Feb 3, 1970
|Age||53 years old|
Having just achieved qualification for the Intertoto Cup, Stade Rennais FC’s manager wanted to add a bit of technical ability to his midfield in the Summer of 1999. After scouting around France and abroad, the choice for playmaker was Franck Gava. Developed at Nancy, this left sided attacking midfielder came off the back of 2 mixed seasons with Paris Saint Germain and Monaco, a long way from his achievements at Lyon, which had earned him 3 caps for France. He was an undisputed first-choice in the manager’s 4-4-2 formation, Gava took part in the European cup run, including the confrontation with Juventus, but also made 18 of his 20 appearances that season in the starting line-up, and that having to walk on eggshells. So, on 17th December 1999, he made his final appearance of his career, without realising it at the time, in a 0-1 defeat away to Bordeaux. He suffered from arthritis in his toes, and had to hang up his boots for good aged just 29. Stade Rennais paid the price for the loss of this key player, and finished the league season in a disappointing 13th place.