. He was a key player on the French team which reached the 2006 World Cup final. He played for his home nation French Guiana in 2017.
7. Nabil Fekir
Nabil Fekir was born on 18 July 1993. He is a French football player who plays as a forward for La Liga club Real Betis and the France team. He was an academy graduate of Lyon. Later he was promoted to the senior team in July 2013. He became a first-team regular player in his second season when he was named the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year. Fekir played in 192 matches for Les Gones and scored 69 goals. He also captained the team in 2017. Fekir started playing for France in March 2015 and was chosen in their team that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
8. Michael Essien
Michael Essien was born on 3 December 1982. He is a former Ghanaian football player who played as a midfielder. Essien is presently a member of Danish Superliga club FC Nordsjælland’s coaching staff. He was also capped more than 50 times for the Ghana team. During his time, he was considered one of the best midfielders in the world.
Essien started his playing career for Liberty Professionals in Ghana. He moved to France to join Bastia in 2000, where he would spend three seasons and play in more than 60 matches before joining Ligue 1 title holders Lyon in 2003. At Lyon, Essien received back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and won Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2005. During his five-year career in France, he took French citizenship.
He signed with Premier League side Chelsea for a £24.4 million transfer fee in 2005. At the time of his signing, he was the most expensive African football player in history. At Chelsea, he helped the club in winning the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one League Cup. He received the UEFA Champions League in 2011–12 and runner-up in the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League. He won the Chelsea Goal of the Season award twice, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.
9. Sidney Govou
Sidney Govou was born on 27 July 1979. He is a former French football player who last played for Limonest in the Championnat de France Amateur 2. He performed mainly as a winger, but sometimes he was used as a striker. Further, he holds the record for winning the most Ligue 1 titles.
He joined Lyon’s youth academy at the age of 17 in 1996. He had played at the Stade Gerland for his entire career. Govou came into the limelight during the 2000–01 Ligue 1 season helping Lyon finish second. Govou received the 2001 Young Player of the Year Award in Ligue 1 due to his excellent performance for the club.
10. Bafetimbi Gomis
Bafetimbi Gomis was born on 6 August 1985. He is a French football player who plays as a striker for Super Lig club Galatasaray. Gomis played youth football with Saint-Etienne before starting his professional entry for the club in 2004. He also spent time on loan at Troyes in Ligue 2. Gomis joined Saint-Etienne’s Derby du Rhone rivals Lyon for a fee of €13 million in 2009. He played in 244 matches in five seasons and scored 95 goals. Gomis won the Coupe de France and the Trophee des Champions in 2012. He moved to Premier League club Swansea City on a free transfer in 2014. He signed for Galatasaray, where he was the leading scorer as they won the Super League in 2018.
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