Players - Florent Sinama-Pongolle

Florent Sinama-Pongolle
Birthdate: 20 October 1984
Birthplace: Saint-Pierre, Reunion - French overseas department, France
Other clubs: Le Havre (1995-2003), Blackburn Rovers (loan, 2006), Recreativo de Huelva (loan, 2006-07 + transfer 2007-08), Atletico Madrid (2008-10), Sporting Lisbon (2010-12), Real Zaragoza (loan, 2010-11), Saint-√Čtienne (loan, 2011-12), FC Rostov (2012-14), Chicago Fire (2014-15), Lausanne Sports (2015), Dundee United (2015-16), Chainat Hornbill (2016-18) JS Saint Pierrois (2019)
Bought from: Le Havre
Signed for LFC: 1500000 worth, 01.07.2003
International debut: 14.10.2008 vs. Tunisia
International caps: 1/0
Liverpool debut: 15.10.2003
Last appearance: 13.08.2006
Debut goal: 25.10.2003
Last goal: 07.01.2006
Contract expiry: 04.05.2007
Win ratio: 48.48% W:32 D:15 L:19
Games/goals ratio: 7.33
Honours: European Super Cup 2005
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 1 / 0
League games / goals / assists: 38 / 4 / 1
Total games / goals / assists: 66 / 9 / 1

Player Profile

Sinama-Pongolle could be effective on a good day for Liverpool but those were few and far between. He rose to stardom when France won the u-17 World Cup. He was top-scorer with nine goals, a record, and voted the best player of the tournament. He possessed great pace, striking accuracy and seemed certainly one for the future. No player has played as many games, 37 and scored as many goals, 11, for the French u-21 team. Following their signing in 2002 Pongolle and Anthony Le Tallec were promptly loaned back to Le Havre to gain more experience before making the next vital step in their fledgeling career. Great things were expected when they finally arrived in July 2003. The nineteen-year-old Pongolle didn't expect to feature much in his debut season but injuries to Milan Baros and Michael Owen forced Houllier's hand and Pongolle took part in 23 matches, mostly as a substitute. Houllier's side was struggling in what turned out to be his last season as Liverpool's boss.

The Frenchman's successor, Rafa Benítez, admitted that he tried to sign the young Le Havre stars for Valencia but was outbid by the Reds. The Spaniard and Liverpool fans can be thankful for the part Pongolle played in the crucial comeback win over Olympiacos that paved the way for the Istanbul adventure. He came on as a substitute at the start of the second half for Djimi Traore against the Greek side and just a couple of minutes later he had equalised. Liverpool added two late goals to proceed from the group stage in December. Unfortunately, Pongolle missed the rest of the season as he caught his studs in the turf only four minutes after coming on against Watford at Vicarage Road on 25 January 2005. He was also vital in Liverpool's comeback against Luton in the third round of the FA Cup in January 2006. Liverpool were losing 3-1 at Kenilworth Road when he got one goal back and added a second and Liverpool's fourth in the seventy-third minute. He played no further part in Liverpool's successful FA Cup run as few weeks later he was loaned to Blackburn Rovers for the rest of the 2005/06 season. Robbie Fowler had just rejoined Liverpool pushing Pongolle further down the pecking order.

Recreativo de Huelva was Pongolle's next destination and after scoring 11 goals in 28 matches for them in the 2006/07 season the Spanish team bought him following his loan spell. By the end of the 2007/08 season, he had scored 22 goals in 68 league appearances for Recreativo. Although he was only one year into a four-year contract signed in May 2007, Pongolle signed a four-year deal with Atletico Madrid in July 2008. Atletico finished fourth in his debut season with Pongolle contributing five goals in 29 league games. He struggled to win a regular place in his second season and was transferred to Portugal mid-campaign. He scored just once in an away match at Maritimo in March but also managed to put through his own goal in the same game! Pongolle went out on loan in two successive seasons to Real Zaragoza and Saint-Étienne without impressing them sufficiently. Sporting released Pongolle in the summer of 2012 and in September he joined Russian premier league club FC Rostov.

Sinama-Pongolle's initial contract with the Russian club FC Rostov was dated until the end of June 2014. He played in eleven first-team matches for Rostov between the middle of September 2012 and the end of May 2013, scoring once. Coincidentally, he also played in exactly the same number of first-team matches in the next season too, 8 in the league and 3 in the cup. But he only started in three of those eleven matches and only scored once. After becoming a free agent in 2014 Pongolle trained with Chicago Fire for three weeks before signing a contract with the MLS club in September. He played seven games then joined Lausanne Sports in Switzerland in January 2015, but a knee ligament injury meant he never made an appearance for them before being released at the end of the season. He was then without a club until November 2015 when he joined Dundee United.

Pongolle made just four appearances for Dundee United, being substituted each time. On 4th July 2016 Thai club Chainat announced that Pongolle was on his way to South East Asia to join them, a fact that was confirmed by the player himself on Twitter soon afterwards when he posted photographs of his medical. He then made a blistering start to his time with them, scoring ten goals in his opening eight games. Pongolle moved to Thailand to play for Chainat Hornbill in 2016, remaining there until the end of 2018. In January 2019 he returned to his birthplace, the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, joining Saint Pierroise. The club made history in January 2020, becoming the first overseas territory team to reach the last 32 of the Coupe de France for over thirty years. Sinama Pongolle had retired from playing by then at the end of the league campaign in November. However he did play his part in the qualifying rounds, scoring a hat-trick in a 9-1 win over Etang Sale. He went on to become a pundit with Canal+
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 38 5 8 12 3 66
2003-2004 15 3 2 3 0 23
2004-2005 16 1 5 4 0 26
2005-2006 7 1 1 5 2 16
2006-2007 0 0 0 0 1 1
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
5 132 Chelsea
4 184 Bolton Wanderers
4 132 Manchester United
4 49 Portsmouth
3 204 Birmingham City
3 167 Southampton
3 112 Middlesbrough
3 88 Newcastle United
2 147 Tottenham
2 113 WBA
2 82 Watford
2 51 Blackburn Rovers
2 28 Crystal Palace
2 25 Aston Villa
2 12 Deportivo
1 90 Burnley
1 75 Everton
1 74 Real Betis
1 69 Arsenal
1 69 Steaua Bucharest
1 65 CSKA Moscow
1 52 Millwall
1 51 Yeovil Town
1 44 Olympiacos
1 34 Luton Town
1 32 Leeds United
1 29 Olimpija
1 28 Norwich City
1 26 Deportivo Sap.
1 16 Grazer AK
1 14 Manchester City
1 13 Charlton Athletic
1 13 Fulham
1 11 Sao Paolo
1 9 Marseille
1 7 CSKA Sofia
1 6 Wolves
1 5 Leicester City
Total Started/substitutions
21 Started
13 On the bench
45 Substitute
17 Substituted
Total Venue
32 Home
30 Away
4 Neutral
Total Competition
38 Premier League
8 Champions League
8 League Cup
5 FA Cup
3 UEFA Cup
2 World Club Championship
1 Community Shield
1 European Super Cup
Total W D L Win % Manager
43 21 9 13 48.8% Rafa Benítez
23 11 6 6 47.8% Gérard Houllier
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 4 2 1 2 0 9
2003-2004 2 0 0 0 0 2
2004-2005 2 0 1 1 0 4
2005-2006 0 2 0 1 0 3
2006-2007 0 0 0 0 0 0
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Total Started/substitutions
5 Started
4 Substitute
Total Competition
4 Premier League
2 Champions League
2 FA Cup
1 League Cup
Total Goal minute period
1 1-15 minutes
1 31-45 minutes
3 46-60 minutes
2 61-75 minutes
1 76-90 minutes
1 91-120 minutes
Total Goal origin
8 Open play
1 Penalty
Assists per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 1 0 0 0 0 1
2003-2004 1 0 0 0 0 1
2004-2005 0 0 0 0 0 0
2005-2006 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006-2007 0 0 0 0 0 0
A more detailed look at the player's assists
Total Opponent
1 Manchester United
Total Competition
1 Premier League
Total For player
1 Harry Kewell
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 15.10.2003 Olimpija Anfield Europe
50 23.08.2005 CSKA Sofia Anfield Europe
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 84 25.10.2003 Leeds United Anfield League
Related Articles
Winter's tale stuns Reid

The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Leeds on 25.10.2003.

French class prevails

From the press on 1st of October 2001.

Related Quotes

"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.

That was a big win for the team, but most of all for the manager. There's been a lot of pressure put on us and on him most of all over the last few weeks. He's believed in me and helped me, so to make my mark out there on the pitch for him is hugely satisfying. I owed him that."

Flo after his first goal

"It was a good decision to give Florent a run. Flo could become as quick as Michael. He seems to be going beyond another level. When you are developing you do so in steps and he has taken another step. I'm pleased with Ian Rush's work with him, he is teaching him well."

Florent has lightning pace and can make and score goals. Flo is becoming our supersub. But he's not the finished article by far. He has to learn more about movement, positioning and linking with other players, but I am very pleased with him."

Houllier on Pongolle in 2003

"My role model is Stevie Gerrard - I love him, and it is as much for his lifestyle as his style of playing on the park that I say that. He deserves to be captain of Liverpool."

Pongolle November 2003

"We tried to sign Sinama and Le Tallec for Valencia. My scout said that he had seen two very good players - but Liverpool paid a lot of money for them so it came to nothing. We knew Le Tallec was the best player in the Under-17 World Cup, and Sinama was the top scorer. There's definitely the potential there - they are both good players.. They need to play at this level and then they will get more confidence."

"If you say to Sinama you must go the right side and leave a space for Kewell to go for the left side, and then he plays all the game on the right side and never touches the ball but leaves a space for Harry Kewell, then for me he's played well, but for you not very well. He needs to do the things that we talk about before. The only thing he can improve on is when he touches the ball, he needs to do more things and then afterwards he will have more confidence. Then all the supporters and journalists will say you played well."

Rafa in November 2004

The French wonderkids
The French wonderkids
Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Le Havre 2002-2003 France 1 31 5 31 5
Blackburn Rovers 2005-2006 England Premier League 10 1 10 1
Recreativo Huelva 2006-2007 Spain 1 34 12 34 12
Recreativo Huelva 2007-2008 Spain 1 34 10 37 10
Atletico Madrid 2008-2009 Spain 1 29 5 42 6
Atletico Madrid 2009-2010 Spain 1 10 0 15 1
Sporting Lisbon 2009-2010 Portugal 1 5 1 7 1
Real Zaragoza 2010-2011 Spain 1 24 4 25 4
Saint-Étienne 2011-2012 France 1 23 4 25 4
Rostov 2012-2013 Russia 1 10 1 11 1
Rostov 2013-2014 Russia 1 8 1 11 1
Chicago Fire 2014-2015 USA 1 7 1 7 1
Dundee United 2015-2016 Scottish Premiership 4 0 4 0
Chainat 2017 Thailand 1 0 0 1 1
Chainat 2018 Thailand 1 26 6 26 6
JS Saint Pierroise 2019 Reunion 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 255 51 286 54