Ménez warming up with PSG in 2012
|Full name||Jérémy Ménez|
|Date of birth||7 May 1987|
|Place of birth||Longjumeau, Essonne, France|
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 February 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Jérémy Ménez (French pronunciation: [ʒe.ʁe.mi me.nɛz] ; born 7 May 1987) is a French international footballer who currently plays for Serie A club A.C. Milan and the France national team as a winger. Ménez has been described as an ambidextrous technically skilled playmaker with undeniable pace.
Ménez began his career spending time with various clubs in the Île-de-France region such as the Centre de Formation de Paris and CSF Brétigny. In 2001, he secured a move to Sochaux and spent four years in the club's youth academy. In March 2004, Ménez became the youngest professional football player in the history of Ligue 1 after signing a professional contract and made his professional debut in the 2004–05 season. With Sochaux, he played European football for the first time after participating in the 2004–05 edition of the UEFA Cup. After two seasons at the club, he joined Monaco. At Monaco, Ménez developed into a play-making midfielder under the tutelage of Brazilian manager Ricardo Gomes. After two successful seasons in Monaco, he signed for Serie A club Roma on a four-year contract. With Roma, Ménez featured in the UEFA Champions League for the first time and scored 12 goals in over 100 appearances with the club. In July 2011, after three seasons with Roma, Ménez returned to France signing a three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
Ménez is a former French youth international and has represented his nation at every level for which he was eligible. Prior to playing for the senior team, he played in the under-17 team that won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship. Ménez made his senior international debut in August 2010 in a friendly match against Norway.
Ménez was born on 7 May 1987 in Longjumeau, a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, to a family that was originally from Brittany. As a child, he grew up in Vitry-sur-Seine, not far from his birthplace, and supported hometown club Paris Saint-Germain. Ménez became attracted to football through his father and older brother who were football players themselves. Ménez began his career at local club CA Vitry. After a year at the club, Ménez joined the Centre de Formation de Paris, a youth sporting club designed to cater only to football players under the age of 19. While at C.F.F.P, Ménez developed and honed his technical skills and was placed into the playmaker position by his coaches. After five years at the academy, he departed the club after developing friction with the academy coaches. After leaving CFFP, Ménez joined CSF Brétigny, a local Parisian club that also trained French internationals Patrice Evra and Jimmy Briand. He spent only a year at the club before securing a move to professional club Sochaux in Franche-Comté.
Upon his arrival at Sochaux, Ménez entered the club's youth academy and began attending the sports department's elite high school, Vignes de Seloncourt, with ambitions of becoming an accountant. While in the club's academy, Ménez was adept both on and off the field earning good grades in school. On 24 March 2004, at the age of 16, he signed his first professional contract with Sochaux, agreeing to a three-year deal until June 2007. Upon signing the contract, he became the youngest professional football player in the history of Ligue 1. Ménez was subsequently promoted to the club's senior team and assigned the number 26 shirt by manager Guy Lacombe. Prior to signing his contract, Ménez drew strong interest from English clubs Arsenal and Manchester United. The latter club's manager, Alex Ferguson, was later accused by Sochaux's former president Jean-Claude Plessis of tapping up Ménez. Dassier accused Ferguson of meeting with the player's parents in Paris and offering them financial favors. Manchester United denied the accusations. Ménez traveled to Manchester and visited the team's facilities and Old Trafford, the club's stadium, before deciding to remain in France.
On 7 August 2004, Ménez made his professional debut in the club's opening match of the 2004–05 season against AC Ajaccio. He started the match and played 57 minutes before being substituted for in a 1–0 win. Despite being so young, Ménez was a regular within the team, often rotating between the bench and starting eleven. On 20 November, he scored his first professional goal in a 3–1 victory over Monaco. Two months later, Ménez became the youngest player in league history to score a hat trick after recording one in the team's 4–0 victory over Bordeaux. He scored the goals in a seven-minute span to assure Sochaux of victory. Ménez was a regular during the team's 2004–05 UEFA Cup campaign, appearing in five matches with the club. Sochaux suffered elimination in the Round of 32 at the hands of Greek club Olympiakos. Following the season, Ménez was nominated for the UNFP Young Player of the Year award but lost out to Nantes midfielder Jérémy Toulalan.
For the 2005–06 season, Ménez switched to the number 11 shirt and was given a more prominent role within the team by new manager Dominique Bijotat. He appeared in 31 league matches, fifth-best on the team, and scored three goals. Ménez scored his first goal on 15 October 2005 in a 1–1 draw against Bordeaux. At the beginning of the new year, Ménez scored his final two goals in another 1–1 draw with Nice and a 4–0 victory over Saint-Étienne. Sochaux finished the season in a disappointing 15th position after finishing the four previous seasons in the top ten. This led Ménez to become unsettled and to declare his desire to leave the club. On 8 June 2006, Sochaux chairman Dassier announced that he would consider offers for the player with Ligue 1 clubs Paris Saint-Germain, Bordeaux, Monaco, and English club Arsenal reported to be interested.
On 22 June 2006, Sochaux announced on its website that it had reached an agreement with fellow Ligue 1 club Monaco for the transfer of Ménez. He signed a four-year contract. The transfer fee was undisclosed. Ménez was given the number 10 shirt by manager László Bölöni and inserted into his preferred left-winger position. He made his club debut on 19 August in the team's 1–1 draw with Rennes, appearing as a substitute. On 30 September, Ménez scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 win over Le Mans, netting the game-winner ten minutes from time. Following the firing of Bölöni and the arrival of new manager Ricardo Gomes, Ménez struggled to get consistent playing time and grew frustrated, which led to interest abroad from Manchester United and Liverpool. However, on 11 November, he was re-inserted into the starting lineup and scored the equalizing goal in a 2–2 draw with Lorient. Ménez maintained his form into the new year, but struggled for fitness in February due to a groin injury. The injury required surgery and Ménez missed two months of play. He returned to the team in April and scored goals in three straight matches against Lille, Valenciennes, and Marseille. Ménez finished the 2006–07 campaign by scoring the only goal in a win over the champions Lyon.
Despite summer interest from Premier League clubs, Ménez opted to remain at Monaco. In the 2007–08 campaign, he scored his first goal in the team's 3–0 victory over his former club Sochaux. The following week, he netted again, this time in a 3–1 win over Le Mans. On 15 December, Ménez scored a double in a 3–1 victory against Lens. It was his first multi-goal game since his hat trick three years prior. The following month, Ménez scored both of the team's goal in a 2–0 away win against Metz. On 23 February 2008, he suffered an injury in a league match against Paris-Saint Germain, which led to him leaving the match at half-time. The injury was discovered to be serious and Ménez missed three months before returning for the final two matches of the season making obligatory substitute appearances.
After featuring in Monaco's first three league matches of the season, it was reported on 27 August 2008 that Ménez had signed a four-year contract with Italian club Roma. The transfer fee was priced at €10.5 million with Monaco set to receive another €1.5 million in incentives. Ménez was announced as the replacement for departed wingers Mancini and Ludovic Giuly and selected the number 24 shirt, the former number of club legend Marco Delvecchio. He made his debut for the club on 31 August in the team's league match against Napoli, appearing as a substitute in the 63rd minute. Ménez made his UEFA Champions League debut in the team's group stage match against Bordeaux, playing 51 minutes in a 3–1 victory. On 6 December, he scored his first goal for the club in a 1–0 victory over Chievo. For the majority of the campaign, however, Ménez struggled for consistent playing time, rarely lasting an entire match and often starting on the bench for consecutive matches under Luciano Spalletti. On 24 May 2009, he appeared as a substitute in the 75th minute against Milan. After five minutes on the field, Ménez scored a goal to put Roma up 2–1. The capital club went on to win the match 3–2. The following week, he started the match and scored a goal in a 3–2 win over Torino. He was later substituted out in the 59th minute.
For the 2009–10 season. Ménez switched to the unusual number 94 shirt. He scored against Milan his first goal on 18 October 2009. On 6 January 2010, he drew the ire of new manager Claudio Ranieri and several teammates, who criticized him for his substitute appearance against Cagliari in which he gave a somewhat lackadaisical effort. Following the criticism, Ménez stated: “I touched the lowest point of my career in that game away to Cagliari." and “My teammates were right to criticise me.” On 11 January, Ménez issued an apology to coach Ranieri and his teammates and brushed off rumors of him issuing a transfer request by declaring himself fully committed to the team. On 30 January, midfielder Simone Perrotta stated that Ménez simply needed a confidence boost. After appearing as a substitute for four consecutive matches after the Cagliari match, Ménez made his first start since December 2009 in a league match against Catania on 21 February. He capped the return by assisting on the game-winning goal scored by Mirko Vučinić. Ménez finished the campaign by starting eight of the final ten league matches as Roma finished the season in second place and qualified for the UEFA Champions League.
In the 2010–11 season, Ménez began the season as a starter under Ranieri after his successful end to the previous season. However, despite being a starter, Ranieri continued to undermine Ménez's durability as he consistently substituted the player out in every match he started. On 3 November, Ménez scored his first goal of the campaign in a 3–2 Champions League victory over Swiss club Basel. A week later, he assisted on a Marco Borriello goal in a 3–2 win over Fiorentina. On 13 November, for the first time in the season, Ménez played an entire match after playing in a 1–1 draw with Juventus. In the team's next league match against Udinese, he scored his first league goal and also assisted on a goal in a 2–0 win. After going scoreless in December, on 22 January 2011, Ménez scored the final goal in a 3–0 win over Cagliari. On 16 February, Ménez scored a goal in Roma's first leg of its Champions League first knockout round tie with Ukrainian combatants Shakhtar Donetsk. Five days later, Ranieri resigned from his position as manager and replaced with Vincenzo Montella. Under Montella, Ménez appeared in the manager's first three matches as a substitute. On 13 March, he made his first start under Montella in a league match against Lazio, but was substitute out after 55 minutes. On 23 March, in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe, Ménez admitted that he was frustrated with his playing time under Montella. The frustration reached its zenith when, on 21 April, Ménez and Montella got into an altercation during a morning training session after Montella reportedly "spent a quarter of an hour berating the France international" for his lack of commitment. Later that night, following the team's Coppa Italia tie with Internazionale, while leaving the Stadio Olimpico in his vehicle, Ménez was attacked by stone-throwing "thugs," which resulted in his car windshield being smashed.
On 25 July 2011, French club Paris Saint-Germain confirmed that the club had signed Ménez to a three-year contract. The transfer fee was €8 million plus possible future incentives. Ménez was presented to the media the same day alongside fellow new signing and international teammate Blaise Matuidi and was assigned the number 7 shirt. He made his club debut for the team in its 1–0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls at the Emirates Cup. Ménez made his competitive debut for Paris Saint-Germain on 6 August 2011 in the team's opening 1–0 league defeat to Lorient. The following week, he assisted on the team's opening goal, scored by Kévin Gameiro, in a 1–1 draw with Rennes. On 18 August 2011, in PSG's first leg UEFA Europa League playoff round tie against Luxembourger club Differdange, Ménez scored the final goal for the team in a 4–0 away win. He also assisted on a goal in the victory. Three days later, he again assisted Gameiro for a goal in a 2–1 win over Valenciennes, helping Paris Saint-Germain earn its first league win of the season. On 28 August, Ménez netted his first league goal for the club away to Toulouse; Paris Saint-Germain won the match 3–1.
Under the guidance of coaches Antoine Kombouaré and later Carlo Ancelotti, Ménez enjoyed a strong campaign which saw him deliver seven goals and 12 assists in 33 league appearances for PSG, a career best for him. On 4 December 2011, during a 3-2 home league victory against AJ Auxerre, Ménez scored PSG's 2,000th goal in top flight football.
In the 2012-13 Ligue 1, Ménez was used less prolificly in domestic league matches. With two goals and two assists in five European appearances, however, he has been one of his club's main actors in their Champions League efforts, developing a strong understanding on the pitch with new star striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, another former Serie A player.
Ménez has earned caps with all of France's youth teams. He is a member of the group, commonly known as the Génération 1987, that produced current internationals Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema, and Samir Nasri, alongside himself. Ménez made his youth international debut with the under-16 team on 11 December 2002 in a friendly match against Greece, playing alongside Nasri and Ben Arfa. In the match, Ménez scored the fifth goal of a 6–1 victory. At the 2003 Aegean Cup in Turkey, he scored goals in three consecutive matches. Ménez scored goals against the Ukraine and Israel and netted his final goal in the third-place match against Belgium. At the Tournio de Montaigu, Ménez scored three goals, second-best on the team behind Ben Arfa. He scored a goal in the team's 8–0 win over Gabon in the team's opening group match and, in the following match, scored the opening goal in the team's 3–0 win over Russia. In the team's final group stage match against England, Ménez netted another goal in a 3–1 victory. At a regional tournament in Salerno, Italy, Ménez led the team to the title by scoring a double in the final match against the hosts. He also scored two goals in the group matches against Japan and Finland. Ménez finished the under-16 campaign with 14 appearances and a team-leading 12 goals.
With the under-17 team, Ménez, Ben Arfa, and Nasri were joined by Karim Benzema and tasked with the goal of winning the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship on home soil. Ménez made his debut with the team in the opening match of the season against Sweden. In the Tournio de Val-de-Marne, he scored one goal. France were crowned champions without conceding a goal. At the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, Ménez contributed to the team's winning the competition by scoring two goals, netting one against Turkey in the group stage and a second in the semi-finals against Portugal. In total with the under-17s, he made 17 appearances and scored six goals. Due to increased playing time at his parent club Sochaux, Ménez's stint with the under-18 team was uneventful. Ménez did appear with the team at the 2005 UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup, scoring five goals in four matches as France were crowned champions.
The foursome of Ben Arfa, Nasri, Benzema, and Ménez returned to international play together for under-19 duty. The four were joined by Issiar Dia, Blaise Matuidi, and Serge Gakpé with the objective of winning the 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. In the first round of qualification for the tournament, Ménez went scoreless as France advanced through the round undefeated. In the final round of qualification, he scored a double against Bulgaria in a 4–0 win. However, despite finishing the round undefeated, France were eliminated after being beaten on points by Scotland. Ménez was absent from the under-21 team during his early eligibility term but made his debut on 25 May 2008 in the team's 2–1 friendly match win over the Netherlands. He went months without a call-up before finally returning to the team ahead of the important two-legged playoff against Germany in qualification for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in October 2008. Ménez appeared in both legs as France were defeated 2–1 on aggregate. The 1–0 loss in the second leg eliminated France from the competition and also ended Ménez's under-21 career.
On 5 August 2010, Ménez was called up to the senior team for the first time by new manager Laurent Blanc for the team's friendly match against Norway on 11 August 2010. He made his international debut in the match starting on the right wing as France were defeated 2–1. On 9 February 2011, Ménez assisted on the only goal, scored by Benzema, in the team's 1–0 win over Brazil at the Stade de France. After appearing regularly in qualifying for UEFA Euro 2012, on 29 May 2012, Ménez was named to the squad to participate in the competition. On 5 June, in the team's final warm-up friendly ahead of the European Championship, he scored his first international goal in a 4–0 shutout win over Estonia. At UEFA Euro 2012, Ménez made his debut at a senior international competition on 15 June in the team's second group stage match against Ukraine. In the contest, he started and scored France's opening goal in a 2–0 victory.
- (Correct as of 26 March 2013)
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