Mike Maignan was born in Lesbos in March, 1974. He started playing football when he was just eight years old and went on to play for various youth clubs throughout Europe. Later on he signed with Italian second division side Bologna and played for the first team for three years, while also playing reserves for a number of lower league teams. He then moved on to become a player for the Watford FC first team and then on loan to English Premier League side Wolves before moving back to France. During this time he played for several other top sides including Racing Club de France.
Mike Maignan’s career as a professional has seen him earn top goalkeepers honors with a number of different nations. He was part of the coaching staff for the U.S. Men’s National Team that won the World Cup in 1998. Injuries limited him to only one cup game though, as he missed the remainder of the competition due to an arm injury. After being named in the U.S. squad for the 1998 World Cup, he was not able to start due to an ankle injury. Maignan returned to earn another cap and then spent the next two seasons with Italian giants Roma.
Mike Maignan made his international debut at the 1999 FIFA World Cup, coming on as a substitute in the USA versus England. Despite not starting, he kept his place as keeper and kept clean sheets against the hosts and Germany. A month later, he earned his first international start in a 1-1 draw against Germany. Maignan played well and kept clean sheets again the next two games, both defeats to Joachim Lienenmaier’s Germany side. Maignan would stay with the national side for the remainder of the World Cup.
After the tournament, Maignan moved back to Europe, signing for FC Barcelona of Spain. Maignan impressed on his return to the Spanish capital and kept four clean sheets in seven matches, helping the Catalans to another trophy. Maignan then signed for AS Monaco and spent two seasons there, helping them to another continental title. During the next three seasons at the helm, Maignan helped the club to another continental title before moving to Chelsea FC of England. He joined a side that had just been promoted to the Premier League and has been a consistent goalkeeper ever since, helping Chelsea to three English titles and one Champions League title.
Mike Maignan made his international debut in the USA against Mexico, coming on as a substitute in the 2nd half. As a substitute, he played a brilliant game, keeping a clean sheet and providing support for strikers like Eden Hazard. It looked like Mexico would take the lead through Carlos Vazquez but Maignan, again playing as a substitute, prevented the Mexico side from taking advantage and earning the three points. It was only a friendly game though and Maignan knows the national team will be stronger next season. Expect him to be a regular starter for the USA in the years to come.
Mike Maignan has developed into a top-quality goalkeeper over the years. His performances for the France national team have been steady, even though injuries have slowed his progress over the last year or so. For anyone who does not consider him one of the best goalkeepers in the world, they would have to be very wrong. Maignan deserves his spot as one of the top goalkeepers in the world and is an excellent example of how one should train and perform if one wants to play in the top leagues.