Player Profile: Laurent Blanc
Laurent Blanc was born in Ales in Languedoc-Roussillon and spent the first years of his football career playing for Montpellier before he left for Napoli in 1991. He returned to his homeland the following season, however, when he joined forces with Nimes Olympique where he notched up 29 league outings during the 1992–93 campaign.
Laurent Blanc eventually furthered his soccer career by first moving to Saint Etienne and then Auxerre, enjoying great success at both clubs. As his fame spread, the talented and versatile defender was signed by Barcelona for a transfer fee of £4 million at the start of the 1996–1997 season. After a comparatively short spell at the Nou Camp, Blanc was then brought to Olympique de Marseille by manager Rolland Courbis for an estimated transfer fee of £2 million in August 1997. The Frenchman later appeared for Serie A side Inter Milan before he finally signed with reigning league champions Manchester United in the summer of 2001. While with Manchester United, the seasoned campaigner clocked up 48 league appearances for The Reds and went on to win the English Premier League in 2002-03. A dedicated and committed performer, Blanc made his international senior debut for his native France in a goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland at Dalymount Park in February 1989. The massive centre half proceeded to play 97 matches for his country and he was a member of the legendary French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. Following a highly successful managerial stint with Bordeaux, Blanc was appointed coach of the French national team in 2010.