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Florent Balmont: 'My last season'

Publish on 07/04/2020 at 10:00

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Florent Balmont, the 40-year-old Dijon FCO midfielder, has declared that 2019-20 season would be the last of a storied Ligue 1 Conforama career that has spanned two decades and a host of clubs including Lyon, Nice and Lille.

While the 2019-20 Ligue 1 Conforama season is currently suspended due to the coronavirus, Dijon workhorse Florent Balmont indicated last week on the Canal Football Club show on Canal+ that "it would be (his) last season".

Florent Balmont is the most experienced of any currently active Ligue 1 Conforama player, having made 513 appearances in France's top flight. The 40-year-old Dijon FCO midfielder is in his 18th season in the French championship, in which he has made 460 starts and 53 appearances off the bench.

WATCH: One of Balmont's 13 career goals!

Veteran

This season, Balmont has played just 11 Ligue 1 Conforama matches, but in the all-time appearance standings, the midfielder - who made his debut for Lyon in a clash away to AC Ajaccio in October 2002 - is ahead of Montpellier and Marseille legend Vitorino Hilton (MHSC, 42), who has 483 Ligue 1 Conforama appearances to his name.

Although he is far from Mickael Landreau's record of 618 Ligue 1 Conforama appearances, the former Lyon, Nice and Lille man is nevertheless in the Top 20 of players with the most appearances.

Three-time Ligue 1 Conforama champion

After coming through the academy at Olympique Lyonnais, where he won two Ligue 1 Conforama titles, in 2003 and 2005, Florent Balmont struggled somewhat for game time at the Stade Gerland and had to make a switch in order to fully express his talents.

After a successful loan spell with Toulouse FC (35 matches in 2003-04), he joined OGC Nice the following season. Under the command of Frédéric Antonetti as of 2005, the tireless midfielder made a name for himself in Ligue 1 Conforama. After four years on the Riviera and 139 league matches with the Gym, he joined Rudi Garcia's LOSC in 2008.

Alongside Rio Mavuba and Yohan Cabaye in midfield, he wrote one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the Lille-based club by winning the league and Coupe de France double in 2011.

Character

A player of character with an extremely loud on-field voice, he was a key man for Les Dogues for eight seasons until his departure for Dijon in the summer of 2016. In the end, he totalled 253 matches for LOSC in Ligue 1 Conforama, helping the club to six top-five finishes, of which three were on the podium (one Ligue 1 Conforama title and two third-place finishes).