Mathieu Flamini
Arsenal M. Flamini 002.png
Personal information
Full name Mathieu Flamini
Date of birth 7 March 1984 (1984-03-07) (age 36)
Place of birth    Marseille, Flag of France France
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Flag of ? Free agent
Youth clubs
2001-2003 Flag of France Marseille
Senior clubs
Years Club App (Gls)
2003-2004
2004-2008
2008-2013
2013-2016
Flag of France Marseille
Flag of England Arsenal
Flag of Italy Milan
Flag of England Arsenal
014 00(0)
102 00(7)
096 00(7)
066 00(3)   
National team
2004-2005
2007-2008
Flag of France France U-21
Flag of France France
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Mathieu Flamini (born 7 March 1984) is a French footballer who plays for Premier League club Arsenal as a midfielder.

Club career

Marseille

Flamini was a youth team player for his local professional club Marseille. He made his debut for the senior team on 20 December 2003 in the 1–0 victory over Toulouse FC. He impressed the team as a hardworking midfield player and played 14 times for the club. However, it was his performances in Marseille’s UEFA Cup campaign that brought him to the attention of the football world, including the semi-final victory over Newcastle United. He played in the final in Gothenburg which Valencia won 2–0. Due to his age, Marseille was unable to offer him a long term professional contract.

Arsenal

On 23 July 2004, Flamini signed a professional contract for English Premier League team Arsenal, rejecting Marseille's long-term senior contract offer to which he had already verbally agreed. Soon after the incident, Marseille manager José Anigo stated, "This is a beautiful treason. He used me."

Flamini made his Arsenal début in the 4–1 win at Everton on 15 August 2004. He was used as a utility player starting 9 games but being used as a substitute in 12. The following season saw him filling in for a number of injured players, but unable to command a first team place in his favoured position. He scored his first Arsenal goal on 11 May 2005 in a 7–0 home win against Everton scoring the seventh goal, that was Arsenal's last ever goal scored in their original Red and White kit at Highbury.

In the 2006–07 season, Flamini scored the winning goal against Dinamo Zagreb in the qualifying stages of the Champions League. He also scored important goals against Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, and Liverpool in the Premiership. However, despite these important goals, he remained unsatisfied with his "utility player" role at the club and in April 2007, he admitted that he would probably be leaving Arsenal in the summer. However, Flamini turned down a proposed £3m move to Birmingham City and remained with the team.

Flamini started in central midfield for Arsenal's first match of the 2007–08 Premier League season, due to the absence of Gilberto Silva and Abou Diaby. During Arsenal's 2007–08 campaign, he struck up a strong partnership with Cesc Fàbregas, keeping Gilberto out of the starting XI with displays widely regarded by Arsenal fans as a vast improvement on those during his previous years at the club. Flamini enjoyed a generally good rapport with Arsenal's fans, who provided him with his own song, an adaptation of the theme tune to British television programme The Sweeney. On 29 January 2008, he scored an extraordinary 25-yard (23 m) strike in Arsenal's 3–0 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League. He played on 8 April 2008, a UEFA Champions League match in which Arsenal were knocked out by English rival Liverpool F.C. After the match, he was reported injured and it proved to be his last match for Arsenal. In April 2009, he stated in an interview that he is still an Arsenal fan and that he has no hard feelings towards the club, "Arsenal are in my heart and they will be in my heart for ever," he said. "I will always be an Arsenal fan and leaving was not easy."

Milan

Flamini signed a contract with A.C. Milan on May 5, 2008. Flamini wore the number 84 on his shirt to represent his year of birth.

He made his Serie A debut on 30 August 2008 in a 2–1 loss to Bologna. Initially, Flamini did not enjoy the number of starts or appearances for the Italian team, and was regarded as a utility player at Milan. Nevertheless, injuries to other players and his consistent good form helped him to cement a starting place at San Siro. With Milan failing to find a stable defence and a lack of a fit, consistent, and reliable right back, Gianluca Zambrotta was switched to the left flank to help Flamini develop as a tenacious right back. After stating that his preferred position is in the midfield, Milan re-deployed him as a defensive midfielder.

Flamini saw limited playing time towards the end of 2009–10 season due to the great form of club captain Massimo Ambrosini. In the following season, Flamini became an important asset of the team that would win the 18th scudetto, playing many games as starter, and scoring two goals, against Bari and Bologna, respectively. After playing as a rotation role in the 2010–11 season he injured himself in a pre-season training session, suffering a serious knee injury which required an operation. Flamini spent the entire 2011–12 season out.

On 20 June 2012, It was confirmed by the club that he had left following the expiration of his contract, as they had ended negotiations with the player, and so he became a free agent. Two weeks later Flamini and Adriano Galliani reached a new agreement for a one-year contract, with the Frenchman taking a significant cut in his wages. On 7 April 2013, Flamini scored his first goal of the season, and Milan's second goal in a 2–2 draw against Fiorentina.

Return to Arsenal

Flamini began training with Arsenal midway in early August, reportedly, solely to maintain his fitness with a view to signing for a club in England. Immediately it sparked media attention with claims rising that he would soon sign for Arsenal but these reports were shunned by many journalist by pointing out that many other ex Arsenal players had returned to train with Arsenal including Robert Pires and Thierry Henry.

Flamini then signed for Arsenal on 29 August 2013 and became Arsenal's second signing of the summer. He made his returning debut on 1 September 2013 at the Emirates Stadium against Tottenham Hotspur coming on for Jack Wilshere, helping the team secure a 1–0 win. His performances after signing were lauded by both critics and fans alike, and he has featured in all of Arsenal's League, Cup and European games since, with many seeing his signing, and his combative style of play, as one of the key reasons for Arsenal's excellent early season form. He scored his first goal in his second spell at Arsenal on November 30, 2013, scoring the second goal away against Cardiff City in a 3-0 win.

Clubs

Arsenal

Milan

External links

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