New challenge for Trezeguet

David Trezeguet will ply his trade at Alicante-based Hercules, which is back in the top flight this season after an absence of 13 years, after agreeing to a two-year deal. By Elizabeth Byrnes.

Former France striker David Trezeguet last week described joining La Liga newcomers Hercules as a “new adventure” as he comes towards the end of his career. The 32-year-old joined the Spanish side after 10 years at Juventus, during which time he won four Italian Serie A titles — not including the two that Juve were stripped of in the match-fixing scandal — and scored 171 goals.

Now he will ply his trade at Alicante-based Hercules, who are back in the top flight this season after an absence of 13 years, after agreeing to a two-year deal. Of Hercules, the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship winner was quoted as saying: “I've seen a team with ambition who want to do things well. I'm very happy to be in Alicante and I'm going to complete a dream. After spending 10 years in a league like the Italian, having played at a club as important as Juventus, having won so many titles and being the leading foreign goal-scorer of the team, this for me is a new adventure.'”

His two-year sojourn will probably bring to an end a colourful career which has seen Trezeguet play in Argentina, France, Italy and now Spain. Trezeguet was born in Rouen, France, to former defender Jorge who spent the majority of his career in his native Argentina before moving to FC Rouen. He returned to Argentina when David was a toddler and in 1991 the youngster joined the youth programme at Platense, a club in Buenos Aires, where he spent a four-year spell. He returned to Europe in 1995 when he moved to Monaco and during his five years there, Trezeguet twice won Ligue 1 and had a goal ratio of more than one goal in two games.

This form saw him firstly called up to the France under-21 side before he was soon selected for the senior side, making his debut in 1998, then being one of a number of younger players, alongside the likes of Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry to make the World Cup squad. Trezeguet found the net once — against Saudi Arabia — as France went on to win the World Cup in their home tournament.

Two years later France were crowned European champions after defeating Italy 2-1 in the Euro 2000 final, courtesy of Trezeguet's golden goal in extra time from a Robert Pires assist. In the same year, Trezeguet moved on to Juventus where he continued his prolific form. In his second year at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino he was Serie A's joint top scorer and was named both Serie A Player of the Year and Foreign player of the Year. However, there were lows as well. France had a woeful 2002 World Cup, crashing out in the group stages without scoring and then a year later Trezeguet was one of three Juve players to miss in their penalty shoot-out with AC Milan in the Champions League final, the closest he would ever come to winning the tournament.

France then crashed out in the last eight of Euro 2004 although they would go on to reach the final of the 2006 World Cup where they lost to Italy with Trezeguet missing his spot-kick in the shootout.

Juve continued to dominate domestically but they were then implicated in a match-fixing scandal which saw them stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B with a 30-point penalty, later reduced to nine. He was one of few stars to remain at the club as they made an instant return to Serie A and the following season they qualified for the Champions League although Trezeguet missed much of the campaign with a groin injury.

The twilight of his international career was overshadowed by his poor relationship with coach Raymond Domenech and he was not selected for Euro 2008. Following this, Trezeguet announced his retirement from international football, aiming criticism at Domenech.

In December 2009 Trezeguet scored against Bayern Munich to become Juve's highest foreign goal-scorer in their history and just months later his career in Italy had come to an end. Now Trezeguet will be charged with establishing Hercules in the top flight as the end of a colourful career looms.

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