A highly-rated defensive midfielder who is even more important to the France cause following the loss of Lassana Diarra from the World Cup squad.
Toulalan made his France debut back in 2006 and started all three games at Euro 2008. He can be outspoken and criticised the French Football Federation for arranging a friendly with Spain in March, saying the 2-0 defeat was very damaging for team morale.
He began his career at Nantes before moving on to then Ligue 1 champions Lyon in 2006, winning league titles in each of his first two seasons at Stade de Gerland – but it took until January this year for him to score his first (and so far only) goal for the club.
Toulalan says he would have been a pastry chef if he had not made it as a footballer.
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