Valérien Ismaël

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Valérien Ismaël
Personal information
Date of birth (1975-09-28) 28 September 1975 (age 38)
Place of birth Strasbourg, France
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
1. FC Nürnberg (Manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1998 Strasbourg 87 (1)
1998 Crystal Palace 13 (0)
1998–2002 Lens 83 (5)
2001 Strasbourg (loan) 9 (0)
2002–2004 Strasbourg 26 (2)
2003–2004 Werder Bremen (loan) 32 (4)
2004–2005 Werder Bremen 32 (4)
2005–2007 Bayern Munich 31 (0)
2006–2007 Bayern Munich II 7 (0)
2007–2009 Hannover 96 18 (0)
Total 338 (16)
Teams managed
2011–2013 Hannover 96 II
2013–2014 VfL Wolfsburg II
2014– 1. FC Nürnberg
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Valérien Ismaël (born 28 September 1975) is a retired French footballer and current manager of 1. FC Nürnberg.

Playing career[edit]

At 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) tall, Ismaël is a strong tackler as well as in the air.


Ismaël made his debut for Strasbourg against AS Cannes on 15 January 1994. He went on to make 77 league appearances in his first spell with the club. Additionally he appeared in five UEFA Cup matches, scoring once.

Crystal Palace[edit]

Ismaël became the most expensive player in Crystal Palace history when he signed for £2,750,000, from Strasbourg in January 1998. Despite this he only played 13 games for the London club and was only there for ten months (January–October 1998), before moving back to his native France to Lens.


Ismaël moved to R.C. Lens in October 1998. Here he regained his form after his brief, and expensive, spell in England. He played 83 times, scoring five goals. He also had a short loan spell at his old club Strasbourg during the 2000–01 Division 1 season but could not help them avoid relegation. He return to Lens for the 2001–02 Division 1 season where he was in particularly good form – playing 33 times and scoring on four occasions. However he was sold back to Strasbourg for the following season following their promotion back to the top tier.

Back to Strasbourg[edit]

On moving back to his former club for a third spell, Ismaël was appointed captain. He led the club to a respectable 13th position and attracted interest from Europe because of his composed performances in defence. In his last spell at Strasbourg he made 26 appearances and scored twice. In total he made 167 in all competitions for his home club and scored 7 times.

Werder Bremen[edit]

Ismaël was loaned to Werder Bremen in 2003 where he appeared 32 times, scoring four goals. Bremen went on to win the German double in his first season at the club (2003–04 Bundesliga) He was sold to Werder prior to the following season, where once again he appeared 32 times, scoring four goals. However, Werder could only finish third. He made seven appearances in the UEFA Champions League as well, scoring twice.

Bayern Munich[edit]

Ismaël arrived at FC Bayern Munich in July 2005. He received a red card on his debut for the club, but finished the season winning the German league and cup double for the second time in his career. However, he only featured once in the 2006–07 campaign for the club due to his long term injury and was eventually released to join Hannover 96 in January 2008.[1] He made 31 league appearances for Bayern without scoring and eight Champions league appearances, scoring once against A.C. Milan in a 4–1 loss.

Hannover 96[edit]

Ismaël was brought to the club in order to strengthen the struggling defence and to provide leadership for his new team-mates.[2] His first game for Hannover was against his last club, Bayern. Ismaël played well for 45 minutes and helped his team maintain a 0–0; after he was substituted with a minor injury, Hannover conceded three goals in the second half.[3] After overcoming the injury, he became a key player for the team. Due to further injuries and a bad prognosis for recovery he retired on 5 October 2009. In total he made 18 appearances for Hannover.

International career[edit]

After falling short of playing for Les Bleus, he claimed that he wanted to be capped for the German national football team while playing in the Bundesliga.

It was reported that Togo also wanted to call up Ismaël to their squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, given his wife is Togolese,[4] but the player denied the approach and interest in the offer.[5]

Managerial and coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

On 10 October 2009, Ismaël was named as assistant general manager by Hannover 96. Since 24 June 2010 he is also board member of Hannover 96.[6]

In January 2012, he took over the job of manager of Hannover 96 II.

1. FC Nürnberg[edit]

Ismaël became the new head coach of 1. FC Nürnberg on 5 June 2014.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Valerien Ismael is married to his German wife Karolina. From his first marriage, with an Alsatian, he has a son.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 7 June 2014
Team From To Record
G W D L Win % Ref.
Hannover 96 II 28 November 2011[8] 30 June 2013[8] 45 22 10 13 48.89 [9]
VfL Wolfsburg II 1 July 2013[11] 5 June 2014[7] 36 23 6 7 63.89 [12]
1. FC Nürnberg 5 June 2014[7] Present 0 0 0 0 !
Total 81 45 16 20 55.56



  1. ^ "Valerien Ismael set for Hannover switch". 5 December 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Auf Ismael ruht die Hoffnung" [Hopes are pinned on Ismael] (in German). 17 December 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Luca Toni weltmeisterlich" (in German). 17 February 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Togo want Ismael". BBC Sport. 2 December 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Frenchman denies Togo approach". BBC Sport. 4 December 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ismaël neuer Sportmanager, Moravek neuer Zehner von Hannover 96" (in German). 24 June 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "FCN bestätigt Ismaël als neuen Trainer" (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung. 5 June 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Hannover 96 II » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Hannover 96 II » Dates & results 2011/2012". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Hannover 96 II » Dates & results 2012/2013". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "VfL Wolfsburg II » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "VfL Wolfsburg II » Dates & results 2013/2014". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 

External links[edit]