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Who is Barnsley manager Valérien Ismaël?

Valérien Ismaël was born on the 28th of September, 1975 in Strasbourg, France and is the current manager of Barnsley. Before going into management, Ismaël played professional football for top European clubs such as Bayern Munich, Strasbourg, Werder Bremen and Crystal Palace.

Ismaël came through the Youth Academy of AS Holtzheim before being picked up by home club Strasbourg in 1984. He waited until 1993 before making his first team debut for the club where he went on to make 86 more appearances for the side over the course of 5 years. He won numerous honours at Strasbourg including the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup, the 1996/97 Coupe de la Ligue and the 2000/01 Coupe de France in his return to the club on loan from Lens.

In 1998, Crystal Palace took on Ismaël for a season where he made 13 competitive appearances in an unsuccessful spell at the club. He returned to France the same year at Lens where he won the Coupe de la Ligue in his debut season for the club.

After spells at Lens and Strasbourg, Ismaël joined Werder Bremen on loan in 2003 before signing permanently a year later. He won the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal in the 2003/04 season where he impressed and gained a move to German superclub Bayern Munich in 2005. He won the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal in the 2005/06 season before joining Hannover 96 and then going into retirement in 2009.

In 2011, Ismaël went into management where he took over at Hannover 96 II for 2 seasons. He then went on to manage VfL Wolfsburg II, 1. FC Nürnberg, VfL Wolfsburg, Apollon Smyrnis, LASK, Barnsley and finally WBA where he works to this day. His only managerial honours came at VfL Wolfsburg II where he won 2 Regionalliga Nord titles.