Blaise Matuidi: Player Profile

PSG’s Midfield Engine

Personal information
Full name: Blaise Matuidi
Date of birth: 9 April 1987
Age: 26
Place of birth: Toulouse, France
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Club information
Current club: Paris Saint-Germain
Number: 14

Youth career 
1993–1998: US Fontenay-sous-Bois
1998–2001: CO Vincennois
2000–2003: INF Clairefontaine
2001–2004: Créteil
2004–2005: Troyes

Senior career 
2004–2007 Troyes 68 Appearances, 4 goals
2007–2011 Saint-Etienne 154 Appearances, 3 goals
2011– Paris Saint-Germain 112 Appearances, 11 goals

National team
2006–2007 France U19 9 Appearances, 0 goals
2006–2009 France U21 25 Appearances, 0 goals
2010– France 20 Appearances, 1 goal

At the start of the Qatari era at Paris Saint-Germain, Matuidi was one of the first players paraded at the Parc des Princes.

It was meant to be the beginning of PSG’s new French spine, helping the Parisians build and grow their French identity.

They only paid €8 million for the midfielder, a sum that now looks like peanuts compared to the €64 million spent on Edinson Cavani last summer, but his impact and progress has now become priceless to the Paris club.

The timing was perfect: He was 24 years old and had played over 100 games in Ligue 1 for Saint-Etienne. He had also made a handful of appearances for France—little did the PSG hierarchy know that Matuidi would quickly become an integral part of its success.

During his second season, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line, Matuidi blossomed into a lung-busting, box-to-box midfielder, and a player that would give his all for as long as he was on the pitch, winning tackles all over the park, finding gaps in the opponents’ midfield, timing his forward runs to perfection for maximum damage.

At Saint-Etienne, he had never managed to score more than two goals in a single season. On his way to lifting Le Championnat with PSG, the Toulouse-born dynamo found the back of the net five times and was often mentioned in the same breath as Ibrahimovic when the awards for player of the year were being handed out.

In the end, he wasn’t quite fashionable enough to win, but his contribution to PSG’s success did not go unnoticed. To PSG supporters, Matuidi is now one of their favourite sons.

The French midfielder was born in Toulouse, to an Angolan father, Faria Rivelino, and French mother from Congolese descent, Elise Rivelino who emigrated to France at a young age.

Matuidi has four other siblings and was raised in a suburb in Paris. He grew an attraction to the sport of football watching Paris Saint-Germain and became an admirer of former PSG attacker Jay-Jay Okocha.

Matuidi began his football career at the age of six playing for hometown club US Fontenay-sous-Bois. After five years at the club, he joined CO Vincennois in nearby Vincennes.

In 1999, he was selected to attend the prestigious Clairefontaine academy. After departing Clairefontaine, Matuidi joined semi-professional club Creteil and spent three years developing in the club's youth academy.

In 2004, he signed with professional club Troyes and made his professional debut in the 2004–05 season. He spent four years in the club youth academy quickly becoming one of the club's most sought after prospects.

Despite an intriguing offer from the two-time defending champions Olympique Lyonnais, Matuidi signed with Troyes, citing the club's training centre as his primary reason. After three seasons with Troyes, Matuidi joined Saint-Etienne.

With Saint-Etienne, he played European football for the first time after participating in the 2008–09 edition of the UEFA Cup.

In the 2009–10 season, he was named first-choice captain under manager Alain Perrin. In July 2011, after four seasons with Saint-Etienne, Matuidi transferred to Paris Saint-Germain on a three-year deal.

On 25 July 2011, French club Paris Saint-Germain confirmed that the club had signed Matuidi to a three-year contract as a replacement for the departed Claude Makelele, who retired from the sport.

The transfer fee was undisclosed, but is purported to be in the region of €8 million plus future incentives. Matuidi was presented to the media the same day alongside fellow new signing and international teammate Jeremy Menez and was assigned the number 14 shirt.

He is a former French youth international, having represented his nation at under-19 and under-21 level. In August 2010, he was called up to the senior team for the first time under new manager Laurent Blanc.

He made his international debut in September 2010 in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Matuidi finally signed a new contract just after the end of the January transfer window, keeping him tied up with the French champions until 2018.

Zlatan may be the icing on the delicious cake, but Matuidi is the batter in which the cake is based. Without the well-kneaded Matuidi, PSG wouldn’t have the same drive and desire in midfield.