Digard playing for Middlesbrough in 2008
|Full name||Didier Frédéric Digard|
|Date of birth||12 July 1986|
|Place of birth||Gisors, France|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|2010–2011||→ Nice (loan)||12||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 November 2015.
Digard started his career with Le Havre and spent eight years at the club. On 29 April 2004, Digard made his debut for the club in a 1–0 win over Dijon and in his first season, he made 15 league appearances. In his second season, Digard scored his first goal against Dijon in a 2–1 win on 31 March 2006. In the next game on 7 April 2006, Digard scored his second goal against Grenoble Foot in a 4–1 win. In his third season, Digard scored his third goal in a 2–0 win over Tours on 12 January 2007. He played over 70 league games for the club.
In June 2007, he was strongly linked with a move from Le Havre to the Premier League with Aston Villa, Reading and West Ham United interested. However, he eventually opted to stay in France, and signed a three-year deal with Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain on 3 July 2007 for a transfer fee of €2.5 million. Digard made his debut for PSG in their opening match, a draw against Sochaux on 4 August 2007. His time at Paris Saint-Germain was frustrating due to little playing time and limited first team opportunities. Digard voiced his frustration over his delayed move to Boro and blamed the clubs board's "incompetence" for the delay. This resulted in his suspension by PSG.
On 4 July 2008, he signed for Middlesbrough on a four-year contract after the club agreed a €5 million (£4 million and 85k per week.) deal with PSG. Boro had targeted him since June 2008. In the process of signing with Middlesbrough, Digard rejected overtures from Portsmouth and Monaco. Later in the season, Digard insisted he had no regrets about his move to Middlesbrough and that he had settled at Middlesbrough.
He made his Middlesbrough debut during the first fixture of the 2008–09 Premier League season replacing Tuncay Şanlı in the 72nd minute in the 2–1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium. He made his first contribution of note in the 86th minute of the same game, when his wayward shot turned into an assist when it was deflected goalwards by Mido, a goal which turned out to be the winner.
After another substitute appearance in the 2–1 away defeat to Liverpool, Digard once again came off the bench in the 2–1 home win against Stoke City. Once again, a mishit shot from Digard turned into an assist, with the ball falling to Tuncay to score the winner. On 17 January 2009, Digard was sent off against West Bromwich Albion for a tackle on Borja Valero. In a match again Wigan on 21 February 2009 which resulted 0–0 draw, Digard was involved in a challenge by Lee Cattermole and was stretchered off midway through the first half suffering an injury to his medial ligaments in his right knee as well as a rupture to the quadriceps muscle in his left leg. Following the three-month injury lay-off, Digard returned to the team squad as an unused substitute in a 0–0 draw against Fulham on 18 April 2009. On 26 April 2009, Digard returned to action, coming on a substitute for Tony McMahon after 73 minutes in a 2–0 loss against Arsenal. At the end of the season, Middlesbrough were relegated to the Championship after 11 successive years in the Premier League.
Digard joined French Ligue 1 club Nice on loan for six months in January 2010, having been limited to 34 appearances for Middlesbrough due to a series of injuries. On 16 January 2010, Digard made his debut for Nice in a 1–0 loss against Montpellier. On 30 January 2010, Digard scored his first goal in a 3–2 loss against Monaco. It was his first goal since 2007.
Upon returning to Middlesbrough in the summer, he was told by manager Gordon Strachan that he was surplus to requirements and should seek a move elsewhere. He rejoined Nice on loan in August 2010 for the rest of the 2010–11 season with a view to making the move permanent. Having featured regularly throughout the campaign, a deal was agreed between both clubs, and Digard completed his permanent transfer in July 2011 for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract. Digard expressed his hope to get his career back on track at Nice following difficult experiences at Paris St Germain and Middlesbrough and to return to the France national side. "Didier will play in front of the defence," said manager Éric Roy, "this is a pivotal position in modern football and he has all the qualities to do so." At Nice, Digard was made captain in his first season.
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2011 and 31/07/2011" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
- "French battle to keep starlet". Sky Sports. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- "Paris a convaincu Digard" (in French). football365.fr. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
- "PSG suspend Digard". Sky Sports. 3 August 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Digard completes Boro move". Sky Sports. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- Prem: Digard on Boro – Setanta Sports
- "Digard – No regrets". Sky Sports. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Middlesbrough 5–1 Yeovil". BBC Sport. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
- "Boro suffer Digard blow". Sky Sports. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Didier Digard prêté à Nice" (in French). OGC Nice. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
- "Middlesbrough's Didier Digard completes Nice loan move". BBC Sport. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- Wilson, Scott (9 January 2010). "Digard makes Nice move". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Middlesbrough trio set for departure – Gordon Strachan". BBC Sport. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Didier Digard prêté à Nice". OGC Nice. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Boro Braced For Brisk Business". Middlesbrough F.C. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Nice: Digard va signer". L'Équipe (in French). 10 July 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Didier Digard: "Faire partie du projet"". OGC Nice. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Didier Digard makes switch from Middlesbrough to Nice". BBC Sport. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Digard looking to bounce back". Sky Sports. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Flop Digard swaps Teeside for Nice as Middlesbrough cut £3m loss on Frenchman". Daily Mail. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "El Real Betis firma a Didier Digard para las tres próximas temporadas" [Real Betis signs Didier Digard for the next three seasons] (in Spanish). Betis' official website. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
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