Joining the Reds in 2001 along with his cousin Florent Siname Pongolle, Anthony Le Tallec was viewed as a future World star and for good reason.
The story of Le Tallec is intertwined with that of Pongolle, they first had met on the Island of Reunion where Le Tallec was playing for French club Le Harve in a local tournament, there he met Pongolle who like him was a striker with a knack of putting the ball into the net.
It was only during this time did they two future Liverpool players realise that they were related.
“After the ceremony, we made a few pictures, and I got talking with his father,” Sinama Pongolle said. “When he heard my family name was Sinama Pongolle, he probed further. Soon, we realised that Anthony and I were closely related, which made us cousins. It was strange and funny at the same time because before this, I had no clue about a cousin my age, who lived in France and also played football.”
Le Tallec and Pongolle went on to win the U17 World cup with France and was Le Tallec voted 2nd best player of the tournament (behind Pongolle) plus they were about to come to Anfield to work with French manager Gerard Houllier.
He spent the first two years on loan at Le Harve to gain experience and managed to get 54 games and scoring 7 goals which for a 17 year old was certainly a promising start.
When he did eventually start his career at Liverpool he did manage some game time under Houllier and even scored in a UEFA cup game against Slovenian opponents NK Olimpija Ljubljana.
However when Rafa Benitez took over in 2005 he found his game time very much limited and so started a series of loan spells away from the club, which he would later admit that he not regrets.
“My big regret is asking Rafael Benitez to send me out on loan in my second season (in 2004),” he told Le Parisien. “I was young and without doubt badly advised at the time. I should have shut my mouth and worked like mad like everybody else.
“I thought that with the arrival of all these Spanish players at the time, I would be forgotten. It was the turning point of my career, but it’s not over yet!”
After loan spells to Sunderland, Sochaux & Le Mans he eventually left Liverpool for good joining Le Mans in 2008, he spent the next 6 years in France going from Le Mans to Auxerre and onto Valenciennes without much success.
In later years he went onto to play in Greece and Romania (Yes Romanian league) before finally returning to France albeit to a League 2 team but he is still hopeful of yet another big move telling ESPN.
|“I am still ambitious. I want to play for a big club again, play in Europe. Otherwise I wouldn’t get out of bed every morning and train like a dog,” he added.|
Where is he now ?
Now aged 34, Anthony Le Tallec is still playing football albeit not a professional level after recently signing for French non league outfit Annecy.