Yoann Miguel Gourcuff (French pronunciation: [jɔ.an ɡuʁ.kyf] or Breton pronunciation: [jo.ãnː ɡuːr.kỹː]; born 11 July 1986) is a French professional footballer who plays for Ligue 1 club Rennes. He operates mainly as an attacking midfielder, but can also be utilized as a withdrawn striker and is described as a "playmaker of real quality" who "is an accomplished passer of the ball". Gourcuff has been described by former French international David Ginola as the best French player of his generation. His talent, elegant playing style, tenacity on the pitch, technical skills and precocious ability have drawn comparisons to French legend Zinedine Zidane.
Gourcuff is the son of Christian Gourcuff. In 2001, he followed in his father's footsteps and joined Rennes. After progressing through the youth ranks and making the senior team, Gourcuff quickly became a fan favorite among supporters and his individual achievements soon led to interest from clubs abroad, which resulted in a move to Italian club A.C. Milan. Gourcuff achieved many club honours despite not being able to break into the starting eleven, which resulted in the player being sent on loan to Ligue 1 club Bordeaux in his home country of France. Following a successful season, in which Bordeaux captured the league and league cup double and Gourcuff attained several individuals honours, he signed with the club permanently. Gourcuff is a former winner of the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year award and, in December 2009, was named the French Player of the Year for the 2009 calendar year. In August 2010, he joined Olympique Lyonnais on a five-year contract.
Gourcuff is a French international. Prior to playing at senior level, he played on the under-19 team that won the 2005 European Under-19 Football Championship. Gourcuff made his senior national team debut in August 2008. He scored his first international goal two months later against Romania. Gourcuff made his first major tournament appearance for France at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Since joining the national team, he has been inserted into the playmaker role, a position that was vacated and never filled following the retirement of Zidane in 2006.