Player Profile: Benoit Costil
Since joining Stade Rennais in 2011, Caen born Benoit Costil has established himself as the undisputed number one goalkeeper at the club as well as furthering his reputation as one of the best shot-stoppers in Ligue 1.
Costil had grown through the youth ranks at SM Caen, but never quite made it as their first choice goalkeeper as he failed to move ahead of Vicent Plante in the pecking order in Normandy. In 2008 he was loaned out to Vannes OC to secure game time and managed to play a total of 27 games in Ligue 2. Ironically it was Costil’ current goalkeeping coach at Stade Rennais, Christophe Revel, who he overtook as first choice for the southern Breton outfit.
Upon returning to Caen, Costil saw that his opportunities would be limited and so a mutual agreement to end his contract with the club, allowing a move to CS Sedan Ardennes to take place. It was with the northern club where Costil really started to make a name for himself. He played pretty much every game for two consecutive seasons for Sedan and won their fans player of the season vote for 2009-10 and the UNFP award for best goalkeeper in Ligue 2 in 2010-11 as well as being named in the team of the season. His second year with Sedan attracted scouts from a number of top flight teams.
Frederic Antonetti brought Costil to les Rouges et Noirs, as a replacement for PSG bound Nicolas Douchez, in the summer of 2011 and he has remained first choice goalkeeper ever since playing a total of 140 games for the club. He has especially formed a great working relationshop with former teammate, now goalkeeping coach Revel who has overseen his development into the quality goalkeeper we see today.
His strengths lay in his calmness and pure shot-stopping capabilities. With fantastic reflexes, he has single handedly won countless points for les Rouges et Noirs. In the traumatic season of 2013-14, Costil arguably was the reason Stade Rennais avoided a more severe fight against relegation as he produced man of the match performance after man of the match performance with numerous crucial saves.
Despite consistently impressive performances in Ligue 1, it is perhaps a surprise Costil hasn’t made more of an impact for the national team. He was in goal as the France under-17’s won the 2004 European Championships, a squad including Karim Benzema, Jeremy Menez, Samir Nasri and Hatem Ben Arfa. He was again in goal as France won the 2007 Toulon tournament, teaming up with club teammate Romain Danze. He has represented les Bleus at every level apart from the senior team and many were surprised that he he wasn’t called up to the back up squad for the 2014 World Cup after injury ruled Steve Mandanda out. Especially with the previous season being one of his best to date.
As one of the most important players for Stade Rennais and one of the most impressive goalkeepers in the division, it is understandable that other teams keep an eye on him with Saint-Etienne the most recent team linked with a move for him.
For now though, the 2012 “Sexiest Player in Ligue 1”, remains a loyal servant to the club and with him contracted to les Rouges et Noirs until 2017, it is difficult to see him moving before then.