From Ligue 1 to Superstardom: David Trezeguet

David Trezeguet, AS Monaco
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The Franco-Argentinian was raised in South America but schooled in Ligue 1 as he went on to conquer the world before winning hearts back home

Both were thumping volleys, struck off what was supposed to be his ‘wrong foot’. 

David Trezeguet wrote himself into history twice. The two standout moments of a remarkable career arriving 11 years apart, forever cherished on different hemispheres.

Born in France to Argentinian parents, Trezeguet would go on to embody the best of the both worlds. A glittering career was bookended by adventures back home, as one of game’s great marksmen was schooled in South America before graduating in Ligue 1.

David’s father, Jorge, was a professional footballer who had left Buenos Aires for the north of France in the late 1970’s to enjoy a stint with FC Rouen. His two-year spell with the club coinciding with the birth of little David, the boy who would go on to achieve the biggest of goals.

Trezeguet - Monaco

Jorge returned home to join Chacarita Juniors in Northern Buenos Aires, providing his newborn son the opportunity to being his own footballing story by joining humble Platense as an eight-year old.

“At 15-years-old he was already 1.80m. He was skinny, but strong,” said Trezeguet’s Platense team-mate Marcelo ‘Cacho’ Espina, who would inadvertently hand the 17-year-old a debut in June of 1994 after picking up a suspension.

“He was very skilful and had one attribute in particular that very few players possess: he could strike the ball really well with both feet.”

The teenager immediately attracted interest from abroad, his French passport perking interest from Paris Saint-Germain before Monaco eventually won the race for his signature. He departed an unknown at home. Glory with one of Argentina’s grandes would have to wait.

“My objective was to go to France, and I didn’t think about what I had in Argentina,” he told “When you’ve got enough enthusiasm, and don’t overthink, things turn out well. It was a unique experience for me over there [in France].”

David Trezeguet Karim Benzema France 12092007

Having initially moved to the principality on trial, Trezeguet spent a couple of years cutting his teeth in the reserves before getting a proper shot at the bigtime. His first two seasons with the club brought just nine first-team appearances.

But in 1997 he was ready. Coach Jean Tigana’s faith in the youngster was swiftly repaid as Trezeguet became Trezegol, hitting 18 in his first Ligue 1 campaign, finishing just three shy of the league’s top-goalscorer, Stephane Guivarc'h, as Monaco finished third and secured qualification for the UEFA Champions League.

“When Tigana took me on at Monaco he didn’t know much about me but he gave me a chance, and then he was very patient and allowed me to develop,” Trezeguet told World Soccer. “Under him, I became braver.”

Trezeguet was named France’s Young Player of the Year and became a world champions that summer in a start to life in Europe beyond his wildest dreams. Another 38 goals followed over the next two seasons as he inspired Monaco to the Ligue 1 title in 1999-2000.

David Trezeguet

And then came the first of those volleys, as Trezeguet fired the golden goal in the final of EURO 2000. Monaco could hold onto him no longer and he headed to Italy shortly after, joining Juventus.

Two Serie A titles followed during his prolific spell in Turin and there would be a total of 71 French caps before his international retirement in 2008.

“France gave me so much,” he said. “But I’ve always been Argentinian at heart.” More specifically, his heart had been with River Plate.

David Trezeguet

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"When the opportunity to come here appeared, I did not think twice,” he said, after forfeiting over €1 million to cut short a lucrative swansong in the Arab world in order to help lead River back from the first relegation of their history in 2012.

“I want to form part of the history of this club,” he said. He did that, with another swing of that left foot, striking the two goals that secured an immediate return to the top flight at the end of his firsrt season.

“It was special,” he said. “It's even bigger than the goal at Euro 2000.”