06 April 2005

Olympique Lyonnais

Prompted by Cisko's previous post on the Champions' League match-up between Lyon and PSV, I was motivated to do two things. The first was to verify the complete names of both teams-- Olympique Lyonnais and Philips Sport Vereniging, which translates to Philips Sports Club. Yes, that Philips.

The second was to spend some time commenting on Lyon. This is a club that's headed to their fourth consecutive Championnat, a remarkable enough feat made more so when you consider the amount of player turnover they've endured during that period. Here's a list of the most notable names that have left Lyon in the past 5 years:

PlayerDeparture YearPositionDeparture Team
Sonny Anderson2003ForwardVillareal
Marc-Vivien Foe2002MidfielderManchester City (on loan)
Edmilson2004DefenderFC Barcelona
Frederic Kanouté2000ForwardTottenham
Steed Malbranque2001MidfielderFulham
Steve Marlet2001ForwardFulham
Vikash Dhorasoo2004MidfielderAC Milan
Giovanni Elber2004ForwardBorrussia Monchengladbach

Obviously, Lyon has been a popular way station for players whose careers are on the rise. Current hot properties plying their trade at Lyon are dynamic midfielder Michael Essien and impressive Brazilian defender Cris. I'd expect some big European clubs to make serious offers for these players during the summer transfer window. The transfer traffic is two-way however, and the year especially Lyon have benefited greatly by resurrecting the careers of two Premiership cast-offs, Junihno and Sylvain Wiltord. The front office and coaching staff at Lyon have certainly done a masterful job of selecting and integrating players, we'll see if they can manage it once again next season.

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