Marcel Desailly Bio

IMAGE TAKEN FROM : The French Football Federation
FULL NAMEMarcel Desailly
BORNSeptember 7, 1968
HEIGHT1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
NATIONALITYFrench, Ghanaian
ROLECentre-back / Defensive midfielder

Marcel Desailly is a Ghanaian player who retired from professional football. He was born in Accra, Ghana, on September 7, 1968. During his playing career, he was a centre-back or a defensive midfielder for the squad. He was a former international footballer who spent several years with the French national team.


Odenke Abbey was Desailly’s original name. When his mother, the chief of the French Consulate in Accra, adopted all of her children, he changed his name. When he was four years old, his family relocated to France.

Seth Adonkor, his older half-brother, was also a professional footballer. Desailly followed in his father’s footsteps and began his career with FC Nantes, where he remained for a long period. He began his professional career when he was 18 years old, in 1986.


FC Nantes was his first club, and he made his debut in 1986. He made his international debut in 1993, although it took him a few years to establish himself as a regular part of the team.

Rise to glory

Desailly rose fast through the ranks of his profession. He had a long and successful career at FC Nantes, where he spent six years. After transferring to Olympique de Marseille, he became a member of the team that won the UEFA Champions League the following season. The next year, while playing for AC Milan, he won the cup once more. In reality, he had scored the game’s winning goal this time.

Club Career

Desailly began his professional career in 1986 with FC Nantes. He spent six years with them. He went to Olympique de Marseille in 1992 and enjoyed a great one-year tenure there.

He went to AC Milan the next year, in 1992, and played for them for five years.

He transferred to the English club Chelsea in 1998, where he led the team. He transferred to Al-Gharafa in 2004 after six years with them and only played for them for one year. He transferred to Qatar SC the next year and played for them for a year.

Records and achievements

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

He was a member of the French team that won the FIFA World Cup in 1998. He set a new record for the most appearances for the French national team in 2003.


Following Didier Deschamps’ retirement in 2000, Desailly was named captain of the French national team. The next year, he guided the squad to Confederations Cup glory.


Desailly withdrew from professional football after a year with Qatar SC. He stated in 2014 that he would be willing to coach the Malaysian national team, but he was not given the opportunity. Currently, he is based in Ghana.

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