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Seydou Keita
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 08/2016

Personal information
Full name

Seydou Keita
Date of birth
16 January 1980
Place of birth
Bamako, Mali
1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position

Club information
Current team

El Jaish SC

Youth career

Centre Salif Keita


Senior career*

6x apps / 0x goal

58x apps / 1x goal

157x apps / 19x goals

31x apps / 4x goals

119x apps / 16x goals

Dalian Aerbin
37x apps / 10x goals

11x apps / 1x goals

46x apps / 3x goals

El Jaish SC
0x apps / 0x goal

National team

102x apps / 25x goals


(* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 16 May 2016 (UTC) - National team caps and goals correct as of 28 January 2015)

Seydou Keita is a Malian professional footballer.

A versatile midfielder, he can operate as both a central or defensive midfielder. 

He most notably played for Lens (five seasons) and Barcelona (four), winning 14 titles with the latter club.

Keita represented Mali since the age of 20, appearing in seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. 

He also holds a French passport.

Club career

Born in Bamako, Mali, Keita finished his football formation in France with Olympique de Marseille,
joining the club at the age of 17. He played mainly for the reserve squad during his three-year spell.

Keita made his Ligue 1 debut for L'OM on 19 September 1999 in a 1:0 home win against Troyes AC, adding three games in the season's UEFA Champions League. 

In the summer of 2000, he left the club.

Lorient / Lens
Keita signed for FC Lorient in Ligue 2,
being instrumental (37 games, one goal) as the team promoted to the top level in 2001. 

He appeared slightly less due to injury in the following season, which ended in immediate relegation back, but brought the conquest of the Coupe de France, the club's first-ever (he played the full 90 minutes in the final against SC Bastia).

In 2002, Keita joined fellow league side RC Lens, eventually becoming captain and scoring a career-best 11 goals in the 2006–07 campaign - his fifth and last - helping Les Sang et Or to the fifth position in the league and the last-16 in the UEFA Cup.

On 11 July 2007, Keita signed for Sevilla FC
in Spain, for four years.

He appeared in both legs of the season's Supercopa de España, a 6:3 aggregate win against Real Madrid.

Keita was an automatic first-choice for the Andalusians during the 2007-08 campaign, helping the team to the fifth position in the league. 

On 3 November 2007 he scored from long-distance in a 2:0 home win also against Real Madrid, and added three in nine games in the Champions League, including one against Arsenal in a 3:1 group stage home success which was the opposition's first loss of the campaign.

On 26 May 2008, Keita signed a four-year contract with FC Barcelona
who were believed to have paid his buy-out clause, which stood at around €14 million. 

He became the first Malian player to ever represent the Catalans, and his new release clause was set at €90 million.

Keita made his official debut for Barcelona in a Champions League qualifier against Poland's Wisła Kraków on 13 August 2008, a 4:0 home win.

He made his league debut against CD Numancia on the 31st, coming on as a substitute for Andrés Iniesta midway through the second half of a 0:1 away loss.

Keita scored his first goal for the team on 16 November 2008, in a 2:0 win at Recreativo de Huelva.

The following week he added another, in a 1:1 home draw against Getafe CF.

He finished his first season at the Camp Nou with 46 official games as Barça won the treble. 

He played 20 minutes in the Champions League final, taking the place of Thierry Henry in the 2:0 win against Manchester United.

On 25 October 2009, Keita scored his first career hat-trick, in a 6:1 home win against Real Zaragoza, and contributed with 29 games - 23 starts - as Barcelona renewed its domestic supremacy. 

In the 2010-11 campaign he made more appearances than any other outfield player and, on 31 August, aged 31, signed a contract extension that would link him to the club until 2014.


Dalian Aerbin
On 7 July 2012, Keita announced he would be leaving Barcelona after four seasons,
invoking a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the club even though he still had two years left. 

The following day, he signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Chinese Super League side Dalian Aerbin FC, being reportedly paid €14 million per year.

On 30 January 2014, Keita returned to Spain after signing with Valencia CF,
with the 34-year-old agreeing to a six-month contract with the option for an additional year. 

He made his debut for the Che on 16 February, replacing Paco Alcácer for the last 20 minutes of a 0:0 away draw against former club Sevilla.

On 13 March, midway through the first half of an away fixture against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad for the UEFA Europa League, he was sent off for a challenge on Roman Bezjak that resulted in a penalty kick, but his team eventually won it 3:0 and 4:0 on aggregate.

On 27 March 2014, Keita scored Valencia's fastest-ever goal, netting after nine seconds at UD Almería.

He also had to leave before the end of the first half with an injury, as the hosts came from behind for a 2:2 draw.


On 5 June 2014, Keita signed a one-year contract with Serie A club A.S. Roma.

He made his official debut in the opening day of the season, against ACF Fiorentina (2:0 win), and scored his first goal on 9 November to help defeat Torino F.C. 3:0 also at the Stadio Olimpico.

Keita agreed to a new one-year deal in the 2015 off-season.

International career

Keita made his debut for Mali on 9 April 2000, in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Libya.

He represented the country in six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

In the 2010 edition in Angola he scored twice, both goals coming in the 4:4 group stage draw against the hosts, who were leading 4:0 with 11 minutes to go; Les Aigles, however, could not make it past the group stage.

Keita also participated in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, scoring in the 1:1 quarterfinal draw against the hosts as Mali eventually won the shootout.

Previously, he helped the under-20s finish third at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria, scoring in the last match against Uruguay - the game's only and being named the tournament's best player.


Personal life

Keita's uncle, Salif Keita, was also a footballer. 

He played, amongst others, for Valencia CF and Sporting Clube de Portugal, and was once voted African Footballer of the Year.

He is married to Zubaida Johnson, who is of Cape Verdean descent. 

On 12 May 2008 he became the father of a son, Mohammed, who was born in Seville.