Continuing our where are they now series, today we look at the life and career of former French international and a World Cup winner Bernard Diomede.
Gerard Houllier really did love signing a player from the French league and in the summer of 2000 he went back to the well a sixth time, but this time he was not only signing a French international winger he was also signing one who was part of the 1998 World Cup winning squad, playing three games in the tournament.
Signed from Auxerre for £3m big things were expected of Diomede and he nearly got off to a perfect start scoring from an overhead kick on his debut for Sunderland, only for it to be wrongly ruled out.
Unfortunately for the winger he was to pick up a bad knee injury that would keep him out for two months and by the time he got back to fitness the club were on course to win three cups with Diomede watching on from the stands.
“When I returned in December 2000, the team was racking up win after win and went on to win three trophies,” he remembers. “When you have 24 players of such quality, with such competition for places, it isn’t easy to get back in the team. That’s the way it is at big clubs.”
Diomede would spend the next two and half seasons playing for the reserves without as much of a sniff of first team football, he would end his spell at Liverpool with a loan move to Ajaccio in French Leaague 1 before slipping down the tables to League 2 with Creitil and finally into the French 3rd division with Cleremont foot, he retired in 2008 after not being able to find a new club.
So where is he now ?
He is the current manager of the France u-20 side having worked with the side since the u-17s and is also runs a French academy.