Laurent Blanc is a professional footballer from France. He was born on the 19th of November, 1965 in Ales, France. Blanc was a defender who played for clubs such as Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Internazionale and Manchester United. Most recently, he was the manager of Paris St. Germain.
Blanc started his career in the youth ranks of Montpellier in 1981. He impressed the coaches with his technical skills that eventually earned him a senior team contract in 1983. Blanc began his football stint as an attacking midfielder but quickly switched as a defender after advice from his manager due to his stature that suited the role.
Blanc had the knack of scoring goals as well. He scored crucial headers for his club as his game suited the French league. His performances drew attention from various other European clubs and he became one of the hottest properties in the transfer market.
Laurent Blanc performed exceedingly well in the European U-21 Championship for France in 1988 that saw him win the Golden Player Award. He made his senior team debut on the 7th of February, 1989, against Republic of Ireland.
The game was held in Dublin and it ended in a goalless draw. France failed to qualify for the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cup and Blanc was heavily criticized for his performance. Due to criticisms Blanc decided to retire from international football but Aimé Jacquet, manager of the French team convinced Blanc to change his mind.
The defender did not have a good start to his international career but went on to improve his game and win more titles.
Rise to Glory
Blanc won the Coupe De France in 1990 with Montpellier. Blanc was the all-time leading scorer for Montpellier with 83 goals until the record was broken in 2017 by Souleymane Camara. After leaving Montpellier, he did not enjoy much success at Barcelona.
He then moved to Internazionale in 2000 where he won the player of the year award. The defender moved to Manchester United in the final stages of his career where he guided them to the Premier League title in the 2002-03 season.
After failing to qualify for two World Cups, France finally made the cut in 1998. Blanc was at his best in the tournament and scored the first ever Golden Goal in the history of FIFA World Cup against Paraguay. He continued his form in the knockouts but missed the finals due to suspension. However, France lifted the title and it was the best moment of his career.
The defender then went on to win the Euro 2000 and was a part of the team of the tournament. Despite being criticised for his speed, he proved his mettle and became a reliable player for France in the back line. He scored 16 goals for France in 97 appearances.
Laurent Blanc had a torrid time in Barcelona. His one year stint was marred with injuries and suspensions. He had a disappointing season in 1997 which forced him to leave the club.
The defender did not have a good start to his international career too. In 1994, he gave in to criticisms and retired from international football. The manager of French football team had to convince Blanc to change his mind as he was an integral part of the side.
Blanc bid goodbye to his playing career on the 1st of July, 2003 after winning the Premier League with Manchester United. Post retirement, he has taken up the role of managing a football team. He has had short stints with Bordeaux, PSG and the French national team.