Eric Bertrand Bailly (French pronunciation: ​[eʁik bɛʁ.tʁɑ̃ baji]; born 12 April 1994) is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays for Ligue 1 club Marseille, on loan from Premier League club Manchester United, and the Ivory Coast national team. Although he mainly plays as a centre-back, he can also play as a right-back.[3]

Eric Bailly
Eric Bailly 2021.jpg
Bailly playing for Manchester United in 2021
Personal information
Full name Eric Bertrand Bailly[1]
Date of birth (1994-04-12) 12 April 1994 (age 28)[2]
Place of birth Bingerville, Ivory Coast
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Position(s) Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Marseille
(on loan from Manchester United)
Number 3
Youth career
2011–2013 Espanyol
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013–2014 Espanyol B 21 (0)
2014–2015 Espanyol 5 (0)
2015–2016 Villarreal 35 (0)
2016– Manchester United 70 (1)
2022–Marseille (loan) 3 (0)
National team
2021 Ivory Coast Olympic 4 (1)
2015– Ivory Coast 46 (2)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 21:01, 13 September 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23:31, 29 March 2022 (UTC)

Bailly began his professional career at Spain's Espanyol, before transferring to Villarreal. He spent two seasons at the club before signing for Manchester United in June 2016.

He made his international debut for the Ivory Coast in 2015 and helped them win that year's Africa Cup of Nations. He played in two further African tournaments, and the 2020 Olympics.

Club careerEdit

EspanyolEdit

Born in Bingerville, Bailly joined Espanyol's youth system in December 2011, aged 17.[4] Bailly was spotted by Espanyol's Emilio Montagut after taking part in a youth tournament in Burkina Faso, organised by Spanish company Promoesport.[5] Some records of that time erroneously list his name as Eric Bertrand (his middle name misinterpreted as his paternal surname). He only received a work permit in October of the following year,[6] and made his senior debut in the 2013–14 campaign with the reserves, in Segunda División B.

On 5 October 2014, Bailly made his first-team – and La Liga – debut, coming on as a late substitute in a 2–0 home win against Real Sociedad.[7] He was promoted to the main squad shortly after.[8]

VillarrealEdit

On 29 January 2015, Bailly signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with fellow La Liga team Villarreal for a 5.7 million fee, mainly as a replacement to Arsenal-bound Gabriel Paulista.[9][10] He made his debut for the Yellow Submarine on 22 February, starting in a 1–0 home win against Eibar.[11]

On 19 March, Bailly made his UEFA Europa League debut, starting and being sent off in a 2–1 away loss against Sevilla.[12]

On 18 October 2015, Bailly was sent off shortly after the interval in a 2–1 loss to Celta de Vigo at Estadio El Madrigal.[13] He made seven appearances as the team reached the last four of the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League; on 22 October he scored his first career goal and only one for the team, to conclude a 4–0 home group win over Dinamo Minsk.[14]

Manchester UnitedEdit

2016–17 season: Debut campaignEdit

 
Bailly warming up for Manchester United in 2017

On 8 June 2016, Bailly joined Premier League side Manchester United for a reported fee of £30 million, signing a four-year contract, with the option of an additional two. He was the first player signed by their new manager José Mourinho.[15][16][17]

He made his competitive debut on 7 August in a 2–1 win against Leicester City at Wembley Stadium to win the FA Community Shield, and was named man of the match.[18] He was again named man of the match on his Premier League debut a week later, a 3–1 win at Bournemouth.[19]

He was voted Manchester United's Player of the Month for August 2016. Talking to MUTV, he said "The Man-of-the-Match awards are something I hadn’t thought about but I got them through the hard work I have put in. I hope to see more of that in the weeks ahead of us."[20] On 23 October 2016, Bailly was substituted off in the 52nd minute after suffering a serious knee injury during the 4–0 loss at Chelsea.[21] He made 11 appearances as the Red Devils won the Europa League, and was named in the Squad of the Season.[22]

2017–18 seasonEdit

On 19 August 2017, Bailly scored the first league goal of his club career, Manchester United's first in a 4–0 away win over Swansea City, following up after Paul Pogba's header came back off the underside of the crossbar.[23]

On 8 November 2017, Bailly suffered an ankle injury where he was sidelined for around 100 days and returned to action on 17 February 2018 coming on as a substitute for Romelu Lukaku in the final 90 minute added additional time in a 2–0 win over Huddersfield in the FA Cup.[24][25] He went on and made a total of 18 appearances and scored one goal in all competitions at the end of the season.

2018–present: Injury-hit campaignsEdit

Bailly's injury problems continued in the 2018–19 season which caused him to only feature in 18 games in all competitions, with 12 appearances coming in from the Premier League. He was sent off on 30 December 2018 in a 4–1 home win over AFC Bournemouth for a foul on Ryan Fraser, for which he was criticised by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær.[26]

In July 2019, Bailly was ruled out for a further four months after suffering a knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur in China.[27] On 10 January 2020, he made his return from injury by playing in a game with Manchester United's under-23 team against Newcastle United.[28] On 17 January 2020, Bailly signed a two-year contract extension with United, tying him to the club until the end of the 2021–22 season.[29] He made a comeback in the Premier League and played his first match of the season on 17 February, featuring for the whole 90 minutes in a 2–0 win against Chelsea.[30][31][32]

He made his 100th appearance for the club in a 1–1 draw against AC Milan in the Europa League at Old Trafford.[33] On 26 April 2021, he signed a contract to 2024, with the option of one more year.[34]

On 23 September 2021, Bailly made his first appearance of the campaign in an EFL Cup tie against West Ham United, which Manchester United lost 1–0.[35]

Marseille (loan)Edit

On 24 August 2022, Bailly joined Ligue 1 club Marseille on loan for the duration of the 2022–23 season.[36]

International careerEdit

 
Bailly playing for the Ivory Coast in 2017

On 29 December 2014, Bailly was included in Hervé Renard's 23-man squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.[37] He made his debut on 11 January 2015, in a friendly against Nigeria,[38] and appeared in all six matches during the competition as his side were crowned champions. He was again named in the Elephants' squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon,[39] playing the entirety of all three matches in a campaign which ended in the group stage.

On 12 October 2018, Bailly scored his first international goal in a 4–0 win over the Central African Republic in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Stade Bouaké.[40] The following April he suffered a knee injury, ruling him out of the finals in Egypt.[41]

On 3 July 2021, Bailly was selected as one of the designated overaged players in the Ivory Coast Olympic team for the 2020 Summer Olympics.[42][43] Bailly made his Olympics debut in a 2–1 win against Saudi Arabia on 22 July.[44] He made four appearances in the tournament and scored one goal, in a quarter-final defeat against Spain.[45]

At the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, held at the start of the following year in Cameroon, Bailly suffered a head injury at the end of a 2–2 draw with Sierra Leone in the second game, thereby missing the third against Algeria.[46] He wore a scrum cap in the goalless last 16 match against Egypt and was the only player to miss in the penalty shootout, with his shot being saved by substitute goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal.[47]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 13 September 2022[45]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup[a] League cup[b] Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Espanyol B 2013–14 Segunda División B 20 0 20 0
2014–15 Segunda División B 1 0 1 0
Total 21 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 0
Espanyol 2014–15 La Liga 5 0 0 0 5 0
Villarreal 2014–15 La Liga 10 0 0 0 2[c] 0 12 0
2015–16 La Liga 25 0 3 0 7[c] 1 35 1
Total 35 0 3 0 0 0 9 1 0 0 47 1
Manchester United 2016–17 Premier League 25 0 0 0 1 0 11[c] 0 1[d] 0 38 0
2017–18 Premier League 13 1 2 0 0 0 3[e] 0 0 0 18 1
2018–19 Premier League 12 0 1 0 1 0 4[e] 0 18 0
2019–20 Premier League 4 0 3 0 0 0 4[c] 0 11 0
2020–21 Premier League 12 0 1 0 3 0 5[c] 0 21 0
2021–22 Premier League 4 0 0 0 1 0 2[e] 0 7 0
Total 70 1 7 0 6 0 29 0 1 0 113 1
Marseille (loan) 2022–23 Ligue 1 3 0 0 0 2[e] 0 5 0
Career total 134 1 10 0 6 0 40 1 1 0 191 2
  1. ^ Includes Copa del Rey, FA Cup
  2. ^ Includes EFL Cup
  3. ^ a b c d e Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ Appearance in FA Community Shield
  5. ^ a b c d Appearances in UEFA Champions League

InternationalEdit

As of match played 29 March 2022[48]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Ivory Coast 2015 12 0
2016 5 0
2017 11 0
2018 5 1
2019 1 1
2020 2 0
2021 5 0
2022 5 0
Total 46 2
As of match played 29 March 2022
Ivory Coast score listed first, score column indicates score after each Bailly goal[48]
List of international goals scored by Eric Bailly
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 October 2018 Stade Bouaké, Bouaké, Ivory Coast 32   Central African Republic 2–0 4–0 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
2 23 March 2019 Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast 34   Rwanda 2–0 3–0 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification

HonoursEdit

Manchester United

Ivory Coast

Individual

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Squads for 2016/17 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Eric Bailly: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Jose Mourinho: Why I signed Eric Bailly". ManUtd.com. Manchester United. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  4. ^ Dos nous fitxatges per al futbol base (Two new signings for the youth setup); Espanyol's official website, 1 December 2011 (in Catalan)
  5. ^ Wilkes, Paul (8 June 2016). "Eric Bailly: The Villarreal rock who Jose's made his first signing". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ Eric Bertrand ya tiene los papeles y puede debutar (Eric Bertrand already has the paperwork and can debut); Diario La Grada, 6 October 2012 (in Spanish)
  7. ^ El Espanyol pone a Arrasate contra las cuerdas (Espanyol puts Arraste against the wall); Marca, 5 October 2014 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ Eric, la perla de 20 millones (Eric, the pearl of 20 million); Sport, 13 December 2014 (in Spanish)
  9. ^ El Villarreal CF ficha a Eric Bailly (Villarreal signs Eric Bailly) Archived 31 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine; Villarreal's official website, 29 January 2015 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ El Espanyol traspasa a Eric Bailly al Villarreal por 5,7 millones de euros (Espanyol transfers Eric Bailly to Villarreal for 5.7 million euros); El Mundo Deportivo, 29 January 2015 (in Spanish)
  11. ^ Vietto, con licencia para marcar (Vietto, with a scoring license); Marca, 22 February 2015 (in Spanish)
  12. ^ Slick Sevilla finish off ten-man Villarreal; UEFA.com, 19 March 2015
  13. ^ "Villarreal 1-2 Celta Vigo" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
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External linksEdit