Keita Baldé Diao
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 04/2017
Keita Baldé Diao
Date of birth
8 March 1995
Place of birth
1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
→ Cornellà (loan)
106x apps / 21x goals
12x apps / 3x goals
1x apps / 0x goal
(* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 April 2017. - National team caps and goals correct as of 16 February 2017)
Keita Baldé Diao is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Lazio and the Senegal national team.
Club career / Early career
Born in Arbúcies, Girona, Catalonia, to Senegalese parents, Keita came up through the FC Barcelona's youth academy.
In 2010, Keita travelled with the Barcelona youth team to Qatar for a tournament, where he played a practical joke by placing an ice-cube in a teammate's bed.
As a punishment, Barcelona sent the 15-year-old Keita on loan to satellite club UE Cornellà, despite Keita's reputation as a future prospect for the first team.
The loan meant Cornellà held the rights to a fraction of Keita's playing rights.
After a season in which he scored 47 goals for Cornellà's youth side, Keita turned down the chance to return to Barcelona, attracting the interest of Real Madrid and Manchester United.
In the summer of 2011, he was signed by Serie A club Lazio for a fee of €300,000, of which 10% went to Cornellà.
Keita was unable to play official matches for Lazio's youth sides for a year, as he had to wait to be granted Spanish citizenship and the EU passport required for the Italian club to register him.
However, he impressed while playing in the Torneo Karol Wojtyla youth competition, where he scored six goals in just four matches.
Keita then spent the 2012-13 season playing with Lazio's Primavera youth side and training with the first team.
He was selected by coach Vladimir Petković to sit on the bench for some matches in the latter part of the season but did not make his senior debut.
Promoted to the first team for the following season, Keita made his league debut in a 3:0 home win against Chievo at the Stadio Olimpico on 15 September 2013, coming on as a late substitute for Luis Pedro Cavanda.
Five days later, Keita made his debut in the Europa League, starting in a 1:0 home victory against Legia Warsaw.
He provided the assist for the only goal of the game, scored by Hernanes.
On 10 November 2013, he scored his first senior goal in a 1:1 draw against Parma.
On 18 August 2015 Keita came off the bench to score the only goal of the game as Lazio beat Bayer Leverkusen 1:0 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off at the Stadio Olimpico.
Keita was born in Spain to parents of Senegalese descent.
Although he was eligible to play for Spain, Keita chose to play for his parents' country, Senegal, being called-up by their manager, Aliou Cissé, for the match against Niger, valid for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group K.
He made his debut for Senegal in a 2:0 win over Niger as a late sub.
He also played a friendly match with Catalonia national team in December 2015 against Basque Country.