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Jérémy Toulalan (born 10 September 1983 in Nantesmarker) is a Frenchmarker footballer who currently plays for Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1. He also plays for the France national football team. His usual position is as a defensive midfielder, but he can also be utilized as a central defender. He is best known for his shy and humble demeanor, simple distribution, good technique and effective tackling.


Early career

Toulalan is a product of the FC Nantes youth academy, making his first-team debut during the 2001-2002 season against Rennes coming on as a substitute in a 3–1 win.That was his only appearance that season. Over the next two seasons, his participation with the first-team was heavily limited. It wasn't until the 2004–05 season where he established himself as a strong midfielder. During this season, he also scored his only goal to date in a 2–0 win over Strasbourg. Due to his performances, he was elected to Ligue 1's Team of the Year. However, despite Toulalan's impressive performances, Nantes finished one spot short of relegation in 17th. He proceeded to have another solid season in 2005–06 before opting to move elsewhere.

Olympique Lyonnais

Following the 2004–05 season, then three-time Ligue 1 champions Olympique Lyonnais were highly interested in Toulalan offering as much as 10 million for the player's services, however they were rebuff by Nantes. After the 2005–06 season, the departures of Mahamadou Diarra to Real Madrid and Jérémy Clément to Rangers saw Lyon increase their efforts to sign Toulalan, who they considered a perfect replacement for the Malianmarker star. After a week of negotiations, on May 17, 2006, Nantes agreed to a fee of 7 million, while Toulalan agreed to a four-year deal making him Lyon's first summer signing that season.Due to the number 17, the number he wore at Nantes, being retired by Lyon in respect of Marc-Vivien Foé, Toulalan was given the number 28 shirt.

He made his competitive debut for Lyon, against Nantes, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–1 win.He was a key component of Lyon's squad that help capture their six straight league title forming partnerships with the Brazilianmarker Juninho, the Swedemarker Kim Källström, and the Portuguesemarker midfielder Tiago Mendes.

For his performances during the 2007–08 season, Toulalan was among four nominated for the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award, despite playing in the defensive midfielder role. The award went to his teammate Karim Benzema. His performances also haven't gone unnoticed by other clubs. He has been heavily linked with Englishmarker sides Arsenal and Chelsea who both believe the player would be a perfect replacement for already departed Patrick Vieira and Claude Makélélé, respectively.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has sent fellow Frenchman and Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi to France on numerous occasions to scout the player.However, Toulalan has made it clear that he is happy at Lyon and, on March 7, 2008, verified his statement by signing a contract extension, which will keep him at the club until 2013.

International career

Toulalan has been a France international since 2000, when he was first called up to the France U-17 squad. He has also played for the France U-18 squad. Toulalan was a member of the French squad that participated in the 2006 UEFA U-21 Championship helping France reach the semi-finals before losing to the Netherlands. He was named in the Team of the Tournament as a left winger in order to accommodate central midfielders Ismaïl Aissati and France teammate Rio Antonio Mavuba who were also in that selection.

He received his first call-up to the senior side in 2006 for a Euro 2008 qualification match against the Faroe Islands. He started the match playing the full 90 minutes as France cruised to a 5–0 win.Due to his performances with Lyon and with the national team, he was named to the 23-man squad that participated in UEFA Euro 2008.Despite France not living up to expectations, Toulalan was one of a few French players who started all three group stage matches.

Toulalan has since become a regular selection of Raymond Domenech for the national team, supplanting Rio Mavuba, Alou Diarra, and Lassana Diarra as the eventual successor to Claude Makélélé. Domenech has said on many occasions that he believes Toulalan is the ideal replacement for Patrick Vieira when he retires from the national side.



  1. A Great Player - Toulalan: Shy, humble and dorky
  2. Nantes v. Rennes Match Report
  3. Jeremy Toulalan signe à Lyon
  4. Nantes v. Lyon Match Report
  5. Chelsea chase Jeremy Toulalan
  6. Toulalan sparks Wenger and Scolari interest
  7. Toulalan prolonge à Lyon, Benzema et Ben Arfa devraient suivre
  8. France v. Faroe Islands Match Report
  9. France squad for Euro 2008
  10. Toulalan won´t shy away from replacing Vieira

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