|Date of Birth||
20 October 1984
|Place of Birth||
1.76m (5'9 1/2")
Florent Stéphane Sinama Pongolle (born 20 October 1984 is a French professional footballer who played for Liverpool from 2003-2006. He joined Spanish side Recreativo in 2006. His time at Liverpool was mostly unsuccessful, and he only netted nine times in 66 appearances.
Sinama-Pongolle was signed on 1 July 2003 in a joint deal with his cousin - Anthony Le Tallec - from French side Le Havre in a deal worth around £3,000,000. He made his debut against Olimpija Ljubljana on 15 October 2003 in the second leg of the UEFA Cup first round; coming on as a 61st minute substitute for Anthony Le Tallec. His league debut came shortly after; when he came off the bench to play against Portsmouth on 18 October 2003.
Sinama-Pongolle opened his goalscoring account at Anfield when he notched against Leeds in the 84th minute on 25 October 2003. The Frenchman admitted he was surprised about his level of involvement since his arrival at the club, stating "I never thought I'd be playing, let alone scoring, so soon after coming to Liverpool. Both myself and Anthony le Tallec thought we'd be spending about six months or so getting used to English football, playing with the reserves and adapting our game, but the number of injuries the club's had meant we were needed in the team". He appeared 23 times in his debut season; though he only started six matches.
The 2004-05 season was a similar story, with Sinama-Pongolle making 26 appearances; 11 of them being starts. He did score some important goals in this season though: with a 117th minute goal against Tottenham in the League Cup 5th round on 1 December 2004, which kept Liverpool in the competition (they eventually reached the final). He managed to score another vital goal on 8 December 2004 against Olympiacos in the Champions League group phase. Liverpool needed to win the match by two clear goals, but found themselves 1-0 down by the 26th minute. Sinama-Pongolle came on as a second half sub, and brought the match level in the 47th minute, and Liverpool went on to win the match 3-1.
His involvement was even less in the 2005-06 season, making just 16 appearances and scoring three goals. Again, Sinama-Pongolle's goals proved to be important ones - when he scored a double in the FA Cup 3rd round against Luton on 7 January 2006 - with Liverpool trailing 3-1 at the time, Sinama-Pongolle's involvement helped Liverpool achieve a 5-3 victory (Liverpool went on to win the final this season). This was the young Frenchman's last real involvement in a Liverpool shirt, and he was loaned out to Blackburn for the remainder of the 2005-06 season.
Having already spent a season on loan there, Sinama-Pongolle was sold to Spanish side Recreativo de Huelva on 4 May 2007 for a fee of £2,700,000. During his time at Liverpool Sinama-Pongolle made 66 appearances, scoring nine goals. He expressed his gratitude toward Liverpool upon his departure, saying "I'd like to thank the club and the fans for the affection they have shown me".
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- Florent Sinama-Pongolle career stats at Soccerbase