Florent Malouda is a professional football player who plays for Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos. He has featured for Lyon and Chelsea previously in his career and has also played for the French national team.
The attacking midfielder who operated on the left side of the pitch at his pomp started his youth career with ASC Remire. He was soon spotted by scouts from French club Chateauroux and signed for the team in 1996. Malouda made his senior debut for his new club aged 16 in Ligue 2. Although he was required to move to Paris in order to play for Chateauroux, he carried on with his education as well as his professional football career quite seamlessly.
After making 57 appearances for Chateauroux, Malouda was signed up by Guingamp, who were playing top flight football in France at the turn of the millennium. His talent on the left side of the pitch shone through during his time at Guingamp under the coaching of Guy Lacombe. He formed a potent partnership with Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba in his two-year stay at Guingamp.
His performances at Guingamp across two seasons earned him a move to French powerhouse Lyon in the summer of 2002-03. Malouda was a regular in one of the best Lyon teams of all time which also included Michael Essien, Juninho and Mahamadou Diarra to name a few. He was handed his first cap with the Les Bleus during his time at Lyon.
Malouda won the Ligue 1 title in each of the four seasons that he spent at Lyon. He hit peak form during the 2006-07 season when he put in a man-of-the-match performance against European giants Real Madrid in the Champions League. The left-winger hit 10 goals for Lyon in that campaign in order to fire the side to a sixth successive league title in the French top flight. Malouda was named the Ligue 1 player of the year at the end of the season.
At the end of an eventful 2006-07 season, Malouda asked to leave Lyon for a fresh challenge abroad. Chelsea, Real Madrid and Liverpool were the clubs that were the most interested in signing the Frenchman and in the end it was the club from London which won the race for his signature.
Malouda scored on debut for Chelsea although it was an out of competition friendly against Mexican side America. He also laid on an assist for Chelsea skipper John Terry to help the Blues score a 2-1 win in their tour of the United States. His competitive debut for Chelsea came in the FA Community Shield clash against Manchester United. Malouda scored for Chelsea but the team would go on to lose on penalties.
The player would get his first Premier League start on August 12 against Birmingham City at home. He would go on to score the winner in a 3-2 win for Chelsea. He also found the back of the net in his first Champions League bow for Chelsea as he scored against Schalke.
The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti to Chelsea in the summer of 2009 helped Malouda regain his best form. Playing in a more central role on the left side of the park in the Italian’s favoured diamond formation, Malouda scored 15 goals and provided as many assists in all competitions. His form continued in the next season as well as he scored 13 goals to finish as Chelsea’s top goal-scorer of 2011-12. His finest hour in a Chelsea shirt arrived on May 19, 2012 as he came on as a second-half substitute in Chelsea’s Champions League winning effort over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
After being released by Chelsea the following summer, Malouda would go on to play for Trabzonspor and Metz before being employed by Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League.
The 36-year-old is also a veteran of 80 international caps and found the back of the net on nine occasions for France. Malouda represented France at the 2006 and the 2010 World Cups as well as Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. He was part of the France team that finished as runners ups to Italy in Germany 2006.