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Colombia and Ivory Coast match at the FIFA World Cup 2014-06-19 (15).jpg
Gervinho playing for Ivory Coast against Colombia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Gervais Yao Kouassi
Date of birth (1987-05-27) 27 May 1987 (age 28)
Place of birth Anyama, Ivory Coast
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 27
Youth career
1998–2002 ASEC Mimosas
2002–2004 Toumodi
2004–2005 Beveren
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Beveren 61 (14)
2007–2009 Le Mans 59 (8)
2009–2011 Lille 67 (28)
2011–2013 Arsenal 46 (9)
2013– Roma 57 (11)
National team
Ivory Coast U21
2007– Ivory Coast 71 (20)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 June 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 June 2015

Gervais Yao Kouassi (born 27 May 1987 in Anyama), better known as Gervinho, is an Ivorian footballer who plays as a forward for Roma and the Ivory Coast national team.

Gervinho began his career at ASEC Abidjan and Toumodi F.C., before moving to Belgium in 2004 to play for the now-defunct Beveren. Between 2007 and 2011, he played in the French Ligue 1, initially at Le Mans and then at Lille. He was sold to Arsenal in 2011, and moved to Roma in 2013.

He has made 71 appearances for the Ivorian national team, scoring 20 goals.

Club career

Early career

Gervinho was born in Anyama, Ivory Coast.[2] He began his career in the famed ASEC Abidjan youth academy, where he spent five years. At ASEC Abidjan, he was given the Brazilian Portuguese style nickname "Gervinho", derived from his first name Gervais, by the Brazilian coach who trained ASEC Abidjan.[3][4]

Following this, he moved to Ivorian Deuxieme Division Zone Four side Toumodi F.C., where he turned professional.[4]


Gervinho played for two seasons at Belgian side Beveren, where he made 61 appearances for the club and scored 14 goals.

Le Mans

At the end of the 2006–07 season Gervinho moved to French Ligue 1 side Le Mans, where he played alongside Ivorian international midfielder Romaric. He scored two goals in his debut season in Ligue 1,[2] with one of them coming against AS Nancy.[5] Gervinho scored 9 times in 59 Ligue 1 appearances over 2 seasons with the French side.


On 21 July 2009, Gervinho joined Lille for a reported fee of about €6 million (8.5 million USD) on a three-year contract.[6] Gervinho scored 13 times in 32 appearances in his debut season for the club.[2] His first goal for Lille came in a 3–2 victory away to US Boulogne on 4 October 2009.[7]

Gervinho had an even more successful second season with Lille. He scored 18 goals in all competitions, 15 in Ligue 1,[8] to help Lille win the Ligue 1 for the first time in 56 years.[9] His side were also crowned Coupe de France champions, with Gervinho scoring a goal in the 2–0 semi-final victory over Nice on 20 April.[10][11] At the end of the season, Gervinho was linked with clubs like Arsenal,[12] Paris Saint-Germain,[13] Atlético Madrid[14] and Newcastle United.[15]



Gervinho playing against Sunderland.

On 12 July 2011 Gervinho completed a transfer from Lille to Arsenal for a fee believed to be around £10.8 million.[16][17][18] Gervinho was given the number 27 shirt, which was last worn by Ivory Coast teammate Emmanuel Eboué who was already on the verge of leaving the club.[19] He made his debut in a pre-season friendly match against 1. FC Köln, in which he scored a brace within the first 15 minutes.[20] He was sent off on his Premier League debut against Newcastle United for slapping Joey Barton. The game finished 0–0.[21] This resulted in a standard three-match ban for violent conduct.[22] Alan Pardew (manager of Newcastle United) accused Gervinho of diving when Cheick Tioté challenged him inside the box.[23] He scored his first league goal in a 4–3 loss to Blackburn Rovers.[24] On 23 October 2011 Gervinho followed this up by contributing to all three goals in Arsenal's 3–1 win over Stoke City, scoring the first and assisting both of Robin van Persie's goals.[25] He then scored his third goal for Arsenal on 3 December 2011, in a 4–0 win at Wigan Athletic, scoring the third goal of the match in a comfortable victory. He scored his fourth goal of his time at Arsenal on 27 December 2011 in the 1–1 draw against Wolves. Gervinho then departed for the Africa Cup of Nations after a 2–1 defeat to Fulham. Gervinho made his return on 18 February 2012 in the FA Cup match against Sunderland which ended in a 2–0 defeat that knocked Arsenal out of the 2011–12 FA Cup.[26]


Gervinho played in three of the first four league games of the season and scored a double in the 6–1 home victory over Southampton on 15 September.[27] Gervinho scored his first Champions League goal of the new season in a 2–1 victory over Ligue 1 champions HSC Montpellier on 18 September.[28]

On 16 March, Gervinho sealed a 2–0 win at Swansea City by scoring his first goal for Arsenal since September.[29] On 30 March, Gervinho scored a goal and assisted two others as Arsenal beat Reading 4–1 and was named as man of the match.[30][31]



On 8 August 2013, Arsenal sold Gervinho to Italian club A.S. Roma for 8 million euros.[32] He made his first appearance for Roma as a substitute against Livorno on 25 August.[33] It took until 25 September for Gervinho to score his first official goal for Roma, finishing from close range after an assist from Francesco Totti, which sealed a 2–0 defeat of Sampdoria.[34] In the following Serie A match, he helped Roma record six straight victories to begin the season by netting two goals in their comfortable 5–0 defeat of Bologna.[35] In the quarter-final round of the Coppa Italia on 21 January 2014, Gervinho netted the game's only goal with an acrobatic finish from a Kevin Strootman pass to advance past Juventus and into the semi-finals.[36] In the first leg of their semi-final tie with Napoli on 5 February, Gervinho netted twice, including a late game-winning goal to send Roma into the second leg with a 3–2 advantage.[37]


On 30 August 2014, Gervinho scored in the Roma's second goal in a 2–0 win over Fiorentina to start the 2014–15 season. Gervinho scored his first goals in European competition for Roma on 17 September 2014, netting twice in the 5–1 Champions League group stage victory over CSKA Moscow.

International career

Gervinho warming up before a match at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

Gervinho captained Ivory Coast at U21 level.[4]

He was named in the Ivorian senior squad for the first time for the friendlies against Angola and Qatar in November 2007, and was picked for the Ivorian squad for their 2008 African Cup of Nations campaign in Ghana where he was given the number 10 shirt. He made his competitive debut for the Ivorian club during the 2008 Nations Cup where he made two substitute appearances.

He represented his country at the 2008 Olympic tournament where he was captain.[3] After Ivory Coast lost to Argentina in the first match, Gervinho scored one goal and set up two others in a 3–2 victory over Serbia.[38]

2010 Africa Cup of Nations

On 15 January 2010, Gervinho scored his third international goal in the African Nations Cup group stage game against Ghana.[39] He made a total of three appearances in the tournament, scoring once.[40]

2010 FIFA World Cup

Gervinho made only three appearances, all as a substitute, in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup but still scored twice.[3] On 15 June 2010, he played his first match in a World Cup. He played 82 minutes in Ivory Coast's opening match in Group G against Portugal, which ended 0–0.[4] In total he made three appearances in the World Cup.[3]

2012 Africa Cup of Nations

Gervinho missed a sudden-death penalty in the shoot-out at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Final, after which Stopila Sunzu scored to win the tournament for Zambia.[41]

2014 FIFA World Cup

Gervinho was included in Ivory Coast's 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[42] In their first group match against Japan, he scored the team's winning goal from Serge Aurier's cross in a 2–1 win.[43] In the next match, he scored the only goal for Les Éléphants as they were defeated 2–1 by Colombia in Brasília.[44]

2015 Africa Cup of Nations

In the Ivory Coast's opening match at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, Gervinho was sent off for striking Guinea's Naby Keita during a 1–1 draw at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo. He was given a two-match ban for the incident.[45] Gervinho returned for the Ivory Coast's quarter-final against Algeria, scoring the last goal of a 3–1 win,[46] and also netted in a semi-final victory of the same score against the DR Congo.[47]

Style of play

Gervinho is generally deployed as a forward, more often on the wing, and takes a more attacking role than a typical midfielder. He possesses good ball control and dribbling which, coupled with short, fast bursts of pace, lead him to be considered a very direct player. Playing from the left allows him to cut in onto his favoured right foot to shoot. In a 4–4–2 formation, Gervinho can take on a more central role, but for both club and country is often utilized on either wing in a 4–3–3 formation.

Rudi Garcia, who managed Gervinho at Lille and Roma, has described him as a player who needs confidence and who makes opportunities for his teammates.[48]


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  2. ^ a b c ?cc=4716 "Gervinho Bio, Stats, News – Football" Check |url= scheme (help). ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Gervinho". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Gervinho: The Brazilian Elephant". FIFA. Retrieved 22 June 2014.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "fifa" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
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  26. ^ David Ornstein
    BBC Sport (18 February 2012). "Arsenal's troubled season took another turn for the worse after they were deservedly beaten by a rejuvenated Sunderland in the FA Cup fifth round.". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
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  39. ^ "Black Stars blown away by 10-man Elephants". ESPN Soccernet. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  40. ^ Benji Lanyado (2 April 2010). "Ivorian With a Game to Match His Brazilian Name". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
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  47. ^ "Congo DR 1–3 Gervinho". BBC Sport. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
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External links