Jermain Colin Defoe (born October 7, 1982 in Beckton, London) is an English footballer of St. Lucian and Dominican descent. He is a centre-forward who plays club football for Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League.
Defoe started his career with Charlton Athletic, and was somewhat controversially signed by West Ham in 1999 before having actually played a game for Charlton. West Ham were subsequently ordered to pay substantial compensation. In 2003, he joined
Tottenham in a part exchange deal (that saw Bobby Zamora head in the other direction) reportedly worth ú7,000,000.
Before leaving West Ham for Tottenham, Defoe had a loan spell with Second Division club Bournemouth where he broke the record for getting on the score sheet in a record number of consecutive league games, scoring in 10 games in a row. This record still stands in English professional football. Upon West Hams relegation Defoe angered fans by requesting a move the day after and in the subsequent season manufactured a move to Tottenham after notching up three red cards.
Renowned for his pace and fierce shot, Defoe burst onto the Tottenham scene with a debut goal for Tottenham against Portsmouth at White Hart Lane, in the 2003-04 season and added a further six for that season, scoring 7 goals in 14 matches.
In 2004-05, he scored 13 goals in 28 matches in the Premiership and 9 goals in 7 matches in domestic cup competitions (FA Cup and League Cup). These impressive statistics only confirm that Defoe is recognised as one of the most deadly finishers of his age group in Europe.
Despite his ability, Spurs manager Martin Jol has used Defoe in rotation for the 2005-06 season; Robbie Keane and Mido also vied for a starting position. Defoe started 23 times and came on as substitute 13 times in the 2005-06 season, with Keane making 24 starts and 11 substitute appearances and Mido making 24 starts and 3 substitute appearances.
Defoe has made a number of international appearances for England, scoring on his first full start for the national team on September 8, 2004 with a vital goal in the 2-1 win over Poland.
However, although named as a stand-by for Sven-G÷ran Eriksson's England squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Defoe did not make the trip to Germany. He did however start for England in Steve McClaren's first match, vs Greece in a friendly at Old Trafford on 16 August 2006.
Defoe scored the third and fourth goal in England's opening match of Euro 2008 qualifying against Andorra.
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