Christian Karembeu

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This article is about the footballer. For his former wife, see Adriana Karembeu.
Christian Karembeu
Genève Indoors 2014 - 20140114 - Christian Karembeu 2.jpg
Karembeu in 2014.
Personal information
Full name Christian Lali Karembeu
Date of birth (1970-12-03) 3 December 1970 (age 43)
Place of birth Lifou, New Caledonia
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder / Sweeper
Club information
Current team
Olympiacos (Strategic Advisor)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–1995 Nantes 130 (5)
1995–1997 Sampdoria 62 (6)
1997–2000 Real Madrid 51 (1)
2000–2001 Middlesbrough 33 (4)
2001–2004 Olympiacos 88 (5)
2004–2005 Servette 23 (2)
2005–2006 Bastia 18 (1)
Total 425 (24)
National team
1992–2002 France 53 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Christian Karembeu (French pronunciation: ​[kʁistjɑ̃ karɑ̃ˈbø]; born 3 December 1970 in Lifou, New Caledonia) is a retired French international footballer and the current Strategic Advisor of Olympiacos F.C.. He is also part of a Paris-based consortium to expand the A-League with a Pacific Island team.[1]

Early life[edit]

Christian Karembeu was born on 3 December 1970 in Lifou New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the Pacific Islands. At the age of 17, he moved to France on a scholarship to study and play football.[2]

Club career[edit]

During his career Karembeu played for Nantes (1990–95), Sampdoria (1995–97), Real Madrid (1997–2000), Middlesbrough (2000–01), Olympiakos (2001–04), Servette Genève (2004–05), Bastia (2005–06). With Real Madrid, he won the Champions League in 1998 and 2000, starting in the former but remaining on the bench for the latter. He also played for the Real Madrid Veterans against Barcelona in Qatar, on 13 November 2012. He last played midfield for Bastia in the French Ligue 1. He announced his retirement on 13 October 2006, although he added that he would "be having a kickabout from time to time". The France legend also took part in a friendly competition for Kettering Town FC with Gianfranco Zola, Les Ferdinand and Gus Poyet.

International career[edit]

Born in the French territory of New Caledonia, he was a vital player in the French team that won the 1998 World Cup. In Euro 2000, he was on the squad as well but played only one game. He compiled 53 caps in his career, earning his first one on 14 November 1992 against Finland in a 2–1 victory.

Post-retirement career[edit]

On 9 December 2005, Karembeu represented the Oceania Football Confederation at the draw for the 2006 World Cup which took place in Leipzig, Germany.

In May 2006 Karembeu became a scout for English Premiership side Portsmouth Football Club. In 2007, he was appointed as non-executive director of Birmingham International Holdings.[3] He left after 2010 annual general meeting.[4]However, in August 2009, Christian decided to join Arsenal's ever expanding scouting network.[5]

In June 2013, Karembeu was handed an administrative role at Greek club Olympiacos along former South African footballer Pierre Issa.[6]

Commitment[edit]

Christian Karembeu is a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.[7]

Deeply involved in Peace and Sport’s activities, Christian Karembeu visited Haiti in August 2010 with Founder and President of Peace and Sport, Joel Bouzou, to strengthen the role of sport in the country's reconstruction efforts and attract the attention of the international community to urgent needs that prevail there. He went to meet sports instructors and young beneficiaries of the emergency program that the Haitian Olympic Committee has set up in survivor camps.[8]

Personal life[edit]

The great-grandfather of Christian Karembeu, who came from New Caledonia, was one of the hundred islanders taken to Paris and exhibited there as "cannibals" by the French people. Later the "cannibals" were swapped with Germany for some crocodiles.[9]

Karembeu was married to Slovak model Adriana Sklenaříková, whom he met on an aeroplane.[10] The couple split in March 2011 and divorced in December 2012.[11]

Television[edit]

Christian Karembeu is the host of French TV series "Des Iles et des Hommes" (Of Islands and Men), aired on Planete in 2010 and 2011, a travel programme visiting among 6 of the most beautiful islands of the world.

Statistics[edit]

[12]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1990/91 Nantes Division 1 4 0
1991/92 28 0
1992/93 Nantes Atlantique Division 1 35 2
1993/94 29 0
1994/95 34 3
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1995/96 Sampdoria Serie A 32 5
1996/97 30 1
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
1997/98 Real Madrid La Liga 16 0 2 0 - - 5 3 33 3
1998/99 20 0 4 0 - - 6 0 30 0
1999/00 15 0 5 0 - - 5 1 25 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2000/01 Middlesbrough Premier League 33 4
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
2001/02 Olympiacos Alpha Ethniki 24 1
2002/03 22 2
2003/04 22 0
Switzerland League Schweizer Cup League Cup Europe Total
2004/05 Servette 12 0
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
2004/05 Bastia Ligue 1 7 0
Country France 169 5
Italy 62 6
Spain 51 0
England 33 4
Greece 68 3
Switzerland 12 0
Total 395 18
France national team
Year Apps Goals
1992 1 0
1993 0 0
1994 6 0
1995 4 1
1996 13 0
1997 4 0
1998 10 0
1999 4 0
2000 4 0
2001 6 0
2002 1 0
Total 53 1

Honours[edit]

Nantes
Real Madrid
Olympiacos
France
Individual

Titles[edit]

Following the 1998 World Cup, he was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur in 1998[13][14]

References[edit]