The Gym’s (former) World Cup participants

Two members of the 2022-23 squad will play at the World Cup from Sunday - Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey. Denmark's Kasper Dolberg, who is on loan to Sevilla from Gym, will also be in Qatar. A look back at the Red and Black players who took part in the greatest international competition while wearing the red and black jersey.  


The last of these was in Russia in 2018. Bassem Srarfi, who had arrived at the Gym 18 months earlier, was finishing his second season in red and black when he was called up by Nabil Maâloui. The attacking midfielder had made 37 appearances for OGC Nice, including 26 in Ligue 1 and six in the European Cup. Number 18 in the Carthage Eagles squad, he was left on the bench for the opening defeat against England (1-2) and then against Belgium (5-2). He returned for the last minute of the final match against Panama (2-1 victory). It was his 6th appearance with Tunisia. He now has 15 appearances. 

On loan during the 2017/2018 season to Châteauroux, Mouez Hassen started the World Cup as a starter with Tunisia against England. However, he suffered a shoulder injury and left the competition after 15 minutes. He returned to Nice for a season and has 20 caps for Tunisia. 


So far, he remains the Aiglon who has gone furthest in the World Cup. David Ospina reached the quarter-finals in Brazil. Although Colombia lost 2-1 to the host nation, the goalkeeper had played and won all four previous matches (Greece 3-0, Ivory Coast 2-1, Japan 4-1 in the group stage and Uruguay 2-0 in the round of 16). The Medellin native was even captain against the Japanese. A 199-time Gym goalkeeper in six years, David Ospina has now won 127 caps since his debut on 7 February 2007. 


He is the last Nice goalscorer in a World Cup. At the age of 24 and after a full season in red and black (32 games, 7 goals, 4 assists), Baky Koné joined the Elephants to play in the Germany World Cup. He came on for the last 28 minutes of the first match against Argentina (3-2 defeat) and was a starter for the second match against the Netherlands. He reduced the deficit just before the break (38', 2-1) before coming off in the 62nd minute. He was again a substitute against Serbia and Montenegro, and came on for the last half-hour of the match, which was won 3-2. The striker has played for Nice on 101 occasions and scored 9 goals in 42 matches for the Ivory Coast. 


He only played for Nice for one season. It gave him access to the Lions Indomptables and to the World Cup. Didier Angibeaud was called up for the first time with Cameroon for the France World Cup, after 32 matches for the Gym. After three friendly matches in which he got to know the international level, the striker played the two first matches at France 98. Against Austria (1-1) and Italy (3-0 defeat), he played 90 minutes each time. He returned for 21 minutes in the final match against Chile (1-1). His last appearance for Cameroon. 


A World Cup goal in the United States for the memories. Mohamed Chaouch scored against Saudi Arabia (2-1 defeat) in the second game, having played 82 minutes in the previous game against Belgium (1-0). He did not come on against the Netherlands (1-2 defeat), and his World Cup tally stood at 172 minutes. The striker, who played 140 games in red and black (30 goals), spent three seasons next to the Promenade des Anglais. 


Three goals in 36 games for OGC Nice. The Yugoslav's 1981-1982 season was a good one as the Spain World Cup got underway. This is the reason why he was called up after his only year in Nice. The midfielder played in all three of the group matches on the other side of the Pyrenees. He drew with Northern Ireland (0-0), lost to Spain (1-2) and beat Honduras (1-0). These were the last three of his 12 caps for Yugoslavia.


58 minutes for the goalkeeper, who replaced Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes against Argentina (2-1 defeat), 90 minutes for the midfielder in the opening 2-1 loss to Italy. The two Niçois played little during the Argentina World Cup. It was the last time any Aiglons played in the World Cup with Les Bleus, and they were eliminated after finishing third in the group. The goalkeeper with 285 appearances for Nice ended his national team career with 21 games for France. The midfielder, who stayed 4 seasons on the Côte d'Azur (163 games, 14 goals), has 19 caps and 3 goals. 

Jean-Marc Guillou, during the match against Italy. 


Fresh from a Coupe de France win with the Gym (2-1 against Marseille), Abderahmane Mahjoub left for Switzerland with Les Bleus to play in the World Cup. The midfielder was a substitute in the first match against Yugoslavia (1-0 defeat), but was a starter in the victory over Mexico (3-2). The French team did not play a third match because of a special rule for this World Cup. Mahjoub would leave the Gym after one season and 38 games (6 goals). He finished with 7 caps for the French national team, before also wearing the Moroccan shirt seven times. Antoine Cuissard was captain for Les Bleus' final preparatory match in Brussels against Belgium (3-3) on 30 May 1954. However, Pierre Pibarot, the French coach, did not play the striker from Nice in either of the two matches in Switzerland. The friendly match was therefore Cuissard's last appearance in a Coq shirt. He stayed a second season in Nice to make 92 appearances in red and black. 


The Gym midfielder, and future red and black coach, was part of the long boat trip by Les Bleus from Villefranche-sur-Mer to Montevideo. However, he did not play in any of the three games against Mexico (4-1 victory), Argentina (1-0 defeat) and Chile (1-0 defeat). In the end, he never wore the French national team jersey. Far from the numerous experiences he had in Nice...

Tom Mollaret (Statistiques Michel Oreggia)