Sylvain Distin (born 16 December 1977) is a French footballer who plays for English Premier League side Everton. He is left-footed and plays as a central defender, and is also capable of playing at left-back.
Distin began his career playing for French amateur sides in the CFA, and worked his way up to professional sides Gueugnon and subsequently Paris Saint-Germain. He moved to England in 2001, first joining Newcastle United on a loan move from PSG, before signing a permanent contract with Manchester City, where he spent five seasons. He then spent two years at Portsmouth, before joining Everton in 2009.
He is currently in his thirteenth consecutive season in the Premier League, with over 350 appearances in England's top flight.
Born in Bagnolet, Distin started his career at French non-league side Joué-lès-Tours before moving to Tours a year later, where he played 26 times and scored three goals. He then transferred to Gueugnon of Ligue 2, signing his first professional contract. With Gueugnon he won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2000. His performances for Gueugnon prompted Paris Saint-Germain to sign him, though his time at PSG was short-lived and after a year, Distin went on loan to Newcastle United where he made 35 appearances in all competitions. Distin with Manchester City===Manchester City=== Following the loan spell, Newcastle wanted to sign Distin permanently but he instead opted to sign for Manchester City where he could play in his preferred position of central defence, rather than left-back at Newcastle. The transfer fee was £4 million, setting a club record for a defender. Consistent performances in his first Manchester City season resulted in Distin being named the club's Player of the Year for the 2002–03 season. At the start of the 2003–04 season, Distin was named captain of Manchester City following the retirement of Ali Benarbia. In total, Distin played 207 times for Manchester City and scored six goals.
Distin left City at the end of his contract in May 2007, seeking a "fresh challenge", and moved to Portsmouth on a three-year deal. Distin was appointed vice captain by Harry Redknapp and led Portsmouth in Sol Campbell's absences due to injury. At the end of Distin's first season at Fratton Park, he won his first major honour in English football, the 2008 FA Cup.
In August 2009, Everton signed Distin from Portsmouth for a fee of about £5 million on a three-year contract. Distin wears the number 15 shirt at Everton and made his debut in a 2–1 victory over Wigan Athletic. On 17 September 2009 he scored his first goal for Everton in the UEFA Europa League against Greek team AEK Athens. He scored his second goal for Everton in the UEFA Europa League on 16 February 2010 against Sporting CP to give Everton a 2–1 win. Distin was later sent off resulting in Sporting's goal from the penalty spot after a poor touch following an equally poor Jack Rodwell pass. Distin scored his first league goal for the club against Liverpool on 16 January 2011, heading in from a corner at the start of the second half. During his 2011–12 season, Distin assisted goalkeeper Tim Howard's 100-yard goal, notable as only the fourth goal from a keeper in the history of the Premier League.
On 14 April 2012, he made a rare mistake in the FA Cup semi-final when a poor back pass gifted Luis Suárez the equalising goal for Merseyside rivals Liverpool. Everton went on to lose the game 2–1, and Distin took to Twitter to apologise to the Everton fans. However, he was named Everton's players' player of the year at the end of season awards ceremony, and then agreed a one-year contract extension to stay at the club for the 2012–13 season.
In addition to France, Distin is also eligible to play for the non-FIFA affiliated nation of Guadeloupe as his father was born in Guadeloupe. Distin was approached to play in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup by the Guadeloupean Federation but rejected the advances as he didn't feel it would be beneficial for his pre-season routine with Everton.
|2000–01||Paris Saint-Germain||Division 1||28||0||?||?||?||?||10||0||38||0|
|2001–02||Newcastle United||Premier League||28||0||5||0||2||0||0||0||35||0|
|2002–03||Manchester City||Premier League||34||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||36||0|
|Manchester City total||178||5||16||1||7||0||5||0||206||6|
- Doesn't include 2008 FA Community Shield appearance.