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Cheick Ismaël Tioté (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɛik ismaɛl tjote]; 21 June 1986 – 5 June 2017) was an Ivorian footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.

Cheick Tioté
Cheick Ismael Tiote 8920.JPG
Tioté representing the Ivory Coast in 2012
Personal information
Full name Cheick Ismaël Tioté[1]
Date of birth (1986-06-21)21 June 1986
Place of birth Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast
Date of death 5 June 2017(2017-06-05) (aged 30)
Place of death Beijing, China
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Youth career
1998–2005 FC Bibo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2008 Anderlecht 4 (0)
2007–2008 Roda JC (loan) 26 (2)
2008–2010 Twente 58 (1)
2010–2017 Newcastle United 139 (1)
2017 Beijing Enterprises 11 (0)
Total 238 (4)
National team
2009–2015 Ivory Coast 55 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Formed at FC Bibo in his hometown of Yamoussoukro, he made his professional debut in 2005 with Belgium's Anderlecht. In 2008, after a loan at Roda JC, he joined Dutch club FC Twente, winning the Eredivisie in his second season. After that, he signed for Newcastle United in England for a fee of £3.5 million. Tioté totalled 156 games for Newcastle over six-and-a-half seasons, scoring one goal. In February 2017, he joined Beijing Enterprises of the China League One, where he died in June in a training session, at the age of 30.

Tioté played 52 times for the Ivory Coast national football team from 2009 to 2015, scoring once. He represented the country at two FIFA World Cups and four Africa Cup of Nations, winning the 2015 edition of the latter.

Contents

Early life

Born in Yamoussoukro, he started out playing barefoot street football at the age of 10, not owning a pair of boots until he was 15.[3] He began his career with Ivorian minor league side FC Bibo.

In an interview with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Tioté said he had nine brothers and sisters. Growing up in Abdijan, he gave up his studies at a young age, stating that, "Football has always been the biggest thing to me" and:

Growing up in Abdijan, I knew what I wanted to do and made sure that this was going to be my life. But I worked and worked and worked for it and it is because of that hard work that I have managed to make it.[4]

Club career

Anderlecht

In 2005, he was scouted by Belgian club Anderlecht and signed a three-year contract with the club.[5] After spending months at the club's reserve, he made his debut for Anderlecht in a Belgian Cup match which they lost to Geel after Tioté missed his penalty.[6] The following month, Tioté made his UEFA Champions League debut, where he made his first start in Matchday 6 Group Stage, in a 1–0 loss against Real Betis.[7] It was not until 18 March 2006 that he made his league debut for the club, coming on as a late substitute, in a 4–0 win over Beveren.[8] After making another league appearance, Tioté went on to make four appearances in all competitions in the 2005–06 season. The following season saw Tioté make three appearances in all competitions, due to spending the most of the season with injuries.[9][10]

In the 2007–08 season, he played on loan for Roda JC on a season-long loan deal,[11] where he played alongside his countryman Sekou Cissé.[12] After making his first start on his Roda JC debut, in a 5–3 win over VVV-Venlo on 2 September 2007, he scored his first goal for the club, in a 3–1 loss against Feyenoord.[13] Since making an impact at Roda JC, he became the club's fan favourite there.[14] It wasn't until 27 December 2007 when he scored his second Roda JC goal, in a 1–0 win over Heerenveen.[15] On 4 April 2008, however, Tioté was sent-off in the 33rd minutes, in a 2–0 loss against NEC, which turns out to be his last appearance.[16] After serving two match suspension for the rest of the season, he went on to make thirty appearance and scoring two times in all competitions.[17]

Twente

 
Tioté playing for FC Twente, 2008

At the end of the season, Roda JC expressed signing Tioté, along with Cercle Brugge.[18][19] Eventually, on 12 June 2008, Tioté signed for Dutch Eredivisie side Twente for a fee reported to be around €750,000, signing a four-year contract, with an option for another year.[20][21] Upon joining the club, Tioté said he doubted of having first team football at Anderlecht should he have stayed.[22]

Tioté made his competitive debut for the club on 13 August 2008, in a UEFA Champions League qualification round, in a 2–0 loss against Arsenal.[23] Weeks later, on 30 August 2008, he made his league debut, making his first start, in a 1–1 draw against Roda JC in the opening game of the season.[24] However, in a match against Feyenoord on 18 April 2009, he was sent-off after a second bookable offence, which saw Twente lose 1–0.[25] After returning to the first team from suspension, Tioté played the whole game in the final of KNVB Cup against Heerenveen, but lost out in the penalty-shootout after the game played 120 minutes, drawing 2–2.[26] Despite this, Tioté established himself in the first team in his first season, as he made forty-one appearances in all competitions.

 
Tioté playing for FC Twente, 2009

Ahead of his second season at the club, Tioté was linked a move away from Twente, with French clubs expressing interest in signing him.[27] After staying at the club throughout the summer, Tioté continued to be a first team regular and was sent-off on 20 September 2009, in a 3–2 win over Utrecht after a second bookable offence.[28] On 10 April 2010, Tioté then scored his first goal for Twente, in a 2–0 win over Heerenveen.[29] After receiving a yellow card during a 1–0 loss against AZ Alkmaar on 13 April 2010, Tioté served a one match suspension for this.[30][31] Tioté made his return from suspension in the last game of the season, coming on as a second-half substitute, in a 2–0 win over NAC Breda to win the club's first ever league title.[32] He also featured in the Europa League and Champions League, as he made forty-two appearances and scoring once in all competitions.

During his two years time at Twente, he gained his reputation for being a determined and resilient midfielder with a keen eye for a pass, making fifty-eight league appearances scoring one goal with fourteen assists. Following his performance in the World Cup, Tioté further attracted interests from clubs, including Birmingham City,[33] but newly appointed manager Michel Preud'homme insisted on keeping him at the club.[34] In the 2010–11 season, he went on to make two appearances, before signing for Newcastle United.

Newcastle United

On 26 August 2010, Tioté joined English Premier League side Newcastle United for a fee of £3.5 million, after he was granted a work permit.[35] Upon joining the club, Tioté spoke to the local newspaper, the Evening Chronicle, about the move, saying: "It’s a great thrill for me to be joining such a famous club as Newcastle United."[36] He was given the number 24 shirt.[37]

He made his debut on 18 September against Everton at Goodison Park. He completed all of his 64 passes, made two interceptions, completed all five of his attempted tackles, and his only shot was on target.[38] Tioté quickly became a favourite among supporters.[39] On 8 January 2011, he was sent off during Newcastle's third round FA Cup match against Stevenage.[40] Whilst Tioté managed to touch the ball before Jon Ashton, his unorthodox way of doing so meant Ashton collided with him, and referee Andre Marriner had little choice but to give him his marching orders. Newcastle attempted to appeal the decision,[41] but the FA decided to uphold it, and Tioté was suspended for three matches.[42] On 5 February, Tioté scored his first, and what was to be his only goal for the club, a 25-yard volley for the late equaliser in a 4–4 draw against Arsenal, after Newcastle had trailed 4–0 at half time.[43] On 25 February 2011, Newcastle announced that Tioté had signed a new six-and-a-half-year contract to show his commitment to the club, keeping him at Newcastle until 2017. Upon signing his new deal, Tioté said: "The experience of playing in the Premier League has been better than I ever hoped it could be. This is a great club and the fans have been brilliant – I have never known support like it."[44] Despite setback from suspensions, he went on to finish his first season, making twenty-eight appearances and scoring once in all competitions.[45][46][47]

In the 2011–12 season, Tioté started the season well for the club when he set up two goals in two matches between 17 and 24 September 2011, against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers, which resulted in a draw and a win respectively.[48][49] However, during a 1–0 win over Wigan Athletic on 22 October 2011, he suffered a broken nose and knee injury that resulted him out for two months.[50] It wasn't until on 17 December 2011 when he returned to the first team from injury, playing 82 minutes before being substituted, in a 0–0 draw against Swansea City.[51] After the end of the African Cup of Nations, Tioté returned to the first team, where he set up one of the goals, in a 2–2 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 25 February 2012.[52] As the 2011–12 season progressed, he went on to make 24 appearances in all competitions.

After two seasons at Newcastle, Tioté picked up 25 yellow cards from 50 league games, a return of one yellow card every two games, but only received one sending off, against local rivals Sunderland. He was sent off in Newcastle's 1–1 draw at the Stadium of Light on 21 October 2012, for a late challenge on Steven Fletcher.[53] In a 1–0 win against Queens Park Rangers on 22 December 2012, Tioté received a yellow card, picking his fifth booking of the season and resulting him suspended for one match.[54] However, throughout the 2012–13 season, Tioté suffered a setback, due to international commitment on two occasions and injury.[55][56][57] Despite this, he went on to make thirty-one appearances in all competitions in the 2012–13 season.

In the 2013–14 season, Tioté captained Newcastle for the first time, replacing Fabricio Coloccini and Yohan Cabaye (both of whom were ruled out by injury), and performed well in a 2–2 draw on 19 October 2013.[58] Following the match, his role as captain was praised by Manager Alan Pardew, who wanted him to captain another match.[59][60] On 12 January 2014, and with Newcastle trailing 1–0 at home to Manchester City, Tioté had a goal controversially disallowed.[61] In similar fashion to the leveller against Arsenal two years previous, Tioté struck a volley from outside the area, which went past City's goalkeeper Joe Hart. Referee Mike Jones thought that Yoan Gouffran (who had been in an offside position) had blocked Hart's line of vision, although replays showed that this was not the case. Like the Arsenal match, Tioté wildly celebrated the goal, running over to the bench. However, Hart, with some of his teammates, contested the decision to the referee and the linesman, and with most of the Newcastle players away from the pitch (only Cabaye was near the linesman), the goal was disallowed. Newcastle would concede deep into injury time, compounding a miserable afternoon. Football pundits largely criticised the decision to disallow Tioté's goal.[62][63] Later that month, Cabaye left the club to join Paris Saint-Germain, thus disrupting the successful partnership between the two men. As a result, his form suffered, with replacement Dan Gosling not up to the preferred standard. However, Tioté was given the captain's armband in the absence of Coloccini, who had suffered a knee injury against West Bromwich Albion.[64] At the end of the 2013–14 season, Tioté went on to make thirty-six appearances in all competitions.

A hamstring injury meant that Tioté started the following season later than his teammates; it would be in September that he finally made his first appearance, against Hull City, in which he set up one of the goals, in a 2–2 draw.[65] He would go on to make eleven more appearances for in the league, before going on international duty for the 2015 African Cup of Nations. He sustained a knee injury, and had to have surgery on it, ruling him out for the rest of the season.[66] This came as a blow for the player; he had stated to Ivorian press that he wanted to leave Newcastle. He had been previously linked with Arsenal and Manchester United,[67][68] and admitted there had been contacts for him from Arsenal and an unnamed Russian club.[69]

In the 2015–16 season, Tioté made twenty league appearances for the side, firstly under Steve McClaren, and then under Rafael Benítez.[70] Despite this, he could not displace the midfield pairing of Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum, and often played in positions not suited to him. The following summer saw Tioté linked with moves to Turkey and China, but nothing came to fruition. Benítez decided to keep him on as a squad player, and he fell further down the pecking order with Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden all starting ahead of him.[71] He made three more appearances for the club – once in the league, in a 1–1 draw with Aston Villa,[72] and twice in the FA Cup, in both third round ties against Birmingham City.[73][74]

Bejing Enterprises

On 9 February 2017, Tioté joined China League One side Beijing Enterprises for an undisclosed fee.[75] Tioté made his Bejiing Enterprises debut, in the opening game of the season, playing the whole game, in a 2–1 loss against Qingdao Huanghai.[76] He appeared in 11 of 12 matches for the club until his last match on 3 June 2017 against Baoding Yingli Yitong with a 4–2 win.[77]

International career

 
Tioté playing for the Ivory Coast in 2012

On 23 March 2009, Tioté was called up by Ivory Coast for the first time, but did not play.[78] After being called up once more in May, he made his international debut on 12 August in a friendly match against Tunisia.[79][80] He was selected in the Ivory Coast's squad for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations squad and given the squad number 9.[81]

He started in all three of Les Éléphants' matches before their quarter final elimination by Algeria.[82][83] Tioté also started each of the Ivory Coast's 2010 FIFA World Cup matches in South Africa. However, the team did not advance to the second round.[84] During one of the match against Brazil, Tioté was involved in a challenge with Elano that saw him suffered an injury and sidelined for the rest of the tournament.[85][86]

On 13 January 2012, Tioté was sent off for a "crazy challenge" in an 2012 Africa Cup of Nations warm up match against Tunisia[87] However, he was in the starting line-up for the Ivory Coast's opening two group matches and both the semi final and final, in which he scored the team's first kick in the penalty shootout defeat to Zambia.[88] Following the end of the tournament, Tioté revealed that he gave away his medal to his friend because of the loss[89]

The following year, at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Tioté scored his first international goal in the 50th minute of their 2–1 quarterfinal loss to Nigeria.[90] The following year, at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Tioté was featured in all three matches in the Group Stage.[91][92]

Personal life

Tioté was a devout Muslim.[93] He observed fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan.[94]

In May 2011, Tioté's car was seized by the police for motoring offences.[95] On 13 February 2013, he was arrested on suspicion of fraud, and had his car seized by the police.[96] After admitting to possessing a forged Belgian driving licence, he was given a suspended sentence, as well as a six-month ban from driving.[97][98]

He has two children with his first wife, Madah.[99][100] During his time at Newcastle United, the couple lived in the village of Ponteland in Northumberland, and were married some time before his move to Newcastle.[101] On 29 September 2014, it was reported by the Newcastle Chronicle that Tioté had married a second wife, Laeticia Doukrou, in the capital of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan. The marriage had taken place before the start of the season. His agent Jean Musampa, confirmed the marriage to the local newspaper, saying "I can say that he did get married and that it is his second marriage."[102] Shortly afterwards, it was reported that he ended things with his mistress with whom he has a child.[103]

In February 2014, Tioté launched a men's fashion line called TIC, with designer Yusuf Abubakar.[104]

Death

On 5 June 2017, Tioté died in Beijing, China, after suffering probable cardiac arrest in training.[105][106] Demba Ba was amongst the first to pay tribute to the Ivorian via social media,[107] and soon afterwards, many of his former Newcastle teammates followed suit.[108] His former managers were similarly effusive with praise: Rafael Benítez labelled him "a true professional",[109] Alan Pardew described him as "everything that you want in a Newcastle player",[110] Steve McClaren (who had managed him at both Twente and Newcastle) remembered him as the toughest player he had ever seen,[111] and Chris Hughton (who had brought him to Newcastle) spoke of his humility and called him "the perfect fit".[112]

On 13 June, Tioté's memorial service was held in Beijing, which was attended by his Beijing Enterprises teammates and Papiss Cissé, who had played with him at Newcastle.[113] On 15 June, his body was flown back to the Ivory Coast for a private funeral, amidst a dispute between his family and the Ivory Coast Football Federation over the location of his burial.[114] He was given a military funeral in Abidjan on 18 June, attended by his national teammates and politicians including prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly.[115] Beijing Enterprises retired Tioté's number 24 shirt on 24 June 2017.[116]

Career statistics

Club

As of 3 June 2017[117]
Club Season League National Cup[a] League Cup[b] Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Anderlecht 2005–06 First Division 2 0 1 0 1[c] 0 4 0
2006–07 First Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 4 0 1 0 1 0 6 0
Roda JC (loan) 2007–08 Eredivisie 26 2 0 0 26 2
Twente 2008–09 Eredivisie 28 0 3 0 10[d] 0 41 0
2009–10 Eredivisie 28 1 3 0 12[e] 0 43 1
2010–11 Eredivisie 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 58 1 6 0 22 0 86 1
Newcastle United 2010–11 Premier League 26 1 1 0 1 0 28 1
2011–12 24 0 0 0 0 0 24 0
2012–13 24 0 0 0 1 0 6[f] 0 31 0
2013–14 33 0 1 0 2 0 36 0
2014–15 11 0 1 0 0 0 12 0
2015–16 20 0 1 0 1 0 22 0
2016–17 Championship 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 0
Total 139 1 6 0 5 0 6 0 156 1
Beijing Enterprises 2017 China League One 11 0 0 0 11 0
Career total 238 4 13 0 5 0 29 0 285 4
  1. ^ Belgium – Belgian Cup; Netherlands – KNVB Cup; England – FA Cup; China – Chinese FA Cup
  2. ^ England – League Cup
  3. ^ Appearance(s) in the UEFA Champions League.
  4. ^ Two appearances in the UEFA Champions League, eight appearances in the UEFA Cup.
  5. ^ Two appearances in the UEFA Champions League, ten appearances in the UEFA Europa League.
  6. ^ Appearances in the UEFA Europa League.

International

As of 12 July 2016.[118]
National team Year Apps Goals
Ivory Coast 2009 2 0
2010 13 0
2011 4 0
2012 11 0
2013 8 1
2014 10 0
2015 4 0
Total 52 1

International goals

Scores and results list the Ivory Coast's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 3 February 2013 Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa   Nigeria 1–1 1–2 2013 Africa Cup of Nations

Honours

References

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External links