Marcel Desailly (1968)
Marcel Desailly (September 7, 1968) is a former defender from France. The Rock is particularly known for his time with AC Milan, Chelsea and Olympique Marseille. With the latter association, he won the very first edition of the Champions League in 1993.
Desailly was born Odenke Abbey in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Because Desailly's mother married the French consul Marcel Louis Desailly, little Odenke ended up in France and was given the name he now bears. Desailly ended up in Nantes, where he played football for the local FC. In 1986 he made his debut in the first of FC Nantes and after six years the French top club Olympique Marseille took him over.
In the southern French port city, the defender only played one year, but in that year he won the Champions League. The AC Milan of Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten was defeated in the final. This happened by a narrow 1-0 victory. Defender Basile Boli made the only goal in the 43rd minute.
AC Milan turned out to be so impressed with the defender that they immediately brought him to the Italian fashion city the following season. Here too Desailly was very successful. In his debut year, he immediately took the national title, Champions League and European Supercup. After the 116-time international took the world title with France in 1998, he transferred to England. Chelsea brought the experienced stopper to London for about seven million euros.
Desailly also immediately won a prize in England in his debut season, once again adding the European Supercup to his palmares. In the four years that followed, Desailly only won prizes in 2000. The Charity Shield and the FA Cup with Chelsea and the European title with France.
In 2004 Desailly decides to phase out in Qatar. Via Al-Gharafa and Qatar SC, the lumpy decker hung up on his shoes in November 2005. Nowadays Desailly is working as an ambassador for OrphanAid Africa.
(Photo: ANP – Paul Vreeker)
The video below shows that Desailly still feels strongly connected with his native country Ghana: