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William Gallas

William Eric Gallas (; born 17 August 1977) is a French people association football who plays for Tottenham Hotspur F.C.. Gallas began William Gallas career in France, before being signed by English club Chelsea F.C. in 2001. William Gallas transferred to rivals Arsenal F.C. as part of an exchange deal in 2006. While William Gallas career has been marked by both individual and team successes – including Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 – William Gallas has also encountered controversy as a consequence of William Gallas on-field behaviour and friction with other personnel. In 2007, William Gallas was named Arsenal's captain, but was removed from the role during the 2008-09 in English football after criticising teammates in a media interview. Gallas left Arsenal at the end of the 2009-10 in English football, when William Gallas contract expired.

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William Gallas biography


William Eric Gallas (; born 17 August 1977) is a French people association football who plays for Tottenham Hotspur F.C.. Gallas began William Gallas career in France, before being signed by English club Chelsea F.C. in 2001. William Gallas transferred to rivals Arsenal F.C. as part of an exchange deal in 2006. While William Gallas career has been marked by both individual and team successes – including Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 – William Gallas has also encountered controversy as a consequence of William Gallas on-field behaviour and friction with other personnel. In 2007, William Gallas was named Arsenal's captain, but was removed from the role during the 2008-09 in English football after criticising teammates in a media interview. Gallas left Arsenal at the end of the 2009-10 in English football, when William Gallas contract expired.

Background

Gallas was born in Asnières-sur-Seine. William Gallas is the cousin of fellow footballer Ludovic Quistin and of Mathieu Bastareaud, a French rugby union centre playing for Stade Français.

Club career

Early career

A graduate of the French Football academy at Clairefontaine, Gallas started William Gallas professional career at second division SM Caen, helping them to promotion as champions in 1996. William Gallas was subsequently transferred to Olympique de Marseille in 1997. Gallas spent four seasons at Marseille, where William Gallas played alongside Robert Pirès among others. William Gallas made William Gallas debut in the UEFA Champions League playing for Marseille, and William Gallas also played against Chelsea F.C. in that competition in 2000.

Caen

1995–1997, Gallas was sent to Caen which was to be the start of William Gallas career in football.

Chelsea

Then Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri bought Gallas from Marseille in May 2001 for £6.2 million. William Gallas chose the number 13 shirt because it was William Gallas postcode back where William Gallas lived in Marseille (Marseille is in the Bouches du Rhône département of France where all addresses begin with a 13). Under Ranieri, Gallas developed centre-back partnerships with Marcel Desailly and later with John Terry; William Gallas partnership with Terry included a run of 16 games without conceding a single goal. William Gallas also played at right-back at times. It was with Chelsea and under Ranieri where Gallas obtained William Gallas first international cap (sport).

Gallas was part of Chelsea's team which won back-to-back Premier League titles and a Football League Cup under Ranieri's successor José Mourinho. The Blues also made the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League that year, but were knocked out by Liverpool 1–0 in controversial circumstances Gallas cleared the ball after it was adjuged to have crossed the line. Due to a serious injury to left-back Wayne Bridge in 2004–05 in English football Gallas was forced to play out of position. Despite the purchase of Asier del Horno from Athletic Bilbao for £8 million in the 2005 close season, Gallas found himself often playing on the left, a situation William Gallas got increasingly frustrated with. However Gallas scored some vital goals as Chelsea retained their title in the 2005-06 in English football season at Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Liverpool F.C. and Manchester United F.C..

Gallas's contract with Chelsea was due to expire in May 2007. William Gallas refused to sign a new contract with Chelsea on improved terms after saying the club did not offer William Gallas enough money and expressed a wish to play in Serie A, with Juventus F.C. and A.C. Milan both interested. Chelsea however did not agree to a transfer request by the player in May 2006, as they considered Gallas an important first team member.

After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Gallas refused to turn up at Chelsea's crowded ranks of defenders at Stamford Bridge, so Chelsea signed Netherlands national football team centre back Khalid Boulahrouz, though in William Gallas single season at Chelsea, Boulahrouz would play almost exclusively as a fullback.

On 1 September 2006, Gallas transferred to Arsenal as part of a deal that brought Ashley Cole to Chelsea and Arsenal also received the sum of £5 million. After the transfer, Chelsea issued a statement that Gallas threatened to deliberately score own goals if William Gallas was not allowed to leave Chelsea. Gallas rejected Chelsea's claim and accused the West Londoners of "lacking class" and "hiding behind false accusations." Claudio Ranieri, the former Chelsea manager who signed Gallas from Marseille, said of the allegations: "I cannot believe these stories. It is absolutely incredible. I signed William and William Gallas was always a good professional on the pitch. Of course, I don't know what has happened in the last two years." Among the Chelsea faithful, Gallas's departure turned William Gallas almost instantly from a hero into an object of hatred. Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor (football) declared that the whole episode has left a "bad taste in the mouth" and that Chelsea's statement should be taken "with a large pinch of salt."

Arsenal

2006–07 season

Gallas signed a four-year contract with Arsenal, where William Gallas took the number 10 shirt vacated by the recently-retired Dennis Bergkamp. In an October 2006 interview with the official team magazine, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger explained William Gallas decision to hand William Gallas the squad number 10 (traditionally a forward's number), "Number three was uncomfortable for William Gallas and I had given the rest of the numbers out. In the end I thought it might be a good idea to give the number ten to a defender, because a striker would suffer a lot with the comparison with Dennis. At first I was reluctant to give Dennis's number out, and especially to a defender, but overall I think it's better that way."

Gallas made William Gallas full debut for the Gunners at left-back in the team's 1–1 home draw against Middlesbrough F.C. on 9 September 2006 and scored William Gallas first goal against Sheffield United F.C. on 23 September 2006.

2007–08 season

Gallas was confirmed as Arsenal captain on 9 August 2007, with Kolo Touré, serving as vice-captain. This caused some controversy as Gilberto Silva was expected to receive the captain's arm band. Many people have questioned Wenger for this decision. William Gallas first competitive game as Arsenal captain was on 12 August 2007 against Fulham F.C., which ended in a 2–1 victory for Arsenal. Gallas suffered a groin injury in the game against Blackburn on 19 August, but returned to play for Arsenal in their 2–0 victory over Bolton Wanderers F.C. on 20 October. In the traditional Arsenal F.C. vs Manchester United F.C. clash at the Emirates Stadium on 3 November, William Gallas scored a last minute goal to give the Gunners a draw.

On 24 November 2007, Gallas scored against Wigan Athletic F.C. when Bacary Sagna crossed in and Gallas fired a header through the arms of Wigan's goalkeeper Mike Pollitt to open the deadlock.

On 16 December 2007 Gallas scored against William Gallas old club Chelsea F.C., which was to be the only goal in the match to secure 3 points for Arsenal. Gallas later reflected on William Gallas goal against former club Chelsea, claiming that "When Cesc sent the corner in for my goal, I saw Petr Čech come off William Gallas line and to be honest I was sure William Gallas would catch it. So I was surprised when William Gallas didn't take it, and it was just a reflex reaction to head it into the goal. I just happened to be there at the right time".

Gallas attracted some criticism as a result of William Gallas actions in a 2–2 draw against Birmingham City F.C. on 23 February 2008—a game in which William Gallas teammate Eduardo da Silva had William Gallas leg broken following a challenge by Martin Taylor (footballer born 1979). When Gaël Clichy of Arsenal conceded a penalty in injury time at the end of the second half, Gallas walked into the Birmingham half, apparently in protest. William Gallas stood there as Birmingham striker James McFadden converted the penalty. William Gallas then had to be restrained as William Gallas appeared to confront the crowd in fury. After the final whistle, Gallas sat down on the pitch as the rest of the players left the field before being consoled by manager Arsène Wenger.

Gallas also scored for Arsenal against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium in a 2–3 win on 29 March 2008, starting the comeback which 10-man Arsenal ultimately completed.

Amid speculation that Gallas would be replaced as club captain following William Gallas behaviour during the Birmingham City game, Wenger said that William Gallas would consider the matter at the end of the season.

2008–09 season

In August 2008, it was announced that Gallas would remain the club's captain for the 2008–2009 season. In the 2008–09 season, Gallas proved especially prolific in the UEFA Champions League. William Gallas scored 6 Goal (sport) in Arsenal's campaign, including two against FC Twente and an equalizer against Dynamo Kiev as well as a header against Tottenham Hotspur.

On 29 October 2008, William Gallas scored William Gallas first league goal of the season against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium, scoring Arsenal's second goal in an incredible 4–4 draw.

On 8 November 2008, in a 2–1 victory over Manchester United, William Gallas received praise for William Gallas display whilst playing alongside former United defender Mikaël Silvestre. It was claimed William Gallas outshone United defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić.

In November, Gallas gave an interview to the Associated Press in which William Gallas revealed tensions within the squad which were disruptive to team morale, and suggested that Arsenal's younger players needed to show more courage if they were to be successful. William Gallas was dropped from the squad for the next match, against Manchester City F.C., and was reported to have been fined two weeks' wages. Reports that William Gallas had been stripped of the captaincy permanently were confirmed by Arsenal on 24 November; William Gallas was succeeded by Cesc Fàbregas. Wenger confirmed that Gallas still had a future with the club, contrary to media speculation, and Gallas played in the following day's Champions League match.

On 17 March 2009, Gallas scored the winner in a 2–1 win against Hull City A.F.C. in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.

On 10 April 2009, it was confirmed that Gallas would miss the remainder of the season after damaging the medial ligament in William Gallas right knee during the UEFA Champions League 2008-09 quarter-final first leg tie against Villareal CF. The match finished 1–1 with Gallas only lasting 43 minutes of the first half.

2009–10 season

Despite enduring a below-par season, William Gallas started the 2009–10 campaign in fine form, scoring 3 goals in William Gallas first 3 games. William Gallas formed a partnership with Belgian centre back Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal's only major summer signing, and the pair scored 7 goals between them in their first eight league games. On 22 August, in the first home game of the season, William Gallas scored a bizarre goal against Portsmouth F.C.; Vermaelen had attempted to score a slide-in from a corner kick but Gallas accidentally flicked the ball onto William Gallas face and it bounced into the net.

On 17 February, Gallas started William Gallas 100th league game for Arsenal in the 2–0 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (stadium). Gallas suffered an injury hit second half of the season and did not play for over two months, William Gallas was surprisingly included in the starting line up against FC Barcelona only to get stretchered off before halftime with a recurrence of the injury, It proved to be William Gallas last game for Arsenal. After talks over a new contract failed Gallas left the club over the summer as a free agent having made a total of 142 appearances and scoring 17 goals for the club.

On 28 April, Arsene Wenger announced that talks about Gallas' future will only go until end of May and that if an agreement was not reached by then, William Gallas would most likely leave the club. Public statements made by Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood suggested that the club felt that the contractual demands made by Gallas were unreasonable and not made in good faith. It was reported that such demands included an £80,000 a week pay cheque over a two year period.

Tottenham Hotspur

2010–11 season

On the 20 August 2010 Tottenham Hotspur F.C. manager Harry Redknapp confirmed that William Gallas was set to join the club and described the move as a "no-brainer". The transfer was confirmed on 22 August, with Gallas signing a one-year contract at White Hart Lane. According to Tottenham's club historian, the move meant that Gallas would become the first player to have appeared for Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham (Clive Allen played for Tottenham and Chelsea and had a spell with Arsenal early in William Gallas career, but did not make an appearance for them). After training with William Gallas new team for the first time, Gallas stated that William Gallas believed that Spurs have the potential to win the Premier League.

Gallas made William Gallas Spurs first-team debut on 11 September in a 1–1 draw away at West Bromwich Albion. On 20 November, as a result of injuries to regular captains Ledley King and Michael Dawson (footballer), Gallas captained Tottenham for the first time against William Gallas former club Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a famous 3–2 Tottenham victory, Spurs' first league victory at Arsenal since 1993. On 2 February 2011, Gallas partnered Sebastien Bassong at the back against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in their 1-0 midweek victory. Gallas continued to impress for Tottenham into 2011; in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages William Gallas put in two commanding performances against A.C. Milan to set up a quarter-final tie against Real Madrid in the club's first attempt in the competition.

Despite a season of frequent changes in defence for Tottenham due to a host of injuries to William Gallas fellow defenders, Gallas performed strongly throughout William Gallas first season with the club and was rewarded with a two year contract extension in March 2011, which will keep William Gallas at the club until the end of the 2012–13 season.

In William Gallas debut season at Tottenham, William Gallas made 36 appearances in all competitions.

International career

Gallas was a part of the France U-18 European Championship winning side. William Gallas also played for the France U-20 team in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship along with fellow Frenchmen Willy Sagnol and Thierry Henry.

William Gallas is now a regular member for France national football team, having formed Raymond Domenech first-choice Defender_(football) Centre_back partnership with Lilian Thuram during the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2008. William Gallas made William Gallas full France debut in a 5–0 victory over Slovenia national football team in a 2004 UEFA European Football Championship qualifier on 12 October 2002, and was a member of the squad for the tournament's finals. William Gallas was in the 2003 Confederations Cup winning side, and more recently William Gallas was a member of the squad that reached the 2006 World Cup final. Following the World Cup, William Gallas criticised the Portugal national football team team for diving, saying that when the French faced them in the semi-finals they needed to look out for their unfair style of play.

Gallas won William Gallas 50th cap for France in the 3–1 win against Italy national football team on 6 September 2006 at the Stade de France in a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying.

Gallas is still eligible to represent Guadeloupe national football team internationally as well, as they are not FIFA affiliated. William Gallas cousin, Ludovic Quistin, has represented Guadeloupe.

On 30 May 2010, William Gallas scored the equalizer against Tunisia national football team in the 63rd minute in a friendly match.

On 6 June 2011, aged 33 and with 84 caps to William Gallas name and 5 goals William Gallas announced William Gallas retirement from international football with immediate effect after William Gallas was again ignored by France national football team coach Laurent Blanc.

International goals


Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gallas

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