Djibril Cisse: 10 Most Iconic Moments for New QPR £4 Million Transfer Signing

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2012

Djibril Cisse: 10 Most Iconic Moments for New QPR £4 Million Transfer Signing

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    Queens Park Rangers concluded a busy month in the January transfer window by swooping to sign strike pair Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora on the final day, for fees rumoured to be around £4 million and £6 million, respectively.

    New boss Mark Hughes will certainly be hoping that the duo can provide the firepower needed in the top third of the pitch to help his side avoid relegation—QPR are the joint-second lowest scorers in the Premier League to date.

    While Zamora has played all his career in England, much of it in the top flight, French striker Cisse has flitted back and forth from the Premier League to far flung reaches of Europe.

    Cisse has represented both Liverpool and Sunderland already in the top flight, as well as Auxerre and Marseille in France, Panathinaikos in Greece and, most recently, Lazio in Italy.

    Here we take a look at 10 of the most iconic moments and achievements the charismatic striker has seen.

Announcing His Presence on the World Stage with France, World Cup 2002

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    Following on from a 24-goal season with his club AJ Auxerre, Djibril Cisse was named as one of five strikers in Roger Lemerre's 2002 World Cup squad in South Korea and Japan.

    Handed the No. 9 shirt, Cisse played a back-up role to first-choice attackers Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet, but still made substitute appearances in each of his country's three group stage matches.

    Unfortunately for Cisse and France, a poor showing from the World Cup holders meant they exited the competition at the group stage, finishing bottom with only a single point and no goals scored.

    Cisse had gained less than an hour's game time altogether but had still shown glimpses of his natural physique and talents, even though he had been deployed on the wing as much as in his favoured central striker's role.

    To date, Cisse has won over 40 caps for France, scoring nine times.

Top Scoring for AJ Auxerre in Ligue 1 Twice in Three Seasons

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    Having started his professional career at AJ Auxerre in France, Cisse made fleeting appearances as a youngster before solidifying his place in the first team squad for the 2000-01 season, where he made 35 appearances in all competitions, scoring 15 goals.

    It was the following season, however, where he really started to make a name for himself as he ended up the Ligue 1—the top division in France—joint top goalscorer with 22 goals, level with Pauleta of Bordeaux.

    Cisse was the first Auxerre player to win the top scorer award since the World Cup winner Stephane Guivarc'h in 1997-98.

    Cisse went one better two seasons later as he won the award outright, scoring 26 times in 38 matches, with his impressive form prompting admiring glances from all over Europe.

    He left Auxerre with a total of 90 goals in 166 games.

Two Horrific Broken Legs in Less Than Two Years

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    Djibril Cisse's first transfer landed him the No. 9 shirt at Liverpool FC in the Premier League, his first taste of English football, which came in 2004.

    A £14 million deal made him Liverpool's most expensive transfer of all time.

    Things started well for Cisse, who scored on his debut against Spurs, but just three months later things turned sour as the striker suffered a terrible leg break after an accidental clash against Blackburn Rovers.

    Surgery ensued, and it was only later that it became apparent that Cisse was actually in danger of losing his leg at the time, as the break had restricted blood flow to his lower leg. Prompt action from the doctors and physios saved him from this scenario.

    Cisse made a quicker-than-expected return for Liverpool at the end of the 2004-05 season, but unfortunately that was not the end of his injury misfortunes.

    While playing in a World Cup warm-up match for France ahead of the 2006 tournament in Germany, Cisse awkwardly tripped and fell after an innocuous challenge against China.

    In the worst possible outcome, Cisse had again suffered a broken leg, one which would keep him out of action for another six months.

Back from Injury to Penalty Scorer and Champions League Winner with Liverpool

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    Despite his stomach-churning injury in October 2004, Cisse recovered sufficiently to play his part in Liverpool's successful end-of-season campaign.

    He came on as substitute in several matches before proving his fitness, starting and scoring twice against Aston Villa in the final Premier League match of the season, before the Reds headed off for their UEFA Champions League final against AC Milan.

    With Milan Baros the chosen starter for the final, Cisse was left to appear as substitute again—meaning he was on the field for the penalty shoot-out after the game finished 3-3 after extra time.

    Cisse duly converted his penalty, thumping a side-footed effort to the right as Dida dived the wrong way, as Liverpool went on to win their fifth European Cup.

    In the shown image Cisse is celebrating on the tour bus holding the Cup—which was dented after his teammate Baros dropped it the previous night.

Two Goals in Monaco to Win the UEFA European Super Cup with Liverpool

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    Three months and one day after firing his penalty shoot-out goal for Liverpool, Djibril Cisse got his hands on another trophy—one which he had a much bigger hand in helping to win.

    As Champions of Europe, Liverpool took on CSKA Moscow in the UEFA European Super Cup.

    Cisse started on the bench again but entered late on in the game with his side trailing 1-0, and promptly bagged an equaliser to send the match into extra time.

    In the added 30 minutes Cisse went on and scored his second of the game and set up Luis Garcia for Liverpool's third, as the Reds picked up their third European Super Cup win.

2006 FA Cup Final Volleyed Goal for Liverpool vs. West Ham United

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    At the end of the same season, 2005-06, Djibril Cisse followed up his goalscoring and match-winning exploits in the European Super Cup with a goal and cup victory in the FA Cup with Liverpool.

    In one of the all-time epic domestic cup finals, Liverpool and West Ham United battled their way to a 3-3 draw, with Cisse scoring a fantastic first-time volley near the end of the first half to draw the Reds back into the game, having been trailing 2-0 at the time.

    Liverpool went on to win the match on penalties, by which time Cisse had been withdrawn, but he had already played his part in helping his side get back into the game, in doing so winning his third trophy with the Reds in just two seasons.

    Cisse left Liverpool after the culmination of that season, with 24 goals in 79 games.

Two More Cup Final Goals...but Defeat for Olympique De Marseille

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    The following summer, 2006, saw Djibril Cisse miss the World Cup in Germany as a result of his second terrible leg break.

    However, he still managed to arrange a loan move to French side Olympique de Marseille, with a view to a permanent transfer.

    He returned to action midway through the season and was back to scoring for his side by December, though he found goals hard to come by in his first season initially.

    A fine end-of-season run of form, though, saw him end up with 15 goals, including two more cup final strikes, which he put past Sochaux in the French Cup Final at the end of the 2006-07 campaign—one early on in the game and another in extra time.

    Unfortunately for Cisse and Marseille, it was not enough to bring the trophy home, as fellow ex-Liverpool attacker Anthony Le Tallec scored an extra time equaliser to send the match to penalties.

    Cisse scored his side's fourth penalty, but Marseille lost 5-4 in the shoot-out.

    The following season Cisse achieved almost a one-in-two goal ratio, but he was later out of favour and spent the majority of the 2008-09 season back in the English Premier League, at Sunderland.

    Cisse netted 37 in 78 in total for Marseille, and 11 in 38 while on loan at the Black Cats.

Top Scoring for Panathinaikos in Greece

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    Following the rejection of Sunderland to take up their permanent transfer option on Djibril Cisse, he made the move South instead to join Greek Superleague outfit Panathinaikos.

    Initially things went well for Cisse, as he became a fan favourite and scored goals for fun, actually finishing as top scorer in the Superleague in both of the campaigns he played there.

    Panathinaikos won the League and Cup double in Cisse's first season, 2009-10, as he plundered 23 goals in just 28 games in the league.

    The following season, however, things started to go downhill, as Cisse claimed he had been racially abused by his own fans, and several of his teammates were struck by supporters following a defeat to rivals Olympiacos.

    Cisse still ended the season as top scorer in the Superleague with 20 goals, six clear of his nearest rival.

    The French forward left Panathinaikos after two seasons, 55 goals and 88 matches.

A Transfer to SS Lazio...and It All Started so Well

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    Following his departure from Greece, Djibril Cisse joined Italian Serie A side Lazio for a fee approaching €6 million in the summer of 2011.

    Things started off well for Cisse, who wore the No. 99 shirt, as he netted on his league debut against AC Milan to set his side 2-0 up.

    However, in what was maybe a sign of things to come, the Milan side fought back to draw the game 2-2.

    Cisse failed to score again in the league from then until his most recent move.

    He was targeted by certain sections of the club's support for sub-standard performances and a lack of goals.

    After just five-and-a-half months in Italy, Cisse was transferred permanently away after scoring just five goals in 25 games.

£4 Million Transfer to QPR, Can He Save the Hoops from Relegation?

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    And so to the latest chapter of Djibril Cisse's colourful career.

    Queens Park Rangers, under the ownership of Tony Fernandes and the management of Mark Hughes—both new arrivals since the start of the season—have added considerably to their squad in the January transfer window, culminating with the arrival of Cisse.

    The £4 million fee is arguably a great bit of business, especially if the French striker regains his touch in front of goal, which made him so deadly over the previous few seasons.

    He is sufficiently experienced in English football that he will be able to bed straight in and be a first team player, while he will also have something to prove having not quite hit the heights in terms of goalscoring in his previous two stints in the Premier League.

    Cisse has blinding pace, good technique and a fierce shot on him.

    QPR will need all of those attributes combined to come to the fore to rescue them from their precarious position—but Cisse is definitely capable of delivering and will be raring to show his true form again.

     

    Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk