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Marc Libbra

Marc Libbra
Norwich Career: 2001-2002 (38 appearances, 7 goals)
Current Club:
Date of Birth: 05/07/1972
Nationality: French


Marc began his career at FC Istres and has since played for Olympique Marseille (France), En Avant Guingamp (France/loan), AS Cannes (France) and Toulouse (France). A loan spell at Hibernian in 2000/01 was highly successful. However Hibs and Toulouse could not agree a financial settlement for Marc's signature despite Toulouse's slip into bankruptcy and administration.

This enabled Norwich to swoop and the French striker was able to join the Canaries on trial at the beginning of July 2001. Making his debut in the pre-season friendly at Fakenham, Marc scored a hat-trick in a 8-1 victory at Clipbush Park at the end of his fortnight trial. City were keen to secure his signature but there was initially some concern over wages thus alerting Celtic to Marc's availability. This was not his first trial in England as he had trialled with Bolton in July 1999.

Marc signed a three year deal with Norwich on 27th July and then played in the friendly games against Leicester and Colchester. But the deal was not yet completed. The "loose ends" City admitted still needed to be tied up when Libbra was unveiled at a press conference took a few weeks to resolve, leaving Norwich to concentrate on gaining international clearance from the French Football Federation. Another delay was the fact that Toulouse were going through administration. Norwich company secretary Neil Doncaster told the Eastern Daily Press: "The administrators at Toulouse need to be tied in to the deal, as well as the club. Those are the loose ends that need to be tied up. We are hopeful that dialogue can be cleared up within 48 hours."

The transfer was finally completed mere days before the start of the 2001 season when the French Football Federation ruled that Toulouse no longer existed in their old format and that all their players were free agents. International clearance was granted and Marc was eligible to make the starting XI for the first match of the 2000/01 season against Millwall. The death of his father-in-law took Marc away from the trip to Millwall but he made his debut as a substitute against Man City the following week (18th August). His goal 11 seconds after coming onto the pitch is said to be the record debut goal for the Canaries. Marc followed that with the winning goal in the 89th minutes at Wimbledon on 25th August.

In April 2002, Major League Soccer (MLS) side Kansas City Wizards expressed an interest in signing Libbra, with a fee umoured to be £200,000. However both Norwich and Libbra rejected this enquiry with his talent needed for the final game of the 2001/02 season against Stockport and the play-offs.

Norwich and Marc parted company on 30th August 2002 in mutual agreement. Marc had slipped down the preferred list of strikers, even behind academy starlet Paul Hayes. With the form of Paul McVeigh and the imminent return of Zema Abbey, there was no place for Libbra and City sought to reduce their wage bill by letting Marc go to hopefully find a new club before the transfer window was shut. Marc was indeed successful and returned to France, joining Second Division Creteil. Creteil also signed former Tottenham, Celtic and Watford defender Ramon Vega at the same time.

After making 30 appearances for Creteil scoring 5 goals in 2002/03, Marc transferred in January 2004 to Corsican side Ajaccio. His first goals for his new team came against Louhans Cuiseau when he scored twice.

Libbra returned to Scotland towards the end of June 2004 when he signed for Livingston. Almondvale boss Allan Preston said: "Marc has looked after himself very
well and has a good goalscoring record.

Marc is currently involved with Eric Cantona’s Beach Soccer revolution and appeared for the French national side in recent tournaments, including the World Cup in Brazil in 2006.

Since retiring he has worked as a pundit on French television.

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