French footballer. He won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championships, scoring three goals in each tournament. A quick and skilful striker, he is considered one of the world's best players. He made his professional debut with Monaco in 1994 at the age of 17. After an unsuccessful six months in Italy with Juventus, he was transferred to Arsenal in England in January 1999 for a fee of £10.5 million. He initially struggled to adapt to the English style of play, but soon developed into the club's most prolific forward in history, breaking Ian Wright's existing club record of 185 goals in October 2005. He won the English league title in 2002 and 2004 and the FA Cup in 2002, 2003, and 2005. He was also voted the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004, as well as the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Player of the Year in 2003, 2004, and 2006. In June 2007 he was sold to Barcelona for £16.1 million, where he won the UEFA Champions League, two league titles, and one Copa del Rey. He retired from international football in July 2010 after his fourth World Cup, having scored 51 goals in 123 appearances, and announced his move to New York Red Bulls in the same week.
International appearances (1997–2010) 123 (51 goals)
World Cup 1998
European Championships 2000
UEFA Champions League 2009
French League Championship 1997
English League Championship 2002, 2004
Spanish League Championships 2009, 2010
English FA Cup 2002, 2003, 2005
Spanish Cup 2009
AwardsProfessional Footballers' Association Player of the Year 2003, 2004
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year 2003, 2004, 2006
His has been criticized at times for not performing in important games. Most notably, he was part of the French 2002 World Cup team who, as defending champions and favourites, failed to score a goal in the tournament and was eliminated after the first round. In 2006 he was the top scorer in the English Premiership for the fourth time in five years, and he also led Arsenal to the UEFA Champions League final where they lost 2–1 to Barcelona.
He has often spoken out about the racism that still exists in European football and has appeared in several advertising campaigns against it.