Christophe Berra

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Christophe Berra
ChristopheBerraIps.jpg
Berra playing for Ipswich Town in 2015
Personal information
Full name Christophe Didier Berra[1]
Date of birth (1985-01-31) 31 January 1985 (age 32)[1]
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[2]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
2002–2003 Heart of Midlothian
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2009 Heart of Midlothian 123 (4)
2009–2013 Wolverhampton Wanderers 141 (0)
2013–2017 Ipswich Town 174 (14)
2017– Heart of Midlothian 0 (0)
National team
2005–2006 Scotland U21[3] 5 (0)
2007 Scotland B 1 (0)
2008– Scotland 36 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:05, 23 May 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Christophe Didier Berra (born 31 January 1985) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a defender. Berra will rejoin Heart of Midlothian in July 2017, having signed a pre-contract agreement.[4]

Berra began his professional career with Heart of Midlothian in his home city of Edinburgh, playing 146 times for them before he moved to England in 2009 in a £2.5 million transfer to Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was part of their promotion to the Premier League months later and played in the top flight with the team for three seasons before relegation. His contract was not renewed in 2013, after which he signed for Ipswich Town. Berra made 174 league appearances in four years with Ipswich.

Berra has also played international football for Scotland. He made his full international debut in 2008.

Club career[edit]

Heart of Midlothian[edit]

Berra joined Heart of Midlothian on 26 April 2002 from their youth development system.[5] He is one in a long line of young defenders, particularly central defenders, to have progressed through the Hearts youth system,[6] including Paul Ritchie and Alan McLaren.

After impressive performances in the youth and Under-21 teams, Berra made his first team debut on 30 November 2003 as a substitute in a 2–1 defeat at Dundee United. He made only a handful of further appearances during the remainder of the 2003–04 season, but continued his development over the following campaigns, becoming an important member of the first team squad.

He scored in a 2–0 victory against Kilmarnock[7] in season 2005–06 which aided the Tynecastle club's push towards UEFA Champions League qualification. That season also saw him gain a Scottish Cup winner's medal after being a non-playing substitute in the 2006 Scottish Cup Final win against Gretna.

In July 2006, Berra signed a five-year deal with Hearts, before going on to play in the club's European ties in Champions League qualifiers and the UEFA Cup during a season that saw the club finish fourth. The following season, he became the youngest captain in the SPL[8] after the departure of the previous Hearts captain Craig Gordon to Sunderland in August 2007.

Wolverhampton Wanderers[edit]

Berra won international recognition at the end of the 2007–08 season and, during the close season, his growing reputation attracted the attention of Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers. They made a reported £1.5 million bid to sign him,[9] but it was not considered as Hearts were without a manager at the time. Wolves returned with an improved offer – reportedly £2million – on 27 January 2009, but it was again rejected.[10] However, he eventually signed for Wolves for an undisclosed fee – believed to be around £2.5m[11] – in a four-and-a-half-year deal on transfer deadline day.[11] He made his club debut on 7 February 2009 in a 1–2 defeat at Coventry.[12]

Berra helped Wolves complete the season at the top of the Championship and so enter Premier League. He went on to play regularly during their three seasons in the top division, being partnered at centre back by a collection of players including Jody Craddock, Richard Stearman and Roger Johnson.[13] After three seasons Berra was a mainstay of the Wolves team that finished bottom of the 2011–12 Premier League and so were relegated back to the Championship.

Following relegation, Berra had a transfer request accepted by Wolves.[13] but this did not lead to any move away from the club and he remained part of the first team during the season. Then-Wolves manager Ståle Solbakken stated that Berra's game had improved and stated that he hoped the club could agree a new contract with Berra.[14] However, Solbakken was soon fired and Berra dropped out of first team contention under Dean Saunders. At the end of the campaign, which again saw the team relegated, it was announced that Berra would leave the club.[15] In total he made 154 appearances for the club, without scoring.

Ipswich Town[edit]

Berra signed for Ipswich Town, managed by his former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, in July 2013.[16] Ipswich finished 9th in the Championship in his first season.[17] Berra formed a defensive partnership with Tommy Smith. He scored five league goals in the 2013–14 season, which was the third highest total by an Ipswich player. Berra won the Ipswich Town Supporters Player of the Season award for the 2013–14 season.[citation needed] He signed a three-year contract with Ipswich in September 2014.[18]

Berra continued to play regularly for Ipswich until the 2016–17 season. Ipswich had an option to extend his contract for another year, but they decided not to exercise this after Berra said he wished to return to Scotland.[19] On May 23rd 2017 Berra signed a pre-contract with his former team Heart Of Midlothian FC. Returning after 8 years in England's Championship and Premier League.

International career[edit]

Berra playing for Scotland in 2011

Berra was eligible to play for both Scotland (through his mother) and France (through his father), although having been born and grown up in Scotland, he has always committed to Scotland, and has been capped at different age levels right up to the senior side. He made his senior international debut as a substitute, on 30 May 2008 in a 3–1 defeat against the Czech Republic at the AXA Arena in Prague. Berra made his first start for the national team in the Amsterdam ArenA on 28 March 2009 in the match against the Netherlands.[20]

Berra scored his first goal for Scotland on 25 May 2011 against Wales in the 2011 Nations Cup.[21]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of matches played 7 May 2017
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Heart of Midlothian 2003–04[22] Scottish Premier League 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
2004–05[23] Scottish Premier League 12 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 14 0
2005–06[24] Scottish Premier League 12 1 2 0 2 0 16 1
2006–07[25] Scottish Premier League 35 1 1 0 2 0 6[a] 0 44 1
2007–08[26] Scottish Premier League 35 2 2 0 4 1 41 3
2008–09[27] Scottish Premier League 23 0 1 0 1 0 25 0
Total 123 4 7 0 10 1 6 0 146 5
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2008–09[27] Championship 15 0 15 0
2009–10[28] Premier League 32 0 2 0 2 0 36 0
2010–11[29] Premier League 32 0 2 0 2 0 36 0
2011–12[30] Premier League 32 0 2 0 1 0 35 0
2012–13[31] Championship 30 0 1 0 1 0 32 0
Total 141 0 7 0 6 0 154 0
Ipswich Town 2013–14[32] Championship 42 5 2 0 1 0 45 5
2014–15[33] Championship 45 6 2 0 1 0 2[b] 0 50 6
2015–16[34] Championship 43 1 0 0 1 0 44 1
2016–17[35] Championship 44 2 2 0 0 0 46 2
Total 174 14 6 0 3 0 2 0 185 14
Career total 438 18 20 0 19 1 8 0 485 19
  1. ^ Four appearances in UEFA Champions League, two in UEFA Cup
  2. ^ Appearances in Championship play-offs

International[edit]

As of match played 22 March 2017[36]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Scotland 2008 3 0
2009 3 0
2010 3 0
2011 9 1
2012 8 1
2013 2 0
2015 3 1
2016 3 0
2017 2 0
Total 36 3

International goals[edit]

As of match played 22 March 2017. Scotland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Berra goal.[36]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 25 May 2011 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland 12  Wales 3–1 3–1 2011 Nations Cup [21]
2 29 February 2012 Bonifika Stadium, Koper, Slovenia 19  Slovenia 1–1 1–1 Friendly [37]
3 25 March 2015 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland 29  Northern Ireland 1–0 1–0 Friendly [38]

Honours[edit]

Heart of Midlothian

Wolverhampton Wanderers

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 9781845966010. 
  2. ^ "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Christophe Berra". www.fitbastats.com. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "BERRA'S BACK". Heart of Midlothian. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Young guns take first steps at Tynecastle". The Scotsman. 18 June 2002. 
  6. ^ "Hearts' vision can spur on other clubs". The Scotsman. UK. Retrieved 30 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Hearts 2–0 Kilmarnock". BBC Sport. 15 April 2006. 
  8. ^ "Berra becomes new Hearts captain". BBC Sport. 10 August 2007. 
  9. ^ "Wolves make bid to capture Berra". BBC Sport. 2 June 2008. 
  10. ^ "Hearts reject Wolves' Berra bid". BBC Sport. 27 January 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Berra completes Wolves transfer". BBC Sport. 2 February 2009. 
  12. ^ "Coventry 2–1 Wolves". BBC Sport. 7 February 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "Wolves make Christophe Berra available for transfer". BBC Sport. 3 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Wolves in talks to extend Christophe Berra deal". Shropshire Star. 18 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Wolves make contract decisions on three". Express & Star. 5 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Christophe Berra: Ipswich Town sign Scotland defender". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ipswich Town 2008–09 football league championship statistics". Statto. Statto. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Ipswich Town: Christophe Berra signs new three-year contract". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  19. ^ "Christophe Berra: Defender leaving Ipswich Town to move closer to Scotland". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "McCormack & Berra start for Scots". BBC Sport. 28 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  21. ^ a b "Wales 1–3 Scotland". BBC Sport. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  25. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  28. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  29. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  31. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  32. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  33. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  34. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  35. ^ "Games played by Christophe Berra in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  36. ^ a b "Berra, Christophe". National Football Teams. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  37. ^ Campbell, Andy (29 February 2012). "Slovenia 1–1 Scotland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  38. ^ Wilson, Richard (25 March 2015). "Scotland 1–0 Northern Ireland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  39. ^ "Hearts 1–1 Gretna (4–2 on pens)". BBC Sport. 13 May 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 

External links[edit]