Jean-Pierre Papin

Jean-Pierre Papin
Papin in 2016
Personal information
Full name Jean-Pierre Papin
Date of birth (1963-11-05) 5 November 1963
Place of birth Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1983–1984 INF Vichy
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1985 Valenciennes 33 (15)
1985–1986 Club Brugge 31 (20)
1986–1992 Marseille 215 (134)
1992–1994 Milan 40 (18)
1994–1996 Bayern Munich 27 (3)
1996–1998 Bordeaux 55 (22)
1998–1999 Guingamp 10 (3)
1999–2001 Saint-Pierroise 27 (13)
Total 438 (228)
National team
1986–1995 France 54 (30)
Teams managed
2004–2006 Bassin d'Arcachon
2006–2007 Strasbourg
2007–2008 Lens
2009–2010 Châteauroux
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Jean-Pierre Papin (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ pjɛʁ papɛ̃]; born 5 November 1963) is a former French professional footballer, who played as a forward, and who was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1991.

Papin achieved his greatest success while playing for Marseille between 1986 and 1992. He later played for A.C. Milan, FC Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, Guingamp, JS Saint-Pierroise and US Cap-Ferret. Papin also played 54 times for the French national team. After a short time as manager of French clubs, he joined the local amateur club AS Facture-Biganos Boïen as a player in 2009, aged 45.

Papin was known for his goalscoring, striking ability, and volleys, which his fans nicknamed Papinades in his honour.[1]

In 1996, after their eight-month-old daughter Emily was shown to have serious cerebral lesions, Jean-Pierre and his wife, Florence, set up an association "Neuf de Coeur" (Nine of Hearts; Papin's shirt number was 9) to help others in that situation and, particularly, to find and apply methods to mentally and physically educate such children.

Although Papin played only 31 matches for Club Bruges, he was elected as its best foreign player by the supporters in April 2008.

In a 17-year career in many of Europe's biggest leagues, he scored nearly 350 goals in over 620 matches.

Playing career

Papin was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Papin scored 30 goals for France in 54 matches. He played at the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico, where France finished third, and at the 1992 European Championships in Sweden. His last game for the national team was in 1995.

At club level, he played for Valenciennes (1984–1985), Club Brugge (1985–1986), Olympique Marseille (1986–1992), A.C. Milan (1992–1994), FC Bayern Munich (1994–1996), Bordeaux (1996–1998), Guingamp (1998–1999) and Saint-Pierroise (1999–2001).

During Papin's hugely successful spell at Olympique Marseille, with the Frenchman as striker and skipper Marseille won four French league championships in a row (1989–1992), a league and cup double in 1989 and reached the final of the European Champions Cup in 1991, losing to Red Star Belgrade after a penalty shootout. During this period, Papin was the league's top scorer for five consecutive seasons (from 1988 to 1992). While at Marseille he won the Ballon d'Or, awarded to Europe's top footballer, in 1991. He is the only player to win this award while playing for a French club.

In 1992, Papin joined Italian giants A.C. Milan for a world record fee of £10 million (equivalent to £19 million today), and was the first high-profile French player to join the Italian league since Michel Platini. However, he never established himself as a regular first team member with the rossoneri due to injuries and adaptation problems. He entered as a substitute during the 1993 UEFA Champions League Final where Milan lost to his former club, Marseille. Nevertheless, Papin has kept good memories of his spell in Italy and frequently cites former Milan managers Fabio Capello and Arrigo Sacchi as his models when coaching is concerned. In 1994, he was transferred to Bayern Munich where his season was again plagued by injuries. In his second season in Germany he was part of the side that won the UEFA Cup against Girondins de Bordeaux, a club that Papin would join the following season. With Bordeaux, he lost the final of the 1997 Coupe de la Ligue against Strasbourg. Papin's career ended in 1998 with Second Division side EA Guingamp.

Papin was a prolific striker on the French scene but, contrary to many other French great players, never really became dominant abroad. He was also part of the 'cursed generation' of French players that came between the Platini era of the 80's and the 1998 world champions boasting the likes of Zidane, Thuram, Henry and company. Despite some talented players like Papin, Éric Cantona or David Ginola the French national team fared disappointingly, missing the 1990 and 1994 World Cups – the later after two humiliating defeats at home against Israel and Bulgaria – and being ousted in the group stage of Euro 1992 by Denmark after a perfect record in the qualifications. It was the only period (1989–1996) in French football where clubs actually did better than the national team.

Papin was also iconic in French pop culture because of his caricature in the satirical TV puppet show Les Guignols de l'Info. At first, Papin was depicted as a rather dumb football player (a common stereotype in France), his only obsession being the many different ways to score goals. When Papin experienced difficulties in Italy, the coverage became more sympathetic, especially with the infamous Reviens JPP ![2] song where even God Himself would urge Papin to come back to his home country, because "France needs you !"

He was twice linked with clubs in England later in his playing career. First, in March 1994, he was a transfer target for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.[3] Towards the end of his spell with Bordeaux in 1998, he was a target for ambitious Fulham, then a Division Two (third tier) side, and even expressed his desire to sign for the club. However, neither transfer ever happened and Papin finished his career without having spent any time in England.[4]

After a short time as manager of French clubs, he joined the local amateur club AS Facture-Biganos Boïen as a player in 2009, aged 45.

Managerial career

In May 2006, Papin took over from Jacky Duguépéroux as the new coach of RC Strasbourg, who were relegated to the Second Division. He had previously been coaching FC Bassin d'Arcachon, an amateur team, and helped them to be promoted from CFA 2 to CFA. In 2006–07, he guided Strasbourg back to Ligue 1 with a third-placed finish but came under pressure shortly after the end of the season when internal conflicts at the club surfaced in the press. Several players, including '05 league cup final hero Jean-Christophe Devaux, also openly criticized Papin's methods. Initially confirmed as manager for the 2007–08 season, he was forced to resign a week later after it was revealed that he had interviewed for the vacant managerial job at RC Lens only hours after his confirmation at Strasbourg. He was replaced by Jean-Marc Furlan, former manager of ES Troyes AC, while Lens selected Guy Roux as their new manager. Ironically, Papin eventually became the manager of Lens after the club lost at Strasbourg,[5] as Roux resigned only five games into the 2007–08 season. In the midst of the season, Lens and Papin were fighting to avoid relegation to the Second Division. Lens was also eliminated in the first round of both the UEFA cup and the Coupe de France by, respectively, FC Copenhagen (1–1; 1–2) and Second Division side Chamois Niortais (0–1, at home). On 29 December 2009, Châteauroux hired the coach[6] to replace Dominique Bijotat. He left his position in May 2010 and was replaced by Didier Tholot.[7]

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1984–85ValenciennesDivision 233152100003516
Belgium League Belgian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1985–86Club BruggeFirst Division31208700454332
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1986–87Olympique MarseilleDivision 133137142004416
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1992–93MilanSerie A22135400733420
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
1994–95Bayern MunichBundesliga71200032123
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1996–97Girondins BordeauxDivision 132164140003617
1998–99En Avant GuingampDivision 2103000000103
Total France 31317439301373123396234
Belgium 31208700454332
Italy 401874001696331
Germany 273400093406
Career total 41121558411376040542303


France national team

International goals

Scores and results list France's goal tally first.
11 June 1986Estadio Nou Camp, León Canada1–01986 World Cup1
228 June 1986Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla Belgium4–2 (a.e.t.)1986 World Cup1
328 September 1988Parc des Princes, Paris Norway1–01990 World Cup qualifier1
4,516 August 1989Malmö Stadion, Malmö Sweden4–2Friendly2
65 September 1989Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo Norway1–11990 World Cup qualifier1
728 February 1990Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier West Germany2–1Friendly1
85 September 1990Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík Iceland2–1Euro 1992 qualifier1
9, 1013 October 1990Parc des Princes, Paris Czechoslovakia2–1Euro 1992 qualifier2
1120 February 1991Parc des Princes, Paris Spain3–1Euro 1992 qualifier1
12, 1330 March 1991Parc des Princes, Paris Albania5–0Euro 1992 qualifier2
1414 August 1991Stadion Miejski, Poznań Poland5–1Friendly1
15, 164 September 1991Tehelné Pole Stadium, Bratislava Czechoslovakia2–1Euro 1992 qualifier2
1712 October 1991Benito Villamarín, Sevilla Spain2–1Euro 1992 qualifier1
18, 1925 March 1992Parc des Princes, Paris Belgium3–3Friendly2
205 June 1992Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens Netherlands1–1Friendly1
2110 June 1992Råsunda Stadium, Solna Sweden1–1Euro 19921
2217 June 1992Malmö Stadion, Malmö Denmark1–2Euro 19921
2314 October 1992Parc des Princes, Paris Austria2–01994 World Cup qualifier1
2414 November 1992Parc des Princes, Paris Finland2–11994 World Cup qualifier1
2527 March 1993Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna Austria1–01994 World Cup qualifier1
2628 July 1993Stade Michel d'Ornano, Caen Russia3–1Friendly1
278 September 1993Ratina Stadion, Tampere Finland2–01994 World Cup qualifier1
2822 March 1994Stade Gerland, Lyon Chile3–1Friendly1
2929 May 1994Olympic Stadium (Tokyo), Tokyo Japan4–1Kirin Cup1
3013 December 1994Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium, Trabzon Azerbaijan2–0Euro 1996 qualifier1
Correct as of 1 December 2014[8]



Club Brugge



Bayern Munich





  1. "Après les " papinades ", la bicyclette" [After the "Papinades", cycling] (in French). L'Équipe. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  2. "Le sketch des Guignols 'Reviens, JPP, reviens !'" (in French). 22 December 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  3. Haylett, Trevor (25 March 1994). "Football: Peacock goes but Francis stays: Mixed day at Queen's Park Rangers while Limpar joins Everton and Beagrie hops to City". The Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  4. "PAPIN: I'D LOVE TO JOIN FULHAM". Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  5. "Strasbourg 2-1 Lens" (in French). 25 August 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  6. "Papin nommé entraîneur" (in French). 29 December 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  7. "Après son départ du FC Sion, Didier Tholot trouve déjà de l'embauche. Il signe 2 ans à Châteauroux". 2 June 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  8. Football PLAYER: Jean-Pierre Papin
  9. FIFA XI´s Matches - Full Info Archived 17 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Skoblar dernier joueur de la dream team des 110 ans". (Olympique de Marseille). 24 April 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Manuel Amoros
France national football team captain
Succeeded by
Eric Cantona
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