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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Michaël Ciani

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Michaël Ciani was born in Clichy-sous-Bois, France, on April 6, 1984.

He started his football with ES Colombienne and then after four years returned to Paris and joined Racing Club. He made his debut for RC France, the French third division, in the 2001-02 season. This would remain his only appearance.

In 2003 he moved to Belgium and joined Charleroi, in the Pro League. He played 18 games for the "Les Zebres" (The Zebras) and scored 1 goal.

In 2004 he joined Auxerre in Ligue I in France but never played for "AJA". In his year there Auxerre won the Coupe de France.

In 2005 he was loaned to Sedan in Ligue 2. He played 37 games with 3 goals and "Les Sangliers" (The Wild Boars) were promoted to Ligue 1.

The following year he went to Lorient, on loan, in Ligue 1. He stayed three years playing 105 games with 5 goals. After a positive first season "Les Tangos et Noirs" (The dark orange and black) bought him from Auxerre.

In 2009 he joined Bordeaux. He stayed three full seasons with the "Girondins" playing 116 games with 10 goals (including 3 in Champions League).

In August 2012 Ciani moved to Italy and joined Lazio. In Rome he worked under manager Vladimir Petkovic and in his first season played 34 games (18 Serie A, 5 Coppa Italia and 11 Europa League) and scored 1 goal. It was not any old season and Ciani played a fundamental role in its successful outcome. In the Coppa Italia Round of 16 Lazio were trailing Siena 1-0 at home until Ciani equalised in the 95th minute. The Biancocelesti then went on to win on penalties. Lazio would eventually lift the Italian Cup on May 26 after defeating bitter city rivals Roma in a historic derby final. Ciani played the last three minutes of that unforgettable match.

The following year, first under Petkovic and then Edy Reja, he made 26 appearances (18 Serie A, 2 Coppa Italia and 6 Europa League) with 1 goal (away in a 1-1 draw against Milan).

In 2014-15 he played less, under new manager Stefano Pioli, 12 league games also due to the arrivals of Stefan de Vrij, Santiago Gentiletti and Mauricio. Lazio however had an excellent season finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League preliminary round. This was Ciani's last season with the Biancocelesti.

In July 2015 he signed for Sporting Lisbon but after only 29 days he asked to leave claiming he and his family had not settled in well in the Portuguese capital. He never played for the ' Leões' (The Lions).

In August 2015 he signed for Espanyol in the Liga but only played 5 games in total.

So in August 2016 he returned to Lorient in Ligue 1. He played 29 games in total (27 in the league) and scored 3 goals. Unfortunately "Les Merlus" were relegated to Ligue 2.

He then went for a United States experience and joined LA Galaxy for a year, playing 28 games with 2 goals.

In 2019, at 34 Ciani retired from football.

At International level level he won 5 caps for France U-21's, winning the prestigious Toulon tournament in 2004 and 1 full France cap, in a friendly versus Spain in 2010.

Ciani was a strong and powerful central defender. At 1.92 metres tall for 88 kilos he was tough to beat physically. He was not particularly technical but made up for it with his sheer size.

At Lazio he had a positive three years. He is obviously best remembered for his first season. Without his goal against Siena there would have been no 26th May 2013 and if only for that Lazio fans will be eternally grateful to Michaël Ciani.

Lazio Career


Total Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League


34 (1)


5 (1)



26 (1)

18 (1)









72 (2)

48 (1)

7 (1)




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