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Marcel Desailly


Full NameMarcel Desailly Biography, Career Info, Records & Achievements

BornSeptember 7, 1968

Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)

NationalityFrench, Ghanaian

RoleCentre-back / Defensive midfielder


Marcel Desailly is a retired professional footballer who belongs to Ghana. He was born on 7 September 1968 in Accra, Ghana. He played as a Centre-Back or a Defensive midfielder for the team during his playing career. He was an international footballer and played for the French national team for years.


Desailly’s original name was Odenke Abbey. He changed his name when his mother the head of the French Consulate in Accra who adopted all her children. His family moved to France when he was just four years of age.

He had an elder half-brother, Seth Adonkor, who was also a professional footballer. Following his footsteps, Desailly started his career with FC Nantes and played for them for quite some time. He turned professional in 1986, when he was 18 years of age.


He made his debut at the club level in 1986 for FC Nantes. At the international level, he made his debut in the year 1993, but it took him some years to become a regular member of the team.

Rise to glory

Desailly began rising to prominence in his career very quickly. He had a very successful start with FC Nantes and played for them for six years. As he moved to Olympique de Marseille, he ended up being a part of the squad that won the UEFA Champions League the following year. He won the cup again the next year while playing for AC Milan. In fact, this time, he had scored the final goal himself.

Club Career


Desailly started his career with the club FC Nantes in 1986. He stayed with them for six years. In 1992, he moved to Olympique de Marseille and had a successful stint of just one year there.

The next year, in 1992, he moved to AC Milan and played for them for a fair duration of five years.

In 1998, he moved to the English Club Chelsea where he even captained the side. After playing for them for six years, he moved to Al-Gharafa in 2004 and played for them for just one year. The next year, he moved to Qatar SC and played for them for one year too.

Records and achievements

In 1994, when he won the UEFA Champions League while playing for AC Milan, he became the first player to win the Cup in consecutive seasons while playing for different teams.

He was a part of the French squad that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup. In 2003, he broke the record for the most number of appearances for the French national team.


Desailly was appointed the captain of the French national team in the year 2000 after the retirement of Didier Deschamps. The next year, he led the team to victory in the Confederations Cup.


After his one year at Qatar SC, Desailly retired from professional football. In 2014, he had said that he was willing to coach the Malaysian national team, but didn’t get to do so. He currently resides in Ghana.

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