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Aliou Cissé (born 24 March 1976) is a Senegalese football coach and former player. Having begun his career in France, he later played for English clubs Birmingham City and Portsmouth. Cissé was a defensive midfielder who also, on occasion, played at centre back.
|Date of birth||24 March 1976|
|Place of birth||Ziguinchor, Senegal|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2001–2002||→ Montpellier (loan)||17||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Cissé has been the head coach of the Senegal national team since 2015, having briefly taken charge of them following Amara Traoré's sacking, in a caretaker role in 2012. He was also the assistant coach of the under-23 side from 2012 to 2013, becoming head coach from 2013 to 2015. Senegal's Football Federation (FSF) has officially extended coach Aliou Cissé and his staff until August 2021.
Born in Ziguinchor, Senegal, Cissé moved to Paris at the age of nine where he grew up with dreams of playing for Paris Saint-Germain. He began his career with Lille OSC before moving onto CS Sedan Ardennes and then Paris Saint-Germain. He also spent the majority of the 2001–02 season on loan at Montpellier Herault SC.
After captaining the Senegal national team to the quarter finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Cissé transferred to English club Birmingham City for their 2002–03 season, their debut season in the Premier League. Cissé made his first appearance for the club at Arsenal on the opening day of the season, but was sent off. Though the sending-off was rescinded, he went on to receive five yellow cards in six games, ultimately accumulating ten yellow cards before the New Year. His season, however, was cut short after picking up an injury in February that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Cissé returned late to pre-season training in July 2003, which lead manager Steve Bruce to place him on the transfer list. Cissé eventually got himself back into the first team picture, but his relationship with Bruce continued to sour. After Christmas, Cissé only played three more games that season. At the end of the season he signed for Portsmouth for £300,000 on a two-year contract, despite a strong transfer link to Premiership rivals Bolton Wanderers. The transfer was ultimately one of several included in the Stevens report released in June 2007, which expressed concerns of corruption within English football. Regarding Cissé, the report stated, "Agent Willie McKay acted for Portsmouth in the transfer of Cissé and [...] the inquiry is not prepared to clear these transfers at this stage."
After two years at Portsmouth, Cissé returned to CS Sedan in November 2006 after undergoing a two-week trial. He then signed for French Ligue 2 side Nîmes Olympique from CS Sedan in September 2008. Cissé played seven games during the 2008–09 season before retiring from club football at the age of 33.
Cissé captained the Senegal team at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. After a stunning 0–1 victory over reigning world champions France on matchday one, the team made it all the way to the quarter finals where they lost 1–0 to Turkey. Cissé was also part of the Senegal team who were the runners-up in the 2002 African Cup of Nations, but was one of the players who missed a penalty during the shootout in the final as they lost to Cameroon.
In early March 2015, Cissé was officially appointed as the head coach for the Senegal national team. The team qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 10 November 2017, with a 0–2 away win against South Africa. Ultimately, Senegal were knocked out in the group stage of the tournament after becoming the first team in FIFA World Cup history to be eliminated due to fair play tiebreaker rules. "This is one of the rules. We have to respect it," said Cissé. "Of course, we would prefer to be eliminated another way. It's a sad day for us but we knew these were the regulations."
Aliou Cissé coached Senegal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, helping Senegal to its first ever final since the 2002, a tournament which Cissé himself also participated when he was the team's captain. However, his Senegal was defeated 1–0 in the final by Algeria, after losing by the same score in the group stage, and missed out on its first ever African trophy
Cissé lost several members of his family in the MV Le Joola ferry disaster that occurred off the coast of The Gambia on 26 September 2002. To honor the lives lost, Cissé participated in a charity match between Senegal and Nigeria that raised money for the families of the more than 1,000 reported victims. Birmingham City, one of his former clubs, collected money for the victims' families and honored Cissé by displaying a giant Senegal flag during a game against Manchester City F.C..
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Sedan Ardennes||1997–98||Championnat National||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Paris Saint-Germain||1998–99||Division 1||8||0||3||0||5||1||0||0||16||1|
|Montpellier (loan)||2001–02||Division 1||17||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||17||1|
|Birmingham City||2002–03||Premier League||21||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||21||0|
|Sedan Ardennes||2006–07||Ligue 1||11||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||14||0|
|Nîmes Olympique||2008–09||Ligue 2||7||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||8||0|
- As of matches played 15 November 2020
|Senegal||5 March 2015||Present||58||36||14||8||62.1|||
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- Copnall, James (26 October 2002). "Blues fans open their hearts to Senegal's grieving captain". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 December 2006.
- "Aliou CISSé - Football : la fiche de Aliou CISSé". L'Équipe (in French). Retrieved 24 June 2018.
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