William Gallas Wallpaper (Arsenal)
William Gallas (born 17 August 1977 in Asnières-sur-Seine) is a French international footballer of Guadeloupian descent who currently plays for and captains Arsenal in the English Premier League. He plays as a Centre Back.
William Gallas is a graduate of the French Football academy at Clairefontaine. He started his professional career at second division SM Caen helping them to promotion as champions in 1996. He was subsequently transferred to Olympique Marseille in 1997. Gallas spent four seasons at Marseille, playing alongside Robert Pirès among others.
Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri bought Gallas from Marseille in May 2001 for £6.2 million. He chose the number 13 shirt because it was his postcode back when he lived in Marseille. Marseille is in the Bouches du Rhône département of France where all addresses begin with a 13. Under Ranieri, Gallas developed centre-back partnerships with Marcel Desailly and later with John Terry; his partnership with Terry included a run of 16 games without conceding a single goal. He also played at right-back at times. It was with Chelsea and under Ranieri where Gallas obtained his first international cap.
On 1 September 2006, Gallas transferred to Arsenal as part of a deal that took Ashley Cole to Chelsea and Arsenal also received the sum of £5 million. The press reported that José Mourinho was furious Gallas had been allowed to move to their rivals and that the Cole-Gallas swap deal had been forced through by Chelsea executive Peter Kenyon. After the transfer, Chelsea issued a statement that Gallas threatened to deliberately score own goals if he was not allowed to leave Chelsea
Gallas signed a four-year contract with Arsenal, where he took the number 10 shirt vacated by the recently-retired Dennis Bergkamp. In an interview in the October 2006 issue of the Official Arsenal Magazine, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger explained the rather peculiar decision to hand him the squad number 10 (traditionally a forward's number):
Number three was uncomfortable for him and I had given the rest of the numbers out. In the end I thought it might be a good idea to give the number ten to a defender, because a striker would suffer a lot with the comparison with Dennis. At first I was reluctant to give Dennis's number out, and especially to a defender, but overall I think it's better that way.
Gallas made his full debut for The Gunners at left-back in the 1-1 home draw against Middlesbrough on 9 September 2006 and scored his first goal against Sheffield United on 23 September 2006.