David Trezeguet: Killer Instinct

David Trezeguet: Killer Instinct

Player Profile: David Trezeguet

Date of Birth: 15/10/1977 

Height: 6 ft 3 in

Position: Striker 

National Team: France

International Caps: 71

International Goal: 34

Club Career

A World Cup winner in 1998, David Trezeguet enjoyed a successful playing career spanning two decades. Born in Normandy, France he was the son of Argentine parents, and grew up in Buenos Aires. Much of his childhood was spent playing football on the streets and from an early age it was clear to see he was a cut above. Aged eight he was signed by Platense and spent his teenage years playing for their academy. On June 12th 1994, Trezeguet made his first-team debut aged just 16, already some of Europe’s elite were sniffing around the Frenchman.

He made just four more appearances for the Argentine club before travelling back to France where he signed for AS Monaco. Initially, PSG were interested in signing the teenager, but they failed to agree a deal with Platense. Shortly afterwards Trezeguet had a trial with Monaco, during which he bagged five goals. Needless to say, they signed him there and then. But game time was limited in his first two seasons at the club and it wasn’t until the 1997/98 campaign in which he made his name.

Trezeguet scored 18 goals in 27 appearances in what was his breakthrough year. Though his 5 appearances the season prior earned him a Ligue 1 winners medal. In his final season at the club, Trezeguet won his second Ligue 1 title during which he scored 22 goals in 30 league appearances. After five seasons at the club, Trezeguet had announced himself as one of Europe’s deadliest finishers, so it was no surprise to see giants Juventus come knocking.

In Italy, Trezeguet had to bide his time. He was playing second fiddle to Filippo Inzaghi and Alessandro Del Piero but still managed to score 14 league goals in his debut season. The 2001/02 season turned out to be the most prolific league campaign of his career. Trezeguet scored 24 goals in 34 league matches making him the league’s joint-top scorer. His red hot form helped Juventus secure the Serie A title and he was later named both Serie A Footballer of The Year and Serie A Foreign Footballer of The Year.

The following season Juventus successfully defended their league title, but Trezeguet missed a large portion of the campaign through injury, though he did feature in the club’s Champions League final defeat to Milan. Trezeguet was one of three players to see their spot-kicks saved by the formidable Dida following a goalless 120 minutes of football.

2003/04 season was far from successful. The Old Lady finished a disappointing third in the league, were knocked out of Europe early and suffered defeat in the Coppa Italia Final to Lazio. Despite the disappointment, Trezeguet continued to show his class bagging 22 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions. 

Two Serie A titles followed in 2004/05 and 2005/06, but Juventus were later caught up in the 2006 match-fixing scandal that rocked Italian football. As a result, the club and players were stripped of their titles and, more damningly, relegated to Serie B. They were also forced to start the 2006/07 campaign with a 9 point deficit.

This resulted in a mass exodus at the club with the likes of Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Vieira and Ibrahimović all departing. Trezeguet, though, stayed loyal. He made it his task to guide Juve back to Serie A, and after the 2006/07 season, he’d succeeded. Juventus were crowned Serie B champions with Trezeguet scoring 15 goals in 31 league appearances.

Back in Italy’s top-flight Trezeguet was in red hot form. He scored 20 league goals in 36 appearances helping to secure European football for the first time in three years. 

The following season Trezeguet was sidelined for a lengthy period. He returned towards the end of the season scoring a penalty in Juve’s shootout victory over Napoli in the Coppa Italia. The Frenchman scored his first goal of that season against Palermo in February. But the game was more significant for the fact he was given the captain’s armband for the first time in his career.

On December 9th 2009, Trezeguet was on the scoresheet in Juve’s 4-1 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. It was his 168th goal for the club making him Juve’s highest ever foreign goal scorer. By the end of the season, Trezeguet ranked fourth in the club’s all-time leading goal scorers. Aged 33, and after 10 years at the club, Trezeguet was released from his contract with 12 months remaining.

Trezeguet opted for a new challenge and on the August 28th 2010, he signed for newly promoted La Liga side Hércules CF. Despite scoring 12 goals and finishing the season as the club’s top scorer, Trezeguet could do nothing to prevent his new side from being relegated. 

After just over a year in Spain Trezeguet was on the move again, signing a one year contract with UAE Pro-League side Baniyas SC. But injury struck yet again and his contract was terminated after making just three appearances for the club.

In December 2011 Trezeguet completed a dream move to River Plate in Argentina. The club he supported as a kid. After suffering relegation to Primera B Nacional before his arrival, Trezeguet helped fire the club back to Argentina’s top flight at the first attempt. He scored 13 goals in 19 appearances including a brace in the final game of the season which secured promotion.

Trezeguet made just 16 appearances during the 2012/13 season after falling out of favour with then-manager Ramon Diaz. This didn’t go down well with the River Plate fans who idolised Trezeguet. Despite continued fan protests the Frenchman left the club and signed for rivals Newell’s Old Boys in July 2013. During his time at the club, Trezeguet scored his 300th career goal against Colón de Santa Fe. In total, he scored 7 goals in 24 appearances before moving to Pune City in India.

Now aged 37 Trezeguet’s time as a professional footballer was coming to an end. He made 9 appearances in the Indian Super League scoring twice before announcing his retirement on January 20th 2015. 

International Career 

Born in France but raised in Argentina, Trezeguet was eligible to play for both countries, later opting for the country where he was born. 

He represented France at youth level in what was a golden generation for Les Blues. Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, William Gallas and Patrick Vieira, to name but a few, were all breaking through at the same time. The talent available for France in 1998 was ridiculous and Trezeguet, who’d just enjoyed a successful campaign with Monaco, was part of the World Cup squad. Of course, France were crowned World Champions following a 3-0 final victory over Brazil.

Two years later and France were at it again, this time at Euro 2000. Le Bleus were crowned European champions with Trezeguet’s decisive golden goal in the final against Italy, earning him legendary status.

But in 2006 the Italians would get their revenge. The two sides faced off once again, this time in the World Cup Final, which was famous for that Zidane red card. After extra time the game remained all square and went to penalties. Trezeguet, the hero in 2002, became the villain missing the only penalty of the shootout. His spot-kick clattered the crossbar. 

The following two years saw Trezeguet in and out of the national side. A new generation – which included Karim Benzema – were breaking through and his international career soon came to an end with 71 caps and 34 goals.

Where is David Trezeguet now?

Since hanging up his boots, David Trezeguet has worked as an ambassador for his former club, Juventus.

Did you know? Interesting facts about David Trezeguet

– Trezeguet scored the fastest goal in Champions League history in terms of velocity. The strike was clocked at 97.6 mph.

– He is the highest-scoring foreigner in the Bianconeri’s history, with a total of 171 goals in all competitions.