Pascal Cygan

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Pascal Cygan
Personal information
Date of birth (1974-04-29) 29 April 1974 (age 45)[1]
Place of birth Lens, France
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)[1]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Wasquehal
1995–2002 Lille 179 (9)
2002–2006 Arsenal 63 (3)
2006–2009 Villarreal 46 (2)
2009–2011 Cartagena 57 (0)
Total 343 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Pascal Cygan (born 29 April 1974) is a French retired footballer. His favoured position was central defender, but he could also play as a left back.

After starting out at Lille in his country, Cygan would play four years in the Premier League with Arsenal and three in La Liga with Villarreal, in a 17-year professional career.

Football career[edit]


Born in Lens, Pas-de-Calais,[1] Cygan started his senior career in the ranks of lowly ES Wasquehal, before going professional with Lille OSC in 1995, making his Division 1 debut that year but also going on to also spend three seasons in Division 2: in 1999–2000 he was an instrumental defensive element for the champions and, in the subsequent top flight campaign, helped them achieve a third-place finish, with qualification to the UEFA Champions League.[2]

In this time, Cygan was also promoted to captaincy, seen as a role model to help develop the younger players. He was also winner of the Etoile d'Or, in his last year in France.[3]


Cygan joined Arsenal in July 2002 for £2 million,[4][5] making his debut in a 1–1 draw against Chelsea on 1 September after coming on as a late substitute for Nwankwo Kanu.[6] While he featured notably in some of the team's more important fixtures, he was mostly considered only a fringe player, but did pick up a Premier League winners' medal in 2004 after contributing with 18 appearances.[7][8]

Cygan scored three goals for Arsenal in league action, including an unlikely brace in his first game of 2005–06 against Fulham (4–1 home win).[9] Until then he had only netted once, against Everton in March 2003.[10]

Also that season, following injuries to both Ashley Cole and Gaël Clichy, Cygan was drafted in as an emergency left back, and was even named in the Opta team of the week on 9 January 2006.[11] Overall, his team won 12 of the 20 matches he played in and kept 11 clean sheets in the process. He suffered a hamstring injury in January against Middlesbrough[12] and was unable to play again that season as he was fourth-choice behind Sol Campbell, Philippe Senderos and Kolo Touré, with young Johan Djourou also competing for a place; in total, he played 98 matches for the Gunners (including 20 Champions League appearances).[13]


In August 2006, he completed a transfer to Villarreal CF for a £2 million transfer fee, joining former Arsenal teammate and countryman Robert Pires at the club.[14][15]

On 6 June 2008, after having been fairly used in his first two years, mainly due to consecutive serious injuries to Gonzalo Rodríguez, Cygan signed a new one-year deal.[16] However, following a lack of first-team opportunities in 2008–09,[17] and with Villarreal unwilling to extend his contract for a further campaign, he left in July 2009;[18][19] his La Liga goals came on 5 November 2006 against Real Betis (3–2 home win),[20] and against Levante UD on 31 October 2007 (3–0, also at El Madrigal).[21]

In August 2009, Cygan joined FC Cartagena, freshly promoted to Segunda División, on a one-year deal.[22] Aged 37, he was released by the Murcians and retired from professional football.[23]






  1. ^ a b c "Pascal Cygan". L'Équipe (in French). Paris. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  2. ^ Carlier, Morgane; Beneytou, Antoine; Teillet, Boris (20 August 2014). "Quand Lille se payait Parme" [When Lille mocked Parma] (in French). So Foot. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Étoiles d'or: Pascal Cygan meilleur joueur de D1" [Étoiles d’or: Pascal Cygan best D1 player]. L'Orient-Le Jour (in French). 10 November 2001. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Cygan joins Arsenal". BBC Sport. 11 July 2002. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  5. ^ Pearson, James (11 July 2002). "Cygan will make French national team – Wenger". Sky Sports. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Arsenal make their point". BBC Sport. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Arsenal's Invincibles from 2003–04: where are they now?". Irish Independent. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  8. ^ "10 of the worst players to have ever won the Premier League title". 90 Min. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Arsenal 4–1 Fulham". BBC Sport. 23 August 2005. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Arsenal back on top". BBC Sport. 23 March 2003. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  11. ^ "Look who's made it into Opta Team of the Week!". Arsenal Mania. 6 January 2006. Archived from the original on 8 January 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Arsenal 7–0 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Boo la la… it's our French flop XI". The Sun. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Cygan secures Villarreal transfer". BBC Sport. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  15. ^ "Cygan seals Spanish switch". Sky Sports. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Cygan stays with Villarreal". Sky Sports. 4 June 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  17. ^ "Argentino Gonzalo es único jugador de Villarreal que jugó todos los minutos" [Argentine Gonzalo is the only Villarreal player to have played all the minutes]. El Confidencial (in Spanish). 11 December 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  18. ^ Gourizro, Giscard (23 May 2009). "Cygan looking to head home". Sky Sports. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  19. ^ "Cygan va quitter Villarreal" [Cygan to quit Villarreal] (in French). Sport 24. 14 March 2009. Archived from the original on 22 March 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  20. ^ "El Villarreal destroza al Betis en dos minutos" [Villarreal destroy Betis in two minutes]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 5 November 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  21. ^ "El Levante es un chollo" [Bargain Levante]. El País (in Spanish). 1 November 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  22. ^ "El Cartagena ficha a Cygan" [Cartagena sign Cygan]. Marca (in Spanish). 10 August 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Pascal Cygan anuncia su retirada del fútbol y encamina sus pasos a ser entrenador" [Pascal Cygan announces retirement from football and edges closer to becoming a manager] (in Spanish). Sport Cartagena. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  24. ^ a b "Pascal Cygan, dogue à pleines dents" [Pascal Cygan, full-toothed dogue] (in French). Lille OSC. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Pascal Cygan: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 16 April 2018.

External links[edit]