Christian Lali Karembeu
Defensive Midfielder / Right Back
FC Nantes (1990-95)
UC Sampdoria (1995-97)
Real Madrid CF (1997-2000)
Middlesbrough FC (2000-01)
Olympiacos FC (2001-04)
Servette FC (2004-05)
SC Bastia (2005-06)
France (1992-2002) – 53 caps / 1 goal
FIFA World Cup: 1998
FIFA Confederations Cup: 2001
UEFA European Championship: 2000
UEFA Champions League: 1998 & 2000
European/South American Cup: 1998
French League: 1995
Greek League: 2002 & 2003
Oceania Footballer of the Year: 1995 & 1998
Born on the island of Lifou in New Caledonia, the fifth of 18 children, he demonstrated a special sporting talent at an early age and obtained his first professional contract at the age of 17 after flying halfway across the world for a trial at FC Nantes.
Developed his game at the Stade de la Beaujoire, starting out as a right-back but evolving into a top-class central defensive midfielder alongside Claude Makelele and helping FC Nantes to victory in the 1995 French championship, scoring three goals in 34 appearances.
Won his first cap for France under Gérard Houllier in 1992 and became a regular for Les Bleus by UEFA EURO 1996, helping Aimé Jacquet’s team reach the semi-finals. Two years later he was a FIFA World Cup winner, starting four matches including the final against Brazil.
Joined UC Sampdoria in 1995 and moved on to Real Madrid CF two years later, winning the UEFA Champions League twice in three seasons at the Santiago Bernabéu. Subsequently had one season in England with Middlesbrough FC before joining Olympiacos FC, where he won the Greek title in each of his first two seasons.
Retired from playing in 2006 but maintained a high public profile with his activity in the media and various campaign groups. Since June 2013, he is special advisor at Olympiacos FC.