Le50 2016: Enzo Crivelli – Girondins de Bordeaux


In a world of polyvalence, wingers who can play either side, false nines, and all that other flummery, a single-position centre-forward who is built like a brick might seem a blast from the past. Enzo Crivelli is concentrating on blasting into the future.

After coming through the AS Cannes youth system, Crivelli joined Bordeaux in 2012, and his first season with the Girondins brought silverware as the U19s won the 2013 Coupe Gambardella to go with the senior team’s Coupe de France victory. The next season he made a couple of senior cameos, and a half in a cup match, but it was in 2014/15 that his promise – and determination to make an impact – really showed. He was getting 10-20 minute substitute appearances when he got an assist against Nantes, which earned him his first senior start, away at Lyon, in the penultimate game of the season.

Far from being intimidated by this, he scored in the third minute. He had already done enough to get called up for a couple of friendlies for the U20s, but now cemented a starting role at the 2015 Toulon tournament, where he ended joint-top scorer with four, and France ended as champions. Crivelli was all set to make his mark on the 2015/16 season.

Things started well as he got the crucial away goal in Europa qualifying against Kazakhstan’s Kairat Almaty, which put Bordeaux through to the group stage. Here, things went less well overall, as they failed to win a game, finishing bottom of their group with four points, and were 14th in the league at Christmas.

Crivelli, however, had three goals and four assists in 14 appearances (ten starts) and things were looking very promising. But while Bordeaux dragged themselves up to seventh after a 4-0 dismantling of Rennes at the end of January – before sliding back down into the bottom half of the table – apart from two goals in the Coupe de France, against Angers and Nantes, Crivelli’s contributions dried up in 2016, as, to a certain extent, did his playing time. After being promoted to the U21s in European qualifying in October/November 2015, scoring against Northern Ireland, he wasn’t called up for the most recent matches in March.

Bordeaux have been having a bit of a weird season – losing 4-0 to Toulouse in March was the final nail in Willy Sagnol’s managerial coffin – and this inconsistency has unsettled more experienced players than the young centre-forward. His determination and directness can have a downside: he was sent off against Nice in game 7, when his team was 2-1 down – Nice went on to propel themselves to the top of the scoring charts as it finished 6-1. It was one of the clearest straight reds you can imagine, a flying two-footed effort on Jeremy Pied just outside the Nice area.

Add to that a dozen bookings in all competitions and he is averaging a card every other game.

Crivelli sometimes looks out of scale compared to the players around him – at 6’ tall, it’s not his height so much as his bulk and the overall impression of solidity that he gives off – although he has a neater first touch and dribbling ability than might be expected, as well as a good eye for a through-ball or a little flick-on. However as with his discipline, his finishing needs work. After a frustrating start to 2016, he may get the chance, having started all three matches under new manager Ulrich Ramé, but Bordeaux’s situation means that he needs to start having an impact again – of the legitimate, preferably goalscoring, kind – to keep his starting spot, and cement an international spot when qualifying resumes in the autumn.

**Back to Le50**

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