Distin (left) with Louis Saha
|Full name||Sylvain Distin|
|Date of birth||16 December 1977|
|Place of birth||Bagnolet, France|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2001–2002||→ Newcastle United (loan)||28||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of match played 14 December 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Sylvain Distin (born 16 December 1977) is a French footballer who plays for English Premier League side Everton. He is left-footed and plays as a central defender, and is also capable of playing at left-back.
Distin began his career playing for French amateur sides in the CFA, and worked his way up to professional sides Gueugnon and subsequently Paris Saint-Germain. He moved to England in 2001, first joining Newcastle United on a loan move from PSG, before signing a permanent contract with Manchester City, where he spent five seasons. He then spent two years at Portsmouth where he won the FA Cup, before joining Everton in 2009.
He is currently in his thirteenth consecutive season in the Premier League, with over 400 appearances in England's top flight – the most of any foreign outfield player.
Born in Bagnolet, Distin started his career at French non-league side Joué-lès-Tours before moving to Tours a year later, where he played 26 times and scored three goals. He then transferred to Gueugnon of Ligue 2, signing his first professional contract. With Gueugnon he won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2000. His performances for Gueugnon prompted Paris Saint-Germain to sign him, though his time at PSG was short-lived and after a year, Distin went on loan to Newcastle United where he made 35 appearances in all competitions.
Following the loan spell, Newcastle wanted to sign Distin permanently but he instead opted to sign for Manchester City where he could play in his preferred position of central defence, rather than left-back at Newcastle. The transfer fee was £4 million, setting a club record for a defender. Consistent performances in his first Manchester City season resulted in Distin being named the club's Player of the Year for the 2002–03 season. At the start of the 2003–04 season, Distin was named captain of Manchester City following the retirement of Ali Benarbia. In total, Distin played 207 times for Manchester City and scored six goals.
Distin left City at the end of his contract in May 2007, seeking a "fresh challenge", and moved to Portsmouth on a three-year deal. Distin was appointed vice captain by Harry Redknapp and led Portsmouth in Sol Campbell's absences due to injury. At the end of Distin's first season at Fratton Park, he won his first major honour in English football, the 2008 FA Cup.
In August 2009, Everton signed Distin from Portsmouth for a fee of about £5 million on a three-year contract. He was given the number 15 shirt and made his debut in a 2–1 victory over Wigan Athletic. On 17 September 2009 he scored his first goal for Everton in the UEFA Europa League against Greek team AEK Athens. He scored his second goal for Everton in the UEFA Europa League on 16 February 2010 against Sporting CP to give Everton a 2–1 win. Distin was later sent off resulting in Sporting's goal from the penalty spot after a poor touch following an equally poor Jack Rodwell pass. Distin scored his first league goal for the club against Liverpool on 16 January 2011, heading in from a corner at the start of the second half. During his 2011–12 season, Distin assisted goalkeeper Tim Howard's 100-yard goal, notable as only the fourth goal from a keeper in the history of the Premier League.
On 14 April 2012, he made a rare mistake in the FA Cup semi-final when a poor back pass gifted Luis Suárez the equalising goal for Merseyside rivals Liverpool. Everton went on to lose the game 2–1, and Distin took to Twitter to apologise to the Everton fans. However, he was named Everton's players' player of the year at the end of season awards ceremony, and then agreed a one-year contract extension to stay at the club for the 2012–13 season.
On 24 January 2013, Distin signed a new one-year contract with Everton, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2014. On 23 February, he made his 400th Premier League appearance against Norwich City at Carrow Road. A few weeks later he made his 402nd appearance – more than any other foreign outfield player.
In addition to France, Distin is also eligible to play for the non-FIFA affiliated nation of Guadeloupe as his father was born in Guadeloupe. Distin was approached to play in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup by the Guadeloupean Federation but rejected the advances as he didn't feel it would be beneficial for his pre-season routine with Everton.
In March 2013, Distin made his 402nd English Premier League appearance, the most of any foreign outfield player, but he has received no international call-ups. Despite this, Distin stated that he has no regrets over his career.
- As of match played 14 December 2013.
|Paris Saint-Germain||2000–01||Division 1||28||0||1||0||1||0||10||0||40||0|
|Newcastle United||2001–02||Premier League||28||0||5||0||2||0||0||0||35||0|
|Manchester City total||178||5||16||1||7||0||5||0||206||6|
- Doesn't include 2008 FA Community Shield appearance.
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 171. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
- "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "Sylvain Distin". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 28 December 2006.
- "Distin confirms City exit". Sky Sports. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- "Distin signs Portsmouth contract". BBC Sport. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- Lovejoy, Joe (18 May 2008). "Kanu's goal clinches FA Cup for Portsmouth". The Times (London). Retrieved 30 July 2009.
- Davies, Christopher (14 August 2009). "Paul Hart hands Portsmouth armband to Sylvain Distin in bid to keep defender at Fratton Park". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Everton Seal Distin Deal". Everton F.C. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- "Everton 4 – 0 AEK Athens". BBC Sport. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- "Twitter post". 14 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- "Distin Wins Players' Player". Everton F.C. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Everton defender Sylvain Distin signs one-year contract". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Sylvain Distin: Everton defender signs one-year contract". BBC Sport. 24 January 2013.
- "Everton FC defender Sylvain Distin has no international regrets Read more: Liverpool Daily Post Everton FC defender Sylvain Distin has no international regrets". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "Le Cameroun gagne pour Marc-Vivien Foé (3–1)". fff.fr. 11 November 2003. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- "Distin turned down Guadeloupe". ESPN. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- "Sylvain Distin Career Stats". Soccerbase. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- Sylvain Distin – UEFA competition record
- Sylvain Distin career stats at Soccerbase
- Premier League profile
- Sylvain Distin Profile at EvertonFC.com