Where is Francis Benali now?
The ever popular Southampton legend Francis Benali spent a total of 17 years on the South Coast before retiring in 2003.
He made 311 competitive appearances for the Saints over a 16-year period and was a member of the 2003 squad which lost the FA Cup Final to Arsenal.
Benali took his first steps in coaching whilst still a registered player for Southampton managing the academy under 12s team before going on to have a two-year spell as a youth coach at non-league side Romsey Town when he retired from playing.
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Still working as a coach, Benali now heads up the Matt Le Tissier Natural Coaching Academy which aims to provide children an opportunity to be coached with a ‘Play with Freedom’ philosophy whilst also giving them the chance to play and be seen by professional football clubs.
In December 2014 Francis Benali become the first recipient of the Barclays Spirit of the Game Award after he ran 1,000 miles and visited all 20 Premier League grounds for charity.
Benali also undertakes a lot of motivational and public speaking as well as working as a football pundit, predominantly on Southampton games for the likes of talkSPORT and Sky Sports News,
On transfer deadline day in August 2016, Benali announced that he had launched a new football agency with former Southampton team-mate Matthew LeTissier.
Called 73 Management, their agency will work not only with players but their families as well and represent players for the good of their careers rather than to look for easy-money deals.
In October 2016, Benali raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research by running and cycling to every Premier League and Championship stadium in two weeks.
In recognition of his efforts, not only for charity but also as a player and coach, Benali was given the freedom of the city of Southampton.
Follow Francis Benali on Twitter @FrannyBenali
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Francis Benali: Premier League Statistics
|Premier League Teams Played for||Southampton|
Statistics courtesy of www.premierleague.com