Football Club de Nantes is commonly referred to as FC Nantes or simply Nantes. It is a French football club based in Nantes. Initially, the club was founded on 21 April 1943. The club was known as FC Nantes Atlantique from 1992 until 2007. It was known as its current name at the start of the 2007–08 season. Let us take a look at the top 10 best defenders in FC Nantes of all time.
1. Antoine Kombouare
Antoine Kombouare was born on 16 November 1963. He is a former player and French football manager who is the head coach of Ligue 1 club Nantes. Before joining Nantes in 1983, he started his career in 1975 at the WS Plum Noumea club. In 1990, he eventually joined Paris Saint-Germain. He made a name for himself at the Parisian club by scoring the game-winning header against Real Madrid in the 1992–93 UEFA Cup quarterfinal match. The header qualified the team for the next round.
He was also given the nickname “Golden Helmet” in French. He led PSG to an unexpected victory in the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League in 1994–95. The victory helped the French team to reach the semifinal. Kombouare won the Coupe de France in 1993 and 1995 as well as the Coupe de la Ligue in 1995 during his five seasons in Paris. Further, he scored a penalty in the 1993 Coupe de France Final. Kombouare signed a contract with Ligue 1 team Nantes on February 11, 2021. He joined the team in the second half of the campaign. Nantes finished 18th in the league and won the play-offs. He led Nantes to a Coupe de France victory in the 2021–22 season.
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2. Maxime Bossis
Maxime Bossis was born on 26 June 1955. He is a French retired football player who played as a defender. Bossis played for Nantes for the majority of his career, where he contributed to three Ligue 1 championships and one Coupe de France victory. He played in two World Cup semi-finals, won the 1984 European Football Championship, and earned 76 caps for the French team. Bossis has been a regular starter for FC Nantes during the club’s most successful period during the 1970s and 1980s. He spent much of his time at right-back during the team’s championship-winning seasons in 1977 and 1980. Bossis helped his team to finish first or second in every season between 1976 and 1981.
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3. Michel Der Zakarian
Michel Der Zakarian was born on February 18, 1963. He is an Armenian football manager and former player who played as a defender. Zakarian has been the manager of Ligue 1 side Brest as of 2021. He played for Nantes and Montpellier throughout his entire career in France, where Nantes won the league in 1983. He started his playing career in a 1998 World Cup qualifying match against Portugal. Thereafter, he played in five games for the Armenian team.
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4. Jean-Jacques Pierre
Jean-Jacques Pierre was born on 23 January 1981. He is a Haitian football coach and former footballer who played as a center-back. Further, Pierre coaches the Haiti national team. He moved to Argentina and joined Arsenal de Sarandi. He left Arsenal after one season and signed with Deportivo Moron. There he scored an impressive seven goals while playing as a defender. His play with Moron helped him move to the historic Uruguayan side Penarol. During his time with Penarol, he was a regular starter for the team and made appearances in the Copa Libertadores. During 2004–2005, he was voted the best defender of the Uruguayan championship.
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5. Sylvain Armand
Sylvain Armand was born on 1 August 1980. He is a former French football player who played as a left-back. He played for Rennes, Paris Saint-Germain, Nantes, and Clermont. In 1994, he began playing youth football for AS Saint-Etienne. He was transferred to Clermont Foot in 1999 and made his professional debut there. Armand moved to FC Nantes after making an impression with his performances in Clermont in 2000. He led the “Canaris” to the 2001 Division 1 championship in just his first season. Armand also scored goals as Nantes won the 2001 Trophee des Champions. He also scored a goal against Lazio in the UEFA Champions League in 2001–2002.
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Olivier Veigneau was born on 16 July 1985. He is a French football player who plays as a left-back. Further, he played for Nantes from 2011 to 2015. He was also one of the famous defenders during his playing career.
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7. Papy Djilobodji
Papy Djilobodji was born on 1 December 1988. He is a Senegalese football player who plays for Turkish club Gaziantep F.K. and the Senegal team. Papy can play both defensive midfield and center back. He started his career with ASC Saloum. Then he moved to France in 2009 to play for the amateur team US Senart-Moissy. There his performances helped him transfer to Nantes. Papy played regularly for them for five and a half seasons.
Papy joined Chelsea in 2015 and was loaned to Werder Bremen of the Bundesliga before signing with Sunderland for £8 million at the end of the campaign. He was loaned to Dijon in 2017 after Sunderland was relegated in his first season there. In 2019, he then agreed to join Guingamp. Djilobodji started playing his first match for Senegal in 2013. He was part of their team at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
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8. Leo Dubois
Leo Dubois was born on 14 September 1994. He is a footballer from France who plays as a right-back. He plays for Ligue 1 club Lyon and the France team. Dubois received his early training from SC Gemmois and ES Segre. He eventually joined FC Nantes’ team. He started playing his league debut on May 9, 2015, against Bordeaux. On July 1st, 2018, Dubois joined fellow Ligue 1 team, Lyon. Further, he signed a four-year deal with the club. On 27 September 2020, he scored only his fifth ever Ligue 1 goal, in over 140 matches.
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9. Enock Kwateng
Enock Kwateng was born on 9 April 1997. He is a French football player who plays as a right-back for Championnat National club Bordeaux. Kwateng was a youth international for France and competed at the U16 through U20 levels. He is a youth prospect of Nantes. Further, he made his Ligue 1 first-team debut on 15 August 2015. Kwateng has played for France at U16, U17, U18, U19, and U20 levels.
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10. Karim Djellabi
Karim Djellabi was born on 31 May 1983. He is a former French footballer who played as a midfielder. He started out as a left-winger but mostly played left-back. Karim joined Clermont Foot on a two-year contract in the summer of 2015.
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