Garra Dembélé (born 21 February 1986) is a French-born Malian retired footballer who played as a striker.

Garra Dembélé
Garra Dembele.JPG
Personal information
Full name Garra Dembélé
Date of birth (1986-02-21) 21 February 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth Gennevilliers, France
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1995–1999 CSM Puteaux
1999–2002 INF Clairefontaine
2002–2006 Auxerre
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2006 Auxerre B 40 (13)
2007 Istres 12 (3)
2007–2008 Aarhus GF 3 (0)
2008–2009 Pierikos 32 (6)
2010 Lokomotiv Plovdiv 14 (5)
2010–2011 Levski Sofia 25 (26)
2011–2013 SC Freiburg 19 (1)
2013Wuhan Zall (loan) 20 (3)
2014–2016 Dubai CSC 0 (0)
2016–2017 Solothurn 17 (6)
National team
2003–2004 France U18 ? (1)
2004 France U19 2 (1)
2011–2012 Mali 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 September 2017
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 February 2012


Born in Gennevilliers, Dembélé began his career in INF Clairefontaine, before being transferred to Auxerre. On 1 June 2006, he was released from the club for disciplinary reasons.[1] In January 2007, he joined Istres. After six months there, Dembélé moved to AGF Århus. In July 2008, he signed with Pierikos in Greece.

Lokomotiv PlovdivEdit

After a year and a half, in which he played 32 games and scored six goals, Dembélé left Pierikos to sign with Bulgarian club Lokomotiv Plovdiv in January 2010. He appeared in 14 games for the Smurfs and scored five goals.

Levski SofiaEdit

On 5 June 2010, it was announced that Dembélé had signed for Levski Sofia.[2] On 9 June 2010, Dembélé was officially presented as a Levski Sofia player. The transfer fee was around €200,000 on a three-year contract. He made his unofficial debut against Metalist Kharkiv on 1 July 2010 and scored in a 3–2 win.

His official debut for Levski was in a match against Dundalk F.C., in the second qualifying round for Europa League. Levski had won the first match 6–0, with Dembélé scoring once. In the return match Levski won 0–2, with Dembele scoring both goals. In the first round of the A PFG Dembélé scored the winning goal for Levski in the Eternal Derby against CSKA Sofia.

He scored a further two goals in the next Europa League qualification round against Swedish Kalmar FF. The play-off against AIK Fotboll saw Dembélé scoring another decisive goal for his new club, ensuring Levski's qualification to the Group stages of the Europa League. They were drawn in Group C alongside Gent, Lille and Sporting CP. With his six goals in six games Dembélé was the leading goalscorer in the Europa League qualification matches.[3][4] On 9 August 2010, Dembélé scored his first hat-trick for Levski against Lokomotiv Sofia. The result of the match was 3–1 with a home win for Levski Sofia. He further added to his tally in the competition by scoring in the 3–2 home win against Gent in UEFA Europa League, scoring his seventh goal in the competition. With this win Levski recorded an eight-match unbeaten run in European competitions, a run which was ended after Levski suffered a heavy 5–0 defeat against Sporting CP, followed by another loss against Lille. In Sofia, Levski played very well against Lille, with Dembélé scoring the opening goal in the match. The Blues were leading 2–1 until Ivo Ivanov scored an own goal to make it 2–2. In the last match of Group C, already eliminated Levski won against Sporting CP 1–0 - the winning goal was scored by Daniel Mladenov, who was assisted by Dembélé.

However, Dembélé continued his goal-scoring spree in the Bulgarian A Professional Football Group. By 17 September 2010 he had already scored two hat-tricks in the competition against Lokomotiv Sofia and Minyor Pernik respectively.[5] He also scored the winning penalties in the victories against Vidima-Rakovski and Cherno More. He continued his good games after scoring the first goal against Beroe in a 2–1 win for Levski.

He scored his third hat-trick in the A PFG against Pirin Blagoevgrad in Levski's 4–1 win at Georgi Asparuhov, helping his team come back from being 1–0 down. After this, he scored a goal against Litex Lovech, but Levski lost the game by a score of 1–2 and suffered a run of three straight defeats. In February 2011, during the preparation for the second part of the season, it was announced that Dembélé would wear the number nine jersey, following his decision to stay during the 2010–11 winter transfer window.

He was rated among the most efficient attacking players of the 2010–11 season in Europe, with a goal at every 76.89 minutes.[6]

Dembélé has expressed his satisfaction with the way he was received by Levski supporters, but has been less magnanimous in his assessments regarding the quality of the training sessions during his time in Bulgaria.[7]

SC FreiburgEdit

On 3 June 2011, it was officially announced that Dembélé had been bought by SC Freiburg for 2.5 million euros. It was the first time in the club's history that it paid over two million euros for a transfer, making it the largest transfer fee Freiburg has ever paid.[8] On 28 June 2011, Dembélé made his unofficial debut for the team and netted a goal in the 4–1 win over TSG Balingen in a friendly match.[9] On 6 August 2011, he made his first official appearance, coming on as a late substitute in the 2–2 away draw with FC Augsburg in a Bundesliga match.[10] Dembélé's first Bundesliga start came on 28 October 2011, in the 0–1 home loss against Bayer Leverkusen.[11] After making nine appearances for the club without a goal, Dembélé netted for the first time in the Bundesliga on 26 November 2011, scoring a last-minute goal to secure a 1–1 away draw with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.[12]

Wuhan Zall (loan)Edit

In February 2013, after finding it difficult to secure a starting spot with the German side, Dembélé was loaned out to Chinese Super League club Wuhan Zall until the end of the year.[13] He made his official debut on 16 March 2013, playing the full 90 minutes in the 0–1 home loss against Beijing Guoan. Dembélé netted his first goal on 27 April, opening the scoring in the 2–3 away defeat against Tianjin Teda.[14] On 3 August 2013, he was sent off for the first time in the 0–3 away loss against Dalian Aerbin.[15]

International careerEdit

He was part of the France under-18 team from 2003 to 2004. Dembélé was eligible to represent either France or Mali at senior international level, but in November 2010, he chose to play for Mali. Dembélé earned his first call-up to the national side of Mali, the country of his parents, for the friendly match against Congo DR, but did not feature in the game.[16] On 8 February 2011, he finally made his debut for Mali, playing the first 45 minutes of the 0–1 loss against Ivory Coast in a friendly match. Dembélé earned his second cap for Mali in the 1:1 draw with Burkina Faso on 11 November 2011.[17] In January 2012, he was included in the Mali squad for the 2012 African Cup of Nations.[18] On 24 January 2012, Dembélé made his first appearance in an official tournament for Mali, entering the fray as a 64th minute replacement for Cheick Diabaté in the 1–0 win over Guinea.[19] A week later, he scored his first goal for the team during the same tournament, against Botswana.[20] Mali eventually finished in third place, with Dembélé participating in five of their six matches.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

While playing in Auxerre he had been convicted of driving while intoxicated resulting in suspension of his driving licence. Later he was again punished for driving without a license.[1]

In October 2006, he was accused of rape by a 22-year-old American student while in Rome,[22] but was later released and allowed to return to France.

On 2 December 2010, he was arrested in Sofia for drunk driving and producing a fake driving license.[23] On 2 February 2011, Dembélé was handed an eight-month suspended sentence for drink-driving offence. He was handed the suspended sentence with a three-year probation period after being caught drink-driving in December and presenting police with a forged driving licence.[24]

Career statisticsEdit


As of 27 October 2012
Club Season League League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Auxerre B 2003–04 CFA 2 0 2 0
2004–05 18 8 18 8
2005–06 20 5 20 5
Istres 2006–07 Ligue 2 12 3 0 0 12 3
AGF 2007–08 Superliga 3 0 0 0 3 0
Pierikos 2008–09 Beta Ethniki 23 4 1 0 24 4
2009–10 9 2 2 0 11 2
Lokomotiv Plovdiv 2009–10 A PFG 14 5 0 0 14 5
Levski Sofia 2010–11 25 26 3 2 12 8 39 36
SC Freiburg 2011–12 Bundesliga 16 1 1 0 0 0 17 1
2012–13 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Wuhan Zall 2013 CSL 20 3 1 0 21 3
Career total 163 56 8 2 12 8 183 66

International goalsEdit

As of 1 February 2012
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Reference
1 1 February 2012 Stade d'Angondjé, Libreville, Gabon   Botswana 1–1 2–1 2012 African Cup of Nations [25]


  1. ^ a b "Un joueur de foot français arrêté pour viol". 11 October 2006. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Левски договори Дембеле" [Dembélé sure for Levski] (in Bulgarian). 5 June 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Nine-goal Dembélé makes waves at Levski". 17 August 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  4. ^ "UEFA League Europa Topscorers". Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Garra Dembélé on fire to lead the Bulgarian scoring charts". 17 September 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  6. ^ "The most Efficient Players of the 2010/11 season". 5 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Дембеле: В България бях като на почивка" (in Bulgarian). 10 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Garra Dembele Breaks SC Freiburg Transfer Record". Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  9. ^ "SC Freiburg gewinnt gegen Oberligisten TSG Balingen 4:1" (in German). Badische Zeitung. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Augsburg 2-2 Freiburg". 6 August 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Bayer Leverkusen beat SC Freiburg 1-0". 28 October 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  12. ^ Stockitt, Jonathan. "Vital wins for Nuremberg and Augsburg". Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  13. ^ "SCF: Ferati und Dembele werden verliehen, Spieler benötigen Spielpraxis". (in German). Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Wuhan Zall vs. Beijing Guoan 0-1". Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Dalian Aerbin vs. Wuhan Zall 3-0". 3 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Mali – RD Congo : Avec Dembele et Mohamed Fofana" (in French). November 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  17. ^ "Dembele's 'warrior' story". 30 November 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Mali 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Squad". Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  19. ^ "Mali - Guinea 1:0". 24 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  20. ^ "Mali into African Cup quarters after win against Botswana". TSN. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  21. ^ "G. Dembélé". Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  22. ^ "Woman Raped in Club – French Footballer Jailed". Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 10 October 2006.
  23. ^ "Bulgarian top scorer Dembélé arrested for drink-driving". Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  24. ^ "Levski's Garra sentenced for drink-driving". AFP. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  25. ^ Thomas, Durosimi. "Nations Cup: Mali progress with 2-1 win over Botswana". BBC. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

External linksEdit