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Cédric Kanté (born 6 July 1979) is a Malian professional footballer who played as a defender. He won 41 caps with the Mali national team scoring once.

Cédric Kanté
Kante in Panathinaikos.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1979-07-06) 6 July 1979 (age 39)
Place of birth Strasbourg, France
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Centre back, left back
Youth career
1996–1999 Strasbourg
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2006 Strasbourg 96 (3)
2001–2002Istres (loan) 16 (0)
2002–2003Valence (loan) 32 (0)
2006–2009 Nice 97 (2)
2009–2012 Panathinaikos 88 (2)
2012–2014 Sochaux 49 (1)
2014–2015 Ajaccio 27 (0)
Total 405 (8)
National team
2001–2012 Mali 41 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Club careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Kanté progressed through the youth ranks at local club RC Strasbourg before starting his professional career there. He signed his first professional contract with them in 1999, at the age of 19. He spent two seasons with them, in his first stint, making 7 appearances and picking up a Coupe de France winners medal in 2001. He moved on to find first-team football playing for FC Istres, in Ligue 2. In one season at Istres, Kanté made 16 appearances. ASOA Valence saw the talent in the 21-year-old and signed him. He spent one season there and was the focal point of the team, anchoring the center of their defense. He left the club due to its financial insecurity, having made 32 appearances.

Strasbourg and NiceEdit

He then returned to boyhood club Strasbourg, signing a three-year deal. He quickly made it into the first team and was a main part of their progression within Ligue 2. In Kanté's three seasons for the club, he scored 3 league goals in 91 appearances. At the end of his contract, he signed with Ligue 1 side Nice. His first season at the club was disappointing, with them barely escaping relegation. However his and the club had better fortunes helping them achieve an 8th-place finish in his second season. His last season was more of the same, as he helped Nice finish respectably in 9th place during the 2008–09 campaign. After three successful seasons, Kanté left the club for Super League Greece club Panathinaikos. In all, he made 97 Ligue 1 appearances for the side and added 2 goals.


Kanté signed a three-year deal with Panathinaikos in June 2009.[1] In his first season at Panathinaikos, he helped the "Prasinoi", the Greens, to their first Greek Championship[2] and Greek Cup in six years. In the Greek Cup Final, Kanté played a vital role in the center of the defense for Panathinaikos as they defeated Aris 1–0 with a goal from Argentinian winger Sebastián Leto.[3]

In his first season at Panathinaikos, Kanté appeared in 21 league games and added 2 assists to his name.[4]


In July 2012, Kanté returned to France, signing a two-year contract with Ligue 1 team FC Sochaux-Montbéliard.


After suffering relegation to Ligue 2 with Sochaux in the 2013–14 season, Kanté left the club and signed a one-year contract with another relegated side, AC Ajaccio.[5]

International careerEdit

Born in France, Kanté was eligible to play for the Mali national team through his ancestry. He opted to play for the country of his parents' birth and represented the Eagles 25 times as well as at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.



  1. ^ Συμφωνία με Καντέ (in Greek). 12 June 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  2. ^ "2018 Soccer news, photos, stats, schedules, standings and videos". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  3. ^ News, Taiwan. "Taiwan News Online - Breaking News, Politics, Environment, Immigrants, Travel, and Health". Taiwan News Online - Breaking News, Politics, Environment, Immigrants, Travel, and Health. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Cédric Kanté, première recrue !" (in French). 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Christian Bassila
RC Strasbourg Captain
September 2004–2005
Succeeded by
Mickaël Pagis