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Top facts about Mathieu Valbuena, le petit vélo

Fri 22 April 2022 | 6:30

Mathieu Valbuena is often described as an explosive player for his dribbling skills including his pace and technical abilities on the field. Read on to find out more facts about Mathieu Valbuena, Olympiacos star.

Mathieu Valbuena (born September 28, 1984) is a French professional footballer who currently plays for

Olympiacos

in the Greek Super League.

Mathieu Valbuena’s age

is 37. Here, you can find the most important facts about Mathieu Valbuena, France's Surprise Weapon.

The first fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he is a winger who can also play as an attacking midfielder. He is noted for his speed, technical abilities, and combative style of play.

"An energetic player who is capable of swiftly pulling two opponents out of the game to create space, above all thanks to his dribbling ability," says Didier Tholot, his former coach at Libourne Saint-Seurin. Valbuena's nickname is "le petit vélo," which translates to "the tiny bike," due to his diminutive size.

Valbuena started his professional career with the Bordeaux club. After two seasons with the club, he was released and joined amateur team Langon-Castets in the fifth level of French football.

Top facts about Mathieu Valbuena:

A notable fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he joined Libourne Saint-Seurin in the Championnat National, France's third division, in 2004. Prior to the 2006–07 season, the midfielder signed with Ligue 1 team Marseille after a successful 2005–06 season with the club.

Mathieu Valbuena early life

Valbuena was born in the Gironde department's southern commune of Bruges to mother Brigitte and father Carlos.

He is of Spanish ancestry via his father, who was born in the city of Valladolid. Valbuena's father works for the Bordeaux municipal council. Regarding

Mathieu Valbuena’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he was born and raised in the neighboring town of Blanquefort, where his parents still live.

Valbuena started his football career with ES Blanquefort, his local club. He acquired an interest in football as a result of his paternal background, since he often attended matches at the Camp Nou in Barcelona during his childhood vacations. There is no information available regarding

Mathieu Valbuena’s parents

.

His football career was put on hiatus when he was nine years old after a swimming accident left him with nearly 50 stitches in one of his legs.

Valbuena returned to football when his injuries healed and promptly pleased club coaches. In 1998, he won the Best Player title in a local youth competition held at the Camp des Loges, the professional club Paris Saint-training Germain's camp.

Mathieu Valbuena personal life

A notable fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he was engaged in an automobile accident on December 24, 2010, while heading to Blanquefort to spend Christmas with his parents, after losing control of his Lamborghini Murciélago near Bègles. He walked away from the accident unharmed.

Mathieu Valbuena professional career

Playing for Olympiakos since 2019/20, former French international attacking midfielder Mathieu Valbuena agreed on a contract extension with Greek club. Former

Lyon

and

Marseille

playmaker is now on a deal with Greek club until June 2022.

Mathieu Valbuena club career

Valbuena was signed by professional team FC Girondins de Bordeaux in 2001. Valbuena spent two seasons with the club's under-18 squad, where he played with Rio Mavuba and Marouane Chamakh.

Valbuena only played three games for the reserve squad before being dismissed by the club after failing to impress reserve team boss Jean-Louis Garcia.

Valbuena was let go by the club because he failed to "convert his game from that of a youthful player to that of a professional," according to former club player and manager Philippe Lucas. "His game needed to be quicker and he needed to avoid conflicts," Lucas said.

Langan-Castets

An important

fact about Mathieu Valbuena

is that he put his dreams of becoming a professional player on hold after being released by

Bordeaux

, and was encouraged by Garcia to play for amateur club Langan-Castets in the Championnat de France amateur 2, France's fifth tier.

Valbuena only trained three times a week with Langon-Castets and worked as a sports store salesperson while he wasn't playing football, as opposed to Bordeaux, where he trained several times a week.

He excelled with his technical abilities in his lone season at the club, and was later signed by Championnat National team Libourne Saint-Seurin, who had scouted him eight times while he was at Langon-Castets.

Libourne Saint-Seurin

Valbuena's game improved when he was at Libourne Saint-Seurin. Under Coach André Menot, he struggled to get significant minutes in his debut season with the club, appearing in 20 league games and scoring two goals.

Midway through the season, Menot was sacked and replaced by Didier Tholot. The team finished 13th in the league at the end of the season.

The next season, manager Tholot took note of Valbuena right away. Valbuena was regarded by Tholot as "the squad's architect," and he wanted to construct the team around him. Valbuena's playing time increased considerably as a consequence.

He scored nine goals in 31 league appearances, all of which were triumphs. Valbuena received acclaim for his performances, although he was chastised on occasion for "wanting to do everything," as Tholot put it.

In a 2–0 victory against Moulins on August 12, 2005, he scored his first goal of the season. Valbuena scored a hat trick in a 3–1 win against Cherbourg two weeks later.

One of the season's low points occurred on September 9, 2005, when Valbuena earned his first-ever red card in Libourne's 2–1 loss to Gazélec Ajaccio. Valbuena was punished for three games after the team's first defeat of the season. Valbuena made his comeback on October 7th, in a 1–0 defeat against Bayonne.

A notable fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he rediscovered his early-season form in November 2005, when he scored four goals in three games. On the 5th of November, he scored his first goal of the month in a 2–1 victory against Nîmes at home.

An important

fact about Mathieu Valbuena

is that he scored against Angers in another victory two weeks later, and then scored both goals in a 2–0 win against Pau the following week.

Valbuena was linked to numerous teams in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, most notably Saint-Étienne and Auxerre, in December as a consequence of his performances. The midfielder, on the other hand, rejected the offers, insisting that he just wants to assist Libourne gain promotion to the second level.

Valbuena went without a goal throughout the winter months, but he remained a regular in the starting lineup as the team fought for promotion to Ligue 2.

Valbuena scored another double, this time against Toulon in another shutout win, on April 29, 2006, with Libourne in a duel for the last promotion position.

Libourne was undefeated in its last four games, finishing third and earning promotion to Ligue 2 for the first time in the club's history since the local teams of Libourne and Saint-Seurin decided to join in 1998.

Valbuena was voted the league's Player of the Year for his exploits that season, piqueing the attention of numerous professional teams in Ligue 2 and Ligue 1.

Marseille

A notable fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he signed his first professional contract on June 9, 2006, after agreeing to join Olympique de Marseille. Manager Eric Gerets awarded him the number 28 jersey when he signed a three-year contract with the club.

Valbuena made his professional debut for the club on July 15, 2006, in the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round match against Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Following that, he failed to match the rigors of training and sustained an ankle injury during the pre-season, forcing him to miss the start of the 2006–07 season.

Valbuena made his league debut in a league match against Valenciennes on November 19, 2006, as a substitute in the team's 1–0 win. He spent the most of the season as a substitute and even spent time with the club's reserve squad in the fifth level.

Valbuena scored his first professional goal in a 2–1 win against Saint-Étienne on May 19, 2007. Marseille qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the 2003–04 season thanks to the game-winning goal, which kept the team in second position.

Valbuena was brought in as a replacement for Franck Ribéry, who left for German club

Bayern Munich

before of the 2007–08 season. During this season, the midfielder earned the moniker le petit vélo (the tiny bike), a play on Valbuena's stature and the Stade Vélodrome, his parent club's stadium.

A notable fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he began the season as a substitute under Gerets, but by late August 2007, he had established himself as a starter, forging midfield combinations with Samir Nasri, Lorik Cana, and Benoît Cheyrou.

An important fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he made his UEFA Champions League debut on September 18, 2007, as a substitute in a 2–0 victory against Turkish club Beşiktaş.

Valbuena scored the lone goal in the team's next group stage encounter, a 1–0 triumph against English side

Liverpool

at Anfield. The win against Liverpool was the first ever for a French club at Anfield. Valbuena extended his contract with Marseille later that month, committing himself to the club until June 2012.

Valbuena played 29 games in the league and scored three goals. The club's first two goals came in a 6–1 triumph against Caen on January 26, 2008.

Valbuena's first goal in the match was chosen Goal of the Year by the Ligue de Football Professionnel and came from over 40 meters (44 yards). For the second season in a row, Valbuena scored the game-winning goal in a victory against Saint-Étienne on March 9. Marseille extended his contract for another year in April 2008, owing to his outstanding achievements.

Valbuena became a regular starter in the 2008–09 season, appearing in 31 league games. He scored three goals in three games, two in wins against Auxerre and Le Havre and one in a defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

Gerets, a fan of Valbuena, was fired after the season, and

Didier Deschamps

was selected as his successor. Deschamps said in June 2009 that Valbuena was not in his tactical plans and that he was looking to sell the midfielder.

Valbuena was "un-transferable," according to club president Pape Diouf and numerous board members, who disagreed with Deschamps' thoughts.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding Valbuena's future, the midfielder has been linked with English teams Aston Villa, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Valbuena's future was finally decided after the transfer window closed and he was not sold.

As a result, he was relegated to the bench for the first half of the season under Deschamps, and their tumultuous relationship reached a pinnacle in December when the two met face to face, with Valbuena declaring his desire to leave the club in the January 2010 transfer window in search of regular football.

Valbuena scored his first goal of the season in his maiden league start against Nancy on October 17th. Valbuena returned to the starting lineup in February 2010 and stayed there for the remainder of the season. He was a key member of the squad that won both the league and the league cup.

Valbuena scored the game-winning goal in the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue against Lille. He scored the second goal in a 3–1 triumph against his previous club Bordeaux in the final.

Marseille won the Coupe de la Ligue for the first time since winning the UEFA Champions League in 1993. Valbuena scored goals in three consecutive victories over Nice, Boulogne-sur-Mer, and Saint-Étienne in April 2010.

The victory allowed Marseille to keep their first-place status, and Deschamps lauded Valbuena. After beating Rennes on May 5, 2010, Marseille won the league.

Despite the additions of wingers Loc Rémy and André Ayew, Valbuena was installed as a starter by Deschamps for the start of the 2010–11 season.

Valbuena was further handicapped by persistent media questions concerning what occurred during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, on which he has refused to speak, claiming that "I was a rookie in the France squad, I would not allow myself to discuss the incidents" and that he was "trying to forget" the occurrence.

In a 2–2 tie with Monaco on September 12, 2010, Valbuena scored his first goal of the season. On November 23, he scored the first goal in the team's 3–0 Champions League victory against FC Spartak Moscow of Russia.

Marseille qualified for the knockout stage of the tournament for the first time since 2000 as a consequence of their win. In the team's 4–0 triumph against Montpellier four days later, Valbuena scored the third goal.

During a training session on January 22, Valbuena sustained a medial ligament injury in his left knee as a consequence of a tackle from Ayew.

He was previously expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks, but he returned to training in time for the team's Champions League match against Manchester United on February 22.

An important fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he made his comeback to the squad as a second-half replacement in the second leg at Old Trafford. Marseille was beaten 2–1 away, resulting in the club losing by the same score on aggregate.

Valbuena earned his first start in a 2–1 victory against Le Classique rivals

Paris Saint-Germain

after playing as a substitute in two straight league matches after his comeback from injury.

He earned his second straight start in the Coupe de la Ligue final on April 23, 2011. Marseille defeated Montpellier 1–0 to win the league cup for the second time in a row.

Valbuena scored the lone goal for the side in a 1–1 tie with Auxerre on May 1. As Marseille finished second to Lille in the league, he played in all five of the team's last five matches.

In the 2011–12 season, Valbuena got off to a fast start. He started the season by assisting on a Loc Rémy goal in the season opener against Sochaux.

He assisted on both goals in a 2–2 tie with Auxerre the following week. Valbuena scored both of Marseille's goals in a 3–2 loss at Lille on August 28. After assisting on both of Rémy's goals in a 2–0 victory against Evian the following month, he produced yet another statistical performance.

Valbuena failed to chart statistically in the team's first five group stage matches in the Champions League. Valbuena scored the game-winning goal 14 minutes after coming in as a substitute in the team's final group stage encounter against German side

Borussia Dortmund

on December 6.

Marseille advanced to the UEFA Champions League knockout round thanks to the goal, which UEFA characterized as "an unstoppable strike."

A notable fact about Mathieu Valbuena is that he scored a goal and assisted on another in both of Marseille's last two December league matches before the winter break against Lorient and Nancy; Marseille won both matches. He had nine assists in the fall season, which is now the most in the league.

Olympique de Marseille honored Valbuena by retiring his number 28 jersey on August 5, 2014, after his transfer to Dynamo Moscow.

Dynamo Moscow

Valbuena signed a three-year deal with Dynamo Moscow on August 2, 2014, for a reported £6 million fee.

On 13 August 2014, in his second game for Dynamo and first as a starter, he assisted on both of his team's goals in a 2-0 win against FC Ufa. On the 17th of August 2014, he assisted on both goals in Dynamo's 2-1 win against FC Arsenal Tula.

Dynamo beat AC Omonia in the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League play-off round on August 28, 2014, with a crucial goal by Christopher Samba in the 93rd minute of the return leg, after a free kick by Valbuena, and qualified for the group stage of a European tournament for the first time (since the group stage was introduced).

In a 2-0 win against FC Krasnodar on August 31, 2014, he scored his first goal for Dynamo. He had to have an emergency appendectomy on September 16, 2014.

Valbuena made his comeback on October 2, 2014, in a Europa League group game against PSV Eindhoven, in which

Yuri Zhirkov

scored the game-winning goal deep into injury time from a Valbuena corner.

Lyon

A notable

fact about Mathieu Valbuena

is that he returned to Ligue 1 on August 11, 2015, signing a three-year deal with Lyon, a rival of Marseille, for a reported sum of €5 million.

Fenerbahçe

Fenerbahçe signed Valbuena for three seasons for a €1.5 million transfer fee (with a €1 million incentive) on June 13, 2017.

Olympiacos

Valbuena signed a one-year deal with Olympiacos in the Greek Superleague on May 27, 2019. Olympiacos advanced to the UEFA Champions League playoffs with his first goal for the club, a penalty in a 2–0 victory against Istanbul Başakşehir F.K.

His penalty was the game's lone goal in their road encounter against Larissa in the 2019–20 Superleague.

After going down two goals against

Tottenham Hotspur

at home in their first Champions League group stage encounter, Daniel Podence scored with Valbuena's help just before halftime, and shortly after the break, Jan Vertonghen fouled Valbuena for a penalty, which he converted himself to complete the comeback.

Valbuena's contract with Olympiacos was extended until the summer of 2021 on March 6, 2020. The Greek champions defeated AC Omonia 2-0 at home in the first leg of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League play-offs on September 23, 2020, thanks to Mathieu Valbuena's penalty.

Valbuena agreed to extend his contract with Olympiakos for another year for an unknown price on March 29, 2021, as his contract came to an end at the conclusion of the season.

Valbuena scored his first goal of the season on November 28, 2021, with a great foul beyond the box in the 90th minute, securing a crucial 2-1 home victory over Volos F.C. in the club's title bid. He was named the game's MVP.

He came in as a substitute in the second half on March 2, 2022, and played a key part in a final 5-1 home victory over Asteras Tripoli F.C. He was named the game's MVP.

Mathieu Valbuena international career

Valbuena was not selected for any of France's national youth football teams. However, after his strong achievements with Marseille, Coach Raymond Domenech called him up to the senior squad for the club's March 2008 matches against England and Mali. However, he was forced to withdraw due to an injury.

Valbuena's second call-up came in May 2010, more than two years later, when Domenech selected him to the 30-man preliminary list for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Despite performing well for his home club, Valbuena's call up surprised the media and the player himself, despite Valbuena winning the league and league cup double in the 2009–10 season.

Valbuena's call-up to the squad was likened by several journalists in the French media to

Franck Ribéry

's call-up four years before, since the two players' playing styles and circumstances at the time of their respective call-ups are comparable.

Valbuena was eventually nominated to the competition's 23-man roster. In May 26, 2010, he made his national team debut in a friendly match against Costa Rica, coming on as a second-half replacement. Valbuena scored the game-winning goal in the team's 2–1 triumph after just 16 minutes on the field.

Valbuena made his World Cup debut as a substitute in the team's 2–0 defeat against Mexico on June 17. His appearance in the tournament was his only one.

During the campaign, the players went on strike in protest at striker Nicolas Anelka's dismissal from the club, which resulted in the suspension of all 23 members of the squad for a friendly match in August 2010.

Valbuena returned to the squad in a 1–0 loss to Belarus in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying after missing the match against Norway owing to new manager Laurent Blanc's enforced ban.

With the exception of the encounter against Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2010, the midfielder participated in every match under Blanc in 2010. On November 17, 2010, Valbuena completed his comeback to the national squad by scoring against England in a friendly at Wembley Stadium.

Valbuena was included to France's UEFA Euro 2012 squad, however he did not play during the tournament. Valbuena appeared in all ten of the team's matches during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, scoring one against Georgia under new coach Didier Deschamps. Valbuena was chosen to France's team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on May 13, 2014.

In the team's first encounter against Honduras, he was selected to the starting lineup, marking his tournament debut. He scored in the second group match, a 5–2 win against Switzerland, to enable Les Bleus qualify for the knockout round.

Mathieu Valbuena social media

Regarding

Mathieu Valbuena social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (

@mv28_officiel

) with 499k followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him with his fans and family.

He also has a Twitter account (

@MathieuVal8

) with 147k followers. He often posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Mathieu Valbuena body measurements

Speaking about

Mathieu Valbuena body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the player is 167cm and 58kg.

Mathieu Valbuena net worth and salary

Mathieu Valbuena's net worth

is estimated to be around $7 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

 

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