Away from the court, Guigou, who spent most of his career in Montpellier (1999-2019), has left his mark on his refined style, deep attachment to the game and a remarkable taste for victory, with a dizzying track record.
“What made Michel above all else was his ability to understand the game and provide appropriate answers through his technique. When there were no more solutions, we relied on his talent. As it is a quality that transcends time, he started very early and ended his career late,” coach and committee manager Arbitration: Patrice Cannaier, President of Montpellier since 1994.
With MHB, the prodigy won the Champions League twice at the end of his career: the first in 2003 against Pamplona, and the second in 2018 against Nantes, after the Final 4 in Cologne by dominating Vardar Skopje in the semi-finals and Nantes. In the final after the elimination of Barcelona and Flensburg.
loyal to Montpellier
With the Blues, Guigou has been part of all the campaigns and all the successes since 2002. Triple Olympic champion in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 and thus Tokyo, four-times world champion and three-time European champion, the left winger scored over a thousand goals to accompany The Experts (2006-2017) held the handball planet alongside his eternal partner Luke Abalo.
Guigou arrived in Montpellier in 1999, originally from Apt (Vaucluse) and remained loyal to MHB until 2019, turning down offers from the biggest Spanish or German clubs such as Barcelona or Kiel, to maintain a life balance.
“When Nico (Karabatic) left for Kiel (in 2005, Ed), he asked me if I wanted to follow him. There were also connections with Pamplona, Ciudad Real and Barcelona… My priority was never to be the best player in the world nor to be at the best My role. Life is made up of many things and not just a sporting career. If you can reconcile your happiness with the happiness of those around you, that is great,” he explained.
Elegance on parquet floors has no barriers. In 2012, in the betting case, in which dozens of Montpellier players were convicted, Guigou was always above reproach, he was called to the bar by the civil party as witnesses.
Career end, “little blacksmith”
Rowing in the 1920s in Montpellier, Guigou has dominated for more than fifteen years, but also rowed to restore the club’s tarnished image and won its second European title in 2018, as a symbol of his loyalty and fortitude, before being disqualified.
“Staying more than fifteen years in a club is rare. Mica is Montpellier, Montpellier is Mica,” sums up international goalkeeper Vincent Gerard, C1 winner in 2018 alongside him.
After complicated relations with Patrice Kanner, who opposed a contract extension in 2019, he joins neighboring Languedoc, Nimes, where he will end his career and play the ambassador there. “I am not afraid of the consequences, but I will be a little sad. This coaching diploma holder admitted that the end of the player’s career would be heartbreaking, to the point of seeming a simple mourning.
Shown at the Blues in the wake of Montpellier’s first European title, the left winger has always given a key place to Team France to better celebrate history.
“Tv geek. Certified beer fanatic. Extreme zombie fan. Web aficionado. Food nerd. Coffee junkie.”