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Marcel Desailly Profile

Accra, Ghana
Marseille, AC Milan, Chelsea

1968: Born Accra, Ghana, on September 7.

1986: Begins professional career with French club Nantes, making the first of 164 appearances for the club in 3-0 win over Bordeaux.

1992: Moves south to join Marseille.

1993: Plays talismanic role as Marseille win the Champions League, becoming the first French team to conquer Europe. Switches to Italy to join AC Milan, becoming a fans favourite in four seasons at the San Siro. Makes France debut in 1-1 draw against Sweden on August 22.

1994: Milan win Serie A title, European Super Cup and Champions League in Desailly’s first season.

1996: Milan win Serie A again.

1998: July - A member of France's World Cup-winning side. Desailly confirms himself as a world-class talent with a series of magnificent displays in central defence.

Joins Chelsea two days after the Paris final, for a fee of £4.6million, and immediately reaffirms his position amongst the top echelon of European football, earning the nickname ‘The Rock’ at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea win European Super Cup.

2000: After guiding Chelsea to FA Cup final success, Desailly is an ever-present in the French team which wins the European Championship. Chelsea win Charity Shield.

2001: Helps France to victory in Confederations Cup. October - One of the six stars to opt out of Chelsea's UEFA Cup tie in Israel, although the Frenchman insists his absence is down to a toe injury.

2002: March 18 - Desailly says in France Football that he will retire in two years.

2003: Again skippers France to Confederations Cup victory, as ‘Les Bleus’ successfully defend their title.

2004: Plays just 15 league matches as Chelsea finish second in the Premiership, with injury plus the form of William Gallas and John Terry preventing him playing a full role. Sent off in Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal, and also collects two-game ban from UEFA after being found guilty of hitting Fernando Morientes in Chelsea’s semi-final defeat.

Plays just one match at Euro 2004, France’s 2-2 draw against Croatia, as Jacques Santini’s team bow out in the quarter-finals with 1-0 defeat by eventual champions Greece.

July 4 - Announces retirement from international football.

July 6 - Chelsea announce that Desailly has left the club by mutual consent, a year before the end of his contract.