Gregory Vignal

Gregory Vignal is a French left back who was born on 19th July 1981 in Montpellier. Vignal began his career with his local side Montpellier Herault SC, but failed to make a first team appearance for the club before moving to Liverpool in September 2000 for a fee of £500,000. Vignal made his Anfield debut on 6th January 2001 in a 3-0 FA Cup win over Rotherham. The Frenchman had been due to make his debut earlier in the season in the Worthington Cup, but missed out after falling ill before kick-off. Fellow Liverpool player Robbie Fowler said in his autobiography that Vignal burst into tears when he was told he couldn't play. Vignal was on the bench for Pool's 5-4 UEFA Cup final win over Alaves on 16th May 2001, but barely featured the next three years and was considered a bit of a joke among fans. In 2002/03 he had a spell on loan at Bastia. The following season he was sent to Rennes and Espanyol in temporary deals.

Just prior to the 2004/05 season Vignal signed for Glasgow Rangers on loan for a year. He had the best spell of his career so far at Ibrox, making his debut on 7th August 2004 in a 0-0 draw at Aberdeen. On March 20th Vignal started in Rangers victorious League Cup final win over Motherwell. He also picked up a league winners medal after a dramatic last day finish, which saw Celtic blow a 1-0 lead at Motherwell to hand Alex McLeish's side the title.

In the summer of 2005 Vignal declined an opportunity to join Rangers on a permanent basis, instead signing for Alain Perrin's Portsmouth. Vignal made his Pompey debut on 13th August 2005 against Tottenham. The Frenchman's form at Fratton Park was considered poor and when Harry Redknapp returned to manage the club in December, Vignal was frozen out of the side.

Vignal joined Lens prior to the 2006/07 season on a free transfer. He failed to make a significant contribution at the French club however, and was loaned to Kaiserslauten in January 2007 until the end of the campaign.

On July 9th 2007 Vignal began a one week trial with Southampton. Saints boss George Burley liked what he saw, and signed the French full back to a season long loan deal on 27th July. Vignal made his debut for the South Coast club on 11th August 2007 against Crystal Palace. He looked shaky in early matches at St Marys and only featured occasionally. He scored his first goal for the club on 5th January from a free kick against Leicester in an FA Cup tie. Vignal improved significantly in the second half of the season, and proved to be a fine penalty taker, netting three from three from the spot. He was forced to miss the last four games of the campaign when he suffered an injury during a match with Bristol City on 5th April 2008.

Vignal returned to Lens after the conclusion of his loan spell at Southampton, but played in just 13 matches in 2008/09. After an unsuccessful trial with QPR in the summer of 2009, Vignal linked up with his former Rangers boss Alex McLeish when he signed for newly promoted Premiership outfit Rangers. Despite previously struggling at top flight level, the former French under 21 international put in some solid displays for The Blues. He made his debut for the club on 16th August 2009 at Old Trafford in a 1-0 loss to Manchester United. Vignal appeared 9 times for Birmingham in 2009/10 before his release from the club in June.

In July 2010 Vignal had trials with Championship sides Cardiff and Sheffield United. Nothing came of those however, and Vignal joined Greek side Atromitos in September 2010 on a short term deal. He made his debut for the club on 2nd October in a 1-1 draw with Asteras Tripolis, but was released in December 2010 after just four matches.