Gignac with Toulouse in 2008
|Full name||André-Pierre Gignac|
|Date of birth||5 December 1985|
|Place of birth||Martigues, France|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2005–2006||→ Pau (loan)||18||(8)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 March 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
André-Pierre Gignac (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃dʁe pjɛʁ ʒiɲak]; born 5 December 1985) is a French professional football player who currently plays for French club Marseille in Ligue 1. He primarily plays as a striker whose influence can extend out to the wings. Gignac is described as a "powerful and dangerous" striker who is known for his "aerial presence". He is known personally by teammates and friends as simply Dédé.
Of Algerian and Romani heritage, Gignac began his career in his home region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur playing for local club Fos and Martigues. In 2002, he ventured to the Brittany region to join professional club Lorient. He starred for the club for two seasons, which included a loan stint at amateur club Pau. In 2007, he joined Toulouse, amid controversial circumstances. After early struggles, Gignac reached prominence during the 2008–09 season becoming the league's top scorer netting 24 goals. After a sub-par 2009–10 season with Toulouse, in August 2010, Gignac joined the defending champions Marseille on a five-year contract. He is the cousin of Grenoble defender Jacques Abardonado and Saint-Étienne winger Yohan Mollo.
Gignac is a France international and made his debut with the team in April 2009 against Lithuania as a result of his good form with Toulouse. He scored his first international goal five months later against the Faroe Islands. Gignac made his first major international appearance for his country at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He played in all three matches the team contested.
Gignac was born in the city of Martigues in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in the south of France to a French father and a French mother of Algerian origin. He is married and has a son, also named André-Pierre. In an interview with French football magazine So Foot, Gignac revealed he is of Romani descent, but considers himself to be an adopted Manouche stating, "I grew up with them, my wife is Manouche, so my son is automatically Manouche. My family live in caravans and work in the markets. When I am given clothes, I pass them on to my mother-in-law so she can sell them. Sometimes I go with her and stand behind the stall."
Gignac is often mocked by opposing fans for his sturdy physique with the chant "A Big Mac for Gignac". Even fast food giants Burger King include his name to promote their new campaign to sell Whoppers by changing the lyrics to "A Whopper for Gignac".
Gignac began his career with local club ES Fos-sur-Mer. He spent five years at the club before joining hometown club FC Martigues. After almost seven years at the club, Gignac was rejected after being informed he needed to bulked up. He, subsequently, moved over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) to the Brittany region to join the youth academy of professional club FC Lorient. After developing in the club's academy for two seasons, Gignac was promoted to the club's senior team for the 2004–05 Ligue 2 season by manager Christian Gourcuff.
Gignac made his professional debut with Lorient on 13 August 2004 coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute with the score tied 1–1 against Châteauroux. Within seconds of coming on, he scored the winning goal giving Lorient a 2–1 victory. An elated Gignac later stated after scoring the game-winning goal that he "thought he was Ronaldo". In subsequent matches, Gignac was minor presence within the team featuring primarily as a substitute. Gignac scored his only other goal in the season against Stade Reims in a 4–1 victory on 29 October. The following week, he made his first professional start in a 2–1 defeat to Le Mans playing 70 minutes.
The following season, Lorient achieved promotion to Ligue 1, though without Gignac's services as he was loaned out to Championnat National club Pau during the winter transfer period. Prior to the loan, Gignac had appeared in only one match for the club in the season. At Pau, Gignac featured as a starter for the first time in his career. He appeared in 20 league matches for the club and scored eight goals. Notable appearances with the team included a double in a victory over Toulon and a hat-trick against Châtellerault. The week before the match against Châtellerault, Gignac scored the equalizing goal against Romorantin in a 1–1 draw.
Gignac's newfound confidence saw the player return to Lorient senior team for the 2006–07 Ligue 1 season where he was inserted as starter. He began the season, initially, as a substitute appearing as a replacement in the first three league matches. In the team's fourth league match against Bretagne rivals Nantes, Gignac started the match and repaid coach Gourcuff by converting a hat-trick in 27 minutes in a 3–1 victory. On 4 November 2006, he scored the game-winning goal away to Marseille and, in December, scored goals in back-to-back matches against Sedan and Auxerre. Gignac finished the campaign with 37 appearances in the league and nine goals, which was a club best.
At the end of the season, on 25 June 2007, it was announced that Gignac had signed a four-year deal with Toulouse. However, it was revealed soon after that Lorient had accepted a €4.5 million bid from Lille and that the player had already agreed to a pre-contract with the Northern side, putting his move to Toulouse in jeopardy. Despite this, Toulouse trumped Lille's offer by offering the player more than double the salary he had been offered by Lille. The clubs entered a war of words with Toulouse questioning the legitimacy of Lille's agreement while Gignac and Lille questioned the ethics and tactics of Toulouse. Eventually, Gignac's move to Toulouse was validated.
Gignac made his competitive debut for Toulouse in the first leg of the club's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round match against Liverpool, coming on as a substitute in the 65th minute. Toulouse lost the match 1–0 and conceded the two-legged tie 5–0 on aggregate, thus being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League. On 4 October 2007, after coming on as a substitute for Elmander, Gignac scored a last-minute goal against Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia to cancel out Claudinei's opening goal from the penalty spot and enable Toulouse to progress to the group stages of the UEFA Cup on the away goals rule. Despite the hype, both Gignac and Toulouse had disappointing 2007–08 seasons with Gignac appearing in 28 matches and scoring only two goals. Toulouse finished the season in 17th place, just one place above the relegation zone. Some media outlets attributed Gignac's struggle for form to him playing second fiddle to Swedish striker Johan Elmander. Gignac also struggled with weight problems during the season.
In the 2008–09 season, Gignac's form blossomed as he became first-choice striker due to the departure of Johan Elmander to Bolton Wanderers. He scored his first goal of the season in just the second match against Le Havre with an 88th minute strike to seal a 2–1 victory. Over the course of the season, Gignac scored several vital goals for his club notably braces against Sochaux, Grenoble, Saint-Étienne, Marseille, and Nice twice, including his final two goals of the season. He overtook Elmander (Toulouse's top scorer last year with 11 goals) during the 19th match. For his efforts, he was awarded the UNFP Player of the Month award twice for September and March, nominated for the Ligue 1 Player of the Year Award, which was won by Yoann Gourcuff, selected to the Ligue 1 Team of the Year, and received the league's top scorer award.
Gignac switched to the number 10 shirt for the 2009–10 season and, on 14 August 2009, signed a one-year contract extension tying him to Toulouse until 2013. The extension signaled an end to rumors of a move during the fall transfer window, where the player had been linked with moves to fellow Ligue 1 club Lyon, Premier League clubs Arsenal and Manchester United, and Serie A clubs Juventus and Milan.
Gignac scored his first goal of the season on 15 August 2009 in a 3–1 victory over Saint-Étienne. Five days later, he scored a brace in the first leg of the club's playoff round match against Turkish club Trabzonspor. The 3–1 result in the first leg was enough for Toulouse to reach the group stage of the competition where Gignac struck again, this time against Belgian club Brugge in a 2–2 draw. After going scoreless for seven weeks in the league, on 24 October, Gignac bagged the second goal in the club's 2–0 away win over Lens. Two weeks later, Gignac netted the game-winning goal against Rennes. Two months later, he scored both goals in another 2–0 victory, this time against Sochaux. On 16 January 2010, Gignac provided the assists on all three goals scored by the club in its 3–1 win over Valenciennes. Despite being injured for the majority of the spring campaign, Gignac finished the season as the club's top scorer.
On 20 August 2010, prior to the start of the press conference for new signing Loïc Rémy, Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier confirmed that the club had reached a tentative agreement with Toulouse for the transfer of Gignac. Gignac underwent a medical the following day and signed a five-year contract. The transfer fee was undisclosed, but was reported to be within the region of €16–18 million. Gignac was assigned the number 10 shirt and made his club debut on 29 August 2010 in a league match against Bordeaux. He scored his first goal for the club two months later in a 1–1 draw with Saint-Étienne. On 3 November, Gignac scored a hat-trick in the 7–0 away win against Slovak club MŠK Žilina in a Champions League group stage match.
Gignac endured a rough patch for the majority of the fall season, which led to criticism from local media, club supporters, and former club players, most notably Jean-Pierre Papin who stated Gignac's game had "become too predictable". Gignac admitted that the criticism was justified and stated that "you will see the real Gignac in 2011". Following the winter break, Gignac attempted to live up to his declaration by scoring in the team's first league match in a 2–1 win over Bordeaux. Three days later, he scored the second goal in a 2–0 victory over Auxerre in the Coupe de la Ligue. The win sent Marseille to the competition's final match. On 5 February, he scored a goal in a win over Arles-Avignon and, in the following week, scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over Sochaux.
According to Fulham manager Martin Jol, Gignac was set to sign for Fulham on 31 August 2011, but his club Marseille pulled the plug on the deal at 11PM on Transfer Deadline Day. On 26 November 2011, Gignac was relegated to Marseille's reserve squad. Gignac regained his position on the first team, and scored in Marseille's first home game of the season, the first in a 2-0 win over Sochaux. He then scored a crucial game winner in a 1-0 away victory over league champions Montpellier HSC. Gignac scored two first half goals against PSG in Le Classique on 7 October, to secure a draw for the home side and to retain the league lead.
Gignac received his first international call-up for France for World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania. He missed the first match due to injury, but was fit enough to earn his first cap on 1 April 2009 coming on as a substitute in the 69th minute and providing the assist to Franck Ribéry's goal in the 1–0 victory. On 12 August 2009, Gignac scored France's lone goal after 42 minutes against last-place Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier in Tórshavn. On 10 October 2009, he scored a brace in a five-minute span, again against the Faroe Islands, in France's 5–0 thrashing of the Faroes in the return leg in Guingamp. Four days later, Gignac struck again against Austria scoring the final goal in France's 3–1 victory after appearing as a substitute for Thierry Henry in the second half.
On 11 May 2010, Gignac was named to Domenech's 30-man preliminary squad to participate in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was later named in the 23-man team to compete in the competition, and was handed the number 11 shirt for the tournament. On 11 June 2010, Gignac made his FIFA World Cup debut in the team's opening group stage match against Uruguay appearing as a substitute in the second half, replacing Sidney Govou in the 85th minute. The match ended in a 0–0 stalemate. Gignac appeared in the final two group stage matches, which included a start against the hosts South Africa. France lost the match 2–1, which resulted in the team's elimination from the competition.
- As of 14 March 2014
|Club||Season||League||Cup[nb 1]||Europe[nb 2]||Total|
- As of 22 June 2010.
|1||12 August 2009||Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||Faroe Islands||
||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||10 October 2009||Stade du Roudourou, Guingamp, France||Faroe Islands||
||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4||14 October 2009||Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France||Austria||
||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
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