Grégory Coupet is French former footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Throughout his playing career, he represented Saint-Étienne, Lyon, Atlético Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the France national team. In 2005, Coupet was voted for the first time, at age 33, into the top 10 for the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award. He finished with 43 votes in fourth-place behind winner Petr Čech, Dida and Gianluigi Buffon respectively. He has also twice been named Ligue 1 Keeper of the Year, in 2004 and 2005.
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Coupet began his club career with hometown team Club Olympique Le Puy, before turning professional with Saint-Étienne in 1994. He made his Ligue 1 debut on 26 March 1994 in a 2–0 victory against Angers. After three seasons, he surprisingly moved to league rival Lyon (the two cities are only 80 kilometres apart, and are long-time local and national rivals) as a replacement for Pascal Olmeta in January 1997. His gamble paid off as Lyon have regularly dominated Le Championnat since 2002 and were also regular fixtures in the UEFA Champions League. Coupet performed a memorable double save against Barcelona during an 2001–02 UEFA Champions League match, when he first acrobatically headed an unintended lob by a defender to his own crossbar, and then immediately parried a close header by the arriving Barcelona striker Rivaldo. He openly wept during the group photo before France faced Turkey in a 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final match, which had taken place just hours after the shocking death of his close friend and former Lyon teammate Marc-Vivien Foé. Coupet credits the aftermath of Foé’s death in helping him gain a new perspective on life, in the process settling his differences with Lyon after having been engaged in nasty contract imbroglios for most of the 2002–03 season, which included at one point his vowing never to play for the club again.