|Birth Day:||September 7, 1968|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He was born Odenke Abbey, which his mother changed to Marcel upon her marriage to a French diplomat.
Marcel Desailly was born as Odenke Abbey on 7 September 1968 in Accra, Ghana, the son of Ghanaian parents. He had his name changed when his mother married the head of the French Consulate in Accra, who adopted all of her children (the former professional footballer Seth Adonkor, seven years his elder, was a half-brother of his). The family relocated to France when Desailly was four years old. Following Adonkor's lead, he began his career at FC Nantes. There, as part of the famed FC Nantes youth programme, he played alongside a young Didier Deschamps, who was a very good central back, who became his closest friend. Desailly turned professional in 1986, two years after his half-brother had died in a car accident. In 1992, he moved to Olympique de Marseille, where he reunited with Deschamps, and won the UEFA Champions League the following year. In 1994, while playing for A.C. Milan, he again won the Cup (scoring in the final himself), being the first player to win the Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs. During his time in Milan he won two Italian league titles, in 1994 and 1996. Although he preferred to be deployed as a sweeper or central defender, roles which he played during his time in France, he found much success playing as a defensive midfielder for Milan, alongside Demetrio Albertini, due to the presence of several other established central defenders at the club, such as Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Filippo Galli.
Desailly then moved to the English club Chelsea in 1998 for £4.6m, where he captained the side and played sweeper and centre-back until the end of the 2003–04 season. It was at Chelsea that Desailly formed a formidable partnership with Frank Leboeuf.
He was an important part of the French team which won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, albeit being sent off in the final match. Like other team members, he was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1998.
He picked up one major trophy in his six seasons with Chelsea, being on the winning side in their FA Cup triumph over Aston Villa in 2000.
Two years later success continued, as France won Euro 2000. After the tournament, Desailly was made captain of the national team, following the retirement of Didier Deschamps. In 2001, he led France to victory in the Confederations Cup.
Desailly has often said that he feels totally French and while having ties with Ghana, never even considered playing for a country other than France. During an interview in Ghana, he stated that he did not have much choice about which country to play for as he was already established in the French national youth football team. This stance was restated in his autobiography, published in 2002. He made his international debut in 1993, but was not established as a first choice defender until 1996.
Desailly's autobiography, Capitaine, was published in France by Stock in 2002.
In April 2003, Desailly surpassed the record for the number of appearances for the French team, a number which eventually reached 116 when he announced his retirement from international football following 2004 UEFA European Football Championship. However, that record was broken during the 2006 FIFA World Cup by Lilian Thuram.
A mobile video game entitled Marcel Desailly Pro Soccer, developed by Gameloft was released for mobile phones in 2003.
Desailly was snapped up by Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa in 2004. He was appointed as the club captain and under the French coach Bruno Metsu they won the Qatar League in 2005. He then joined Qatar S.C., leading them to second place in the league before retiring from professional football.
Nicknamed "The Rock", due to his consistency, strength, and hard-tackling playing style, Desailly is considered one of the most accomplished players of his generation, and one of the finest French defenders ever, who stood out for his charismatic leadership and ability to organise his team's back-line and break down opposition plays throughout his career. A quick, hard-working, tenacious, and powerful player, who excelled in the air and at anticipating his opponents, he combined his aggression, stamina, and ability to read the game, as well as his physical, mental, and defensive skills, with a notable confidence and good technique on the ball, which also allowed him to play in the midfield throughout his career; indeed, after moving to Milan, although he initially started out playing as a centre-back or sweeper, and occasionally even as a full back, he was later deployed as a defensive midfielder, a position in which he also excelled, successfully filling the void left by the departure of Frank Rijkaard due his ball-winning abilities and capacity to start attacking plays after winning back possession. In addition to his defensive skills, he was also capable of contributing to his team's offensive plays with goals by making attacking runs into the box. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 as one of the world's greatest living players.
In 2010 Desailly joined the ITV Sport team for their World Cup coverage from South Africa.
In 2014, Desailly had met the Football Association of Malaysia and said he was ready and willing to coach the Malaysia national football team. He also pointed that it is now up to the football association whether to hire him or not.
Currently, Marcel Desailly is 53 years, 8 months and 13 days old. Marcel Desailly will celebrate 54th birthday on a Wednesday 7th of September 2022.
Find out about Marcel Desailly birthday activities in timeline view here.