November 19, 2018

Player Feature: Emmanuel Rivière is raising Martinique’s flag in Europe

Martiniquais Pride

Full Name: Emmanuel Rivière

Birth Date: 3 March 1990

Place of Birth: Martinique

Playing Years: 1996 to present

Position(s): Striker

Football Club (Current): FC Metz

Formative Years and Professional Career

Emmanuel Rivière started playing football at his native Martinique, a French territory in the Caribbean. He began playing football at the age of 6 in a local club Espoir Sainte-Luce.

Rivière made excellent performances when he played in the annual under-14 Coupe Nationale during his junior. His game sparked the interest of football clubs in the continent, including Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Lyonnais, and AS Saint-Étienne.

Rivière could have signed for PSG or Lyon, but he finally signed up for Saint-Étienne, citing its huge role in the local football scene in Martinique. He also mentioned how his father is fond of Saint-Étienne, and was happy to see his son playing for the club.

During his early years in Saint-Étienne, Rivière was mentored by a fellow Martiniquais Frédéric Piquionne. At the age of 16, he eventually debuted for the club in the Championnat National 2 during his junior years. Within the same club, he debuted as senior player in a match with FC Girondins de Bordeaux in the Coupe de France. In May 2009, he scored his first goal for the club, contributing to its 4-2 victory in a game against Le Havre AC.

With key players Bafétimbi Gomis, Kevin Mirallas, Ilan out from the action, Rivière was also first choice striker of Saint-Étienne during the French competitive football season 2009-10. He struck his first goal of the season in a match against Toulouse FC, before he was placed into the midfield. By January 2010, he netted the first goal in the team’s 4-1 victory over FC Lorient, and scored the finishing goal in their 2-1 win against GF 38. By the last months of the season, Rivière’s form progressed more, scoring five goals and an assist across seven matches. Throughout the season, the young Martiniquais helped Saint-Étienne move out of the relegation zone.

By July 2010, Rivière expressed interest in joining Ligue 1 club Toulouse, and the German 1899 Hoffenheim after extending his contract with Saint-Étienne. In the following year, he signed up for Toulouse with a €6 million transfer fee. He, however, made relatively little development in his time with the club. He only made five goals and an assist across 26 appearances during the 2011-12 Ligue 1 season. In the following season, he made 18 appearances, in which he scored only four and made one assist.

Rivière then left Toulouse for AS Monaco in January 2013. He scored his first goal for the team in his very debut resulting to their 2-0 win against AC Arles-Avignon by February of that year. He scored four goals and 2 assists across 14 appearances for Monaco during the 2012-13 Ligue 2 season. He played in Ligue 1 again, netting ten goals across thirty appearances during the 2013-14 season.

In July 2014, the Martiniquais had a taste of the English Premier League when he joined Newcastle United. His performance, however, did not advanced during his time in the English club. He only made a goal and an assist throughout the the 2014-15 season, and none during 2015-16. He was initially loaned by Newcastle to La Liga club CA Osasuna for the 2016-17 season, but left it and returned to the English club without scoring any goal.

In August 2017, Rivière went back to French action when he left Newcastle United for FC Metz. During the 2017-18 season, he made improvements in his pace, netting five goals and two assists across 28 appearances. He also had already scored a goal in the start of the 2018-19 season.

The Martiniquais striker is out in the French action, raising the flag of his Caribbean home in the European football scene.  

By @FitsEly

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