Jérémy Mathieu joins the list of French players at FC Barcelona, a relationship not too extensive, of only 18 previous players, but pretty active in the second half of the 90s, when eleven of them wore the Barça shirt
Of these, the most recent, and with a brilliant career of six seasons at the Camp Nou, is Eric Abidal, who was part of one of the most successful squads of recent times. The Frenchman, moreover, became an example to everyone, in recovering from cancer and a liver transplant
Ludovic Giuly, meanwhile, performed brilliantly as a right winger between 2004 and 2007, winning two league titles and the Champions League. Also extremely successful was Thierry Henry (2007-2010), who played a key role in the Barça 6 trophy team. Lilian Thuram, meanwhile, wore the Barça shirt for two seasons (2006/07 and 2007/08).
Looking back, after almost 50 years with no French players (Jules Robisco only played in 2 trial matches in 1948), Lucien Muller came to the Camp Nou in the summer of 1965, from Real Madrid, and stayed for three seasons until 1968. Müller also served as first team coach in the 1978/79 season, with Joaquim Rifé as his assistant.
The first French player in Barça's history was René Victor Fenouillère in the 1902/03 season, when he played three friendlies. Originally from Avranches (Normandy), the stadium of the town was named after him and a plaque announced that he would be playing for FC Barcelona. He died fighting with the French army in World War I on November 4, 1916
Other names who were at FC Barcelona in the early twentieth century were Henry Normand (1908-1909), Jim Carlier and Maurice Bigué (1913-1914) and Jean Verdoux (1917-1918), all for just one season.
11 of the 17 French Barça players have played at the Club since the mid 90s. The elegant defender, Laurent Blanc, was the first, 31 years after the arrival of Müller, although he was only here for one season in 1996/97. From here on, other names appeared, like Christophe Dugarry (1997/98), Frederic Dehu (1999/00), the goalkeeper Richard Dutruel (2000/01 and 2001/02) and Emmanuel Petit (2000/01). Philippe Christanval (2001/02-2002/03) and Ludovic Sylvestre (2005-2006) are other French players with a Barça history.