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Leboeuf in 2011
Leboeuf in 2011

Franck Alain James Leboeuf (French: [fʁɑ̃k lə.bœf], typically anglicised as Frank Leboeuf, born 22 January 1968) is a French actor, sports commentator and former French international footballer who played primarily as a central defender. With the French national team, Leboeuf won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 European Championship as well as a number of domestic trophies, most famously during his 5 years at Chelsea. Since the conclusion of his playing career, Leboeuf has transitioned to acting, appearing in stage and film productions.

Club career


Leboeuf was raised in the fishing village of Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer[3] in southeastern France and introduced to football by his father, a former Stade Rennais coach,[4] who trained children in the sport.[5] After starting his career in 1986 in the lower divisions of the French leagues, Leboeuf moved to Laval in 1988. In 1991, he moved to Strasbourg and played there until 1996, when he made a switch to English club Chelsea for £2.5m.

He played over 200 games for the club and scored 24 goals, mainly from penalties and set pieces.[6] With Chelsea, he won two FA Cups, one League Cup and one Cup Winners' Cup.[6] He left in 2001 for club Olympique Marseille, before finishing out his career in Qatar.[6]

International career


For France, Leboeuf was capped 50 times, scoring four goals. Although he was mainly a substitute in the 1998 World Cup, he stepped in for red carded Laurent Blanc to play in the final,[7] a 3–0 win against Brazil, a match in which he famously man-marked Ronaldo. In the final Ronaldo only was able to do a couple of his trademark runs thanks to an almost flawless defensive performance by Leboeuf.

Leboeuf received a winner's medal at Euro 2000.[8] He then played at the 2002 World Cup.

Playing style


A cultured left back, Leboeuf was noted for his long range passing ability[9] and also for his consistent penalty-taking throughout his career.[8] He took more than 20 penalties for Chelsea, missing just 3 times.

Acting


Following his retirement from competitive football, Leboeuf spent 2 years living in Los Angeles.[8] During this time he played for amateur team Hollywood United, alongside celebrity team-mates such as Vinnie Jones, Steve Jones and Anthony LaPaglia.[10] However, the move was motivated by his "desperation" to learn the profession of acting, something he described as being his "first passion" as a child.[8] Leboeuf studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute in West Hollywood, keeping a low profile, and won his first acting role as a television commentator for a pay cheque totalling $100, which he keeps as a memento.[5]

In 2001, whilst still playing football for Chelsea, Leboeuf had made his first acting appearance in the film Taking Sides.[9][11] Following his retirement from football, he acted in several theatre plays in France,[9] including starring alongside Jean-Francois Garreaud in L'intrus in 2010[12] and a role in the play Avec Ma Belle Mère et Moi.[5] In 2014, Leboeuf played a French Resistance fighter in the World War II film Allies[7][9] and a doctor in the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything.[13]

Other media


Leboeuf works as a sports commentator and analyst for RMC and ESPN in the United States.[4][5] In 2010, he was a contestant on the reality television show Koh-Lanta in the Koh-Lanta, le choc des héros special series.[14] He was forced to depart the show after two episodes due to a back injury he had suffered in a car accident shortly before the series commenced.[12] In 2014, Leboeuf made an appearance in the television comedy series Nos Chers Voisins[5][15] and began writing a column for Téléfoot.[11]

Personal life


Leboeuf is married to actress Chrislaure Nollet[9][16] and has two children, Jade and Hugo, from his first marriage to Beatrice.[3] His amateur sporting hobbies include tennis, swimming and boxing.[5]

Following the 1998 World Cup, he was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1998.[1]

Honours


Strasbourg

Chelsea

Al-Sadd

Al-Wakrah

France

Orders

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