Mathieu, amb Alves. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Jérémy Mathieu (Luxeuil-les-Bains, France, 29 October 1983) is a physically imposing defender who can play in various positions at the back. He’s 1.92 m tall, has excellent positional sense and is skilful with the ball at his feet. And he is also impressively strong in the air. Until recently, he was considered a natural left-back, but of late he has tended to feature more regularly in the centre of defence.

The Frenchman turned professional in his home country with Sochaux. In three seasons, Mathieu scored 13 goals in 97 games, enough to attract the attention of several larger clubs. In 2004/05, he ended up joining Toulouse, where he remained from 2005 to 2009, playing 122 games and scoring five goals.

Move to Spain

After making a big name for himself in Ligue 1, 25-year-old Jeremy Mathieu was tempted abroad to join Valencia, where he was soon a first team regular. In his first season, 2009/10, he played 24 games, and the year after that appeared in 38. It was here that he successfully made the transition from left-back to centre-back.
In five years at Mestalla, he played 176 games and scored seven goals. It was last season in particular that his goalscoring ability came to the fore, with four goals in total. Mathieu has also won two international caps for France. His first turnout for Les Bleus was on 11 November 2011 against the United States. Now at the age of 30, he is a fully developed defender both physically and technically.