Steed Malbranque

Steed Malbranque

  Attacking Midfielder, Sunderland

The Avenger’



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About Steed Malbranque

Steed Malbranque, nicknamed ‘The Avenger’, is an international football midfielder, who was born on January 6, 1980 in Mouscron, Belgium. Though he was born in Belgium, he played and captained the French Under-18 side and progressed to play for France Under-21. He was a part of the French U-21 side that reached the final of the 2002 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) European Under-21 Football Championship. At the end of his impressive 2002-03 club career, Steed Malbranque got an opportunity to represent the Belgian national team, but he turned it down as he wanted to play for the French senior national side. His patience and persistence showed good results, when he was called up to play for France in February 2004.

Steed Malbranque started with the Lyon youth club as a trainee in 1995 and during his tenure with the club, it won two Under-15 championships, one Under-17 Cup and one reserve team championship. On February 21, 1998, when Steed Malbranque was just 18, he made his professional debut for Lyon against Montpellier, which ended in a 1-1 draw. He was a part of the Lyon squad that won the 2001 French Coupe de la Ligue. In the Championship League matches for Lyon against Arsenal (The Gunners) and Bayern Munich, the Gunners were impressed with his performance. Following that, Steed Malbranque had an opportunity to join the Gunners, but he turned down the offer as he felt it was not the time to begin his stint in the Premiership. However, in 2001 he did play in the Premiership, when he joined Fulham (The Cottagers) and made his debut for the club in a game against Manchester United.

In the 2002-03 season, Steed Malbranque played in six UEFA Cup games for Fulham and scored three goals. He ended the season with a total of 47 appearances for the club in all competitions and became the club’s top goal scorer with 13 goals and saw his team retain its Premiership berth. During his 5-year tenure in Fulham, Steed Malbranque played 211 games, scored 44 goals and was one among the club’s favourite players. As he intended to leave the club by the end of his contract, he was put in The Cottagers’ transfer list on May 13, 2006. Many Premiership teams showed interest in signing him, but Steed Malbranque opted to join Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) and signed for them on August 31, 2006. He played his first game wearing the Spurs’ shirt on November 8, 2006 in the 3-1 League Cup win over Port Valve. Steed Malbranque scored his first Spurs goal on December 9, 2006 in its 5-1 victory over Charlton Athletic. On March 14, 2007, he scored a goal in the second leg of the UEFA Cup last 16s game against Sporting Braga, which was also the Spurs’ 150th goal in European competition. With him in the squad, Tottenham Hotspur clinched the Carling Cup for the 2007-08 season.

Once in the programme Football Focus on BBC, the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, described Steed Malbranque as a ‘fantastic player’.

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