Kévin Gameiro: Ligue 1 Legend

“Sunday will be my last match at La Meinau with Racing. It’s with great emotion that I make this announcement. I never thought I’d cry,” said the tearful 37-year-old at a press conference last week to announce his departure from his boyhood club. Those tears were justified: he joined Strasbourg at the age of 17, and will now leave it 20 years later having forged a career which has taken him from the bright lights of the Parc des Princes all the way to the shores of Spain and playing under the passion-fueled Diego Simeone.

Yet, Strasbourg was where the journey all started for Gameiro. Joining in 2004, the 17-year-old made his first debut for Les Alsatiens in the 2005-2006 season against Paris Saint-Germain, even featuring in a UEFA Cup campaign which saw them reach the round of 16. However relegation would come for Racing, yet there was enough time for the young Frenchman to impress in Alsace and earn a France U21 call-up. A move to FC Lorient the following season would prolong his stay in Ligue 1.

Becoming an elite Ligue 1 goal scorer 

His stint with Les Merlus would see him burst onto the scene properly. The Frenchman scored 22 goals in the 2010-2011 season which saw him finish second in the scoring charts. It was enough to earn a move to Paris Saint-Germain the following season, where Gameiro scored 19 goals in 59 appearances and helped Les Parisiens secure a first Ligue 1 title in the QSI era.

Gameiro’s adventure would then take him abroad to Spain, where he represented Sevilla, Atlético Madrid, and Valencia, before returning to Ligue 1 with Strasbourg in 2021. It was a timely return to the humble beginnings of the striker after winning the Europa League four times during his stint in Spain.

After returning back to the Alsace region, Gameiro reached the bar of 100 goals for the club this season after holding a background ‘elder’ role – notably aiding the development of Strasbourg’s younger attackers such as Emanuel Emegha and Chelsea loanee Angêlo Gabriel. After 27 appearances and four goals this season, Gameiro featured in his final game for Strasbourg at the Stade Meinau on Sunday, coming off the bench to feature in his final minutes as Les Alsatiens scored in injury time via Andrey Santos to win against their local rivals.

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