Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

Laurent Blanc

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Football player, born in Arles, SE France. He began his career as a defender with Montpellier in 1983, and made his international debut for France against Ireland in 1989. He joined Italian club Napoli for a season (1991–2), before returning to France where he played successively for Nimes, St Etienne, and Auxerre. In 1996 he had a successful spell with Barcelona, and then moved to Olympique Marseille (1997). He was influential in the 1998 World Cup finals in France, scoring the crucial extra time winner for France against Paraguay in the second round, but missed his country's triumph in the final due to suspension. In 2001 he joined Manchester United.

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