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Kalidou Koulibaly (born 20 June 1991) is a professional footballer who plays as centre back for Serie A club Napoli and the Senegal national team.

Kalidou Koulibaly
Koulibaly-azione-napoli-novembre-2015-ifa (cropped).jpg
Koulibaly playing for Napoli in 2015
Personal information
Full name Kalidou Koulibaly[1]
Date of birth (1991-06-20) 20 June 1991 (age 27)[2]
Place of birth Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France
Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)[3]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Napoli
Number 26
Youth career
1999–2003 Saint-Dié
2003–2006 Metz
2006–2009 Saint-Dié
2009–2010 Metz
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2011 Metz II 31 (2)
2010–2012 Metz 41 (1)
2012–2014 Genk 64 (3)
2014– Napoli 153 (10)
National team
2011–2012 France U20 11 (0)
2015– Senegal 32 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:59, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:39, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Koulibaly began his professional club career with French team Metz in 2010, before moving to Belgian club Genk in 2012. He joined Italian team Napoli in 2014.

As Koulibaly was born in France to Senegalese parents, he was eligible to represent both nations at international level, and initially played for the France national under-20 football team. He later made his senior debut with Senegal in 2015 and was a member of the Senegal squad that took part at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He was named to the side that represented Senegal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Contents

Early life

Koulibaly was born on 20 June 1991, to Senegalese parents in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France. His footballing career began with local club SR Saint-Dié.[citation needed]

Club career

Early career

Koulibaly began his career playing for his hometown club SR Saint-Dié's youth team; he spent two seasons playing for the club's senior team in the Championnat de France Amateur 2, before joining the youth academy of professional club Metz on 1 July 2009.[4] While at Metz, Koulibaly helped the club's under-19 team win the 2009–10 Coupe Gambardella after the team defeated Sochaux 5–4 on penalties in the final.[5] He also played for the club's amateur team in the Championnat de France Amateur appearing in 15 matches as Metz were crowned champions of the league finishing with 107 points.[citation needed]

Metz

Prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, Koulibaly signed his first professional contract agreeing to a one-year deal. He was, subsequently, promoted to the senior team by new manager Dominique Bijotat. Koulibaly made his professional debut on 20 August 2010 in a league match against Vannes. He appeared as a substitute in a 1–0 victory.[6]

Genk

 
Koulibaly playing for Genk in 2014

Koulibaly joined Belgian club Genk on 29 June 2012 after agreeing a four-year contract.[7] On 23 August 2012, Koulibaly made his Genk debut in a UEFA Europa League play-off qualifying round, in which they were defeated by Swiss team Luzern 2–1 in the first leg of two.[8] On 23 December 2012, Koulibaly scored his first Racing Genk goal in a 4–2 home defeat to Anderlecht,[8] in which he scored a free header from a corner.[citation needed]

Napoli

Koulibaly joined Serie A club S.S.C. Napoli on 2 July 2014 on a five-year contract, for a fee around the margin of £6.5 million.[citation needed] He made his debut on 19 August in a UEFA Champions League play-off round qualifier, in which Napoli drew 1–1 with Athletic Bilbao.[8] Napoli went on to lose the second leg 3–1, therefore sending them out of the competition.[8] Koulibaly scored his first goal for the Italian team on 24 September in a 3–3 draw with Palermo.[8] In April 2019 Koulibaly was the victim of racist abuse from an apparent Arsenal fan during a match between the two teams.[9]

International career

Koulibaly was born and raised in France by Senegalese parents, and was therefore eligible for both nations. He played for the French under-20 team starting in 2011. However, in early September 2015, Koulibaly changed federations and joined the Senegal national football team, despite the interest to call him for Les Bleus from Didier Deschamps.[10][11] He made his debut on 5 September 2015 in an AFCON qualifier against Namibia in a 2–0 victory. He was a member of the Senegal squad that took part at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.[12]

In May 2018 he was named in Senegal's 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[13]

Style of play

A large, aggressive, quick, and physically strong yet elegant player, Koulibaly is recognised for his aerial prowess, anticipation, positioning, tackling, character, technique, and passing ability as a defender. He has also been praised by pundits for his overall solidity as a player, and his ability to make interceptions; however, he has also drawn criticism for giving away too many fouls. Due to his versatility, he can play both in his usual role as a central defender, or as a full back on either the right or left flank, in both a three or four-man defence; he has even been deployed as a defensive midfielder. During his time at Napoli, his ability to play the ball out from the back saw him function as a ball-playing centre-back in manager Maurizio Sarri's attacking, possession based-system.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Currently considered to be one of the best and most complete defenders in world football in the media,[18][20][23][24] his ability, playing style, tall stature, and imposing physique have earned him the nicknames K2[16][18][10] and The Wall from his fans.[25]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 14 April 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup[a] League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Metz II 2009–10[26] CFA 2 16 0 16 0
2010–11[26] CFA 15 2 15 2
Total 31 2 31 2
Metz 2010–11[26] Ligue 2 19 1 2 0 0 0 21 1
2011–12[26] Ligue 2 22 0 3 0 0 0 25 0
Total 41 1 5 0 0 0 46 1
Genk 2012–13[8] Belgian Pro League 31 1 6 0 9[b] 0 46 1
2013–14[8] Belgian Pro League 33 2 3 0 9[b] 0 1[c] 0 46 2
Total 64 3 9 0 18 0 1 0 92 3
Napoli 2014–15[8] Serie A 27 1 2 0 9[d] 0 1[e] 0 39 1
2015–16[8] Serie A 33 0 2 0 7[b] 0 42 0
2016–17[8] Serie A 28 2 2 0 8[f] 0 38 2
2017–18[8] Serie A 35 5 2 0 8[g] 0 45 5
2018–19[8] Serie A 30 2 2 0 10[h] 0 42 2
Total 153 10 10 0 42 0 1 0 206 10
Career total 289 16 24 0 0 0 60 0 2 0 375 16
  1. ^ Includes Coupe de France, Belgian Cup, Coppa Italia
  2. ^ a b c Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ Appearance in Belgian Super Cup
  4. ^ Two appearances in UEFA Champions League, seven in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana
  6. ^ Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  7. ^ Seven appearances in UEFA Champions League, one in UEFA Europa League
  8. ^ Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, four in UEFA Europa League

International

As of match played 23 March 2019[27]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Senegal 2015 5 0
2016 7 0
2017 10 0
2018 9 0
2019 1 0
Total 32 0

Honours

References

  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup Russia 2018: List of players: Senegal" (PDF). FIFA. 15 July 2018. p. 26. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Kalidou Koulibaly". FC Metz. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Kalidou Koulibaly". S.S.C. Napoli. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Koulibaly, le jour d'après". Le Républicain Lorrain (in French). 2 November 2010. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Sochaux v. Metz Match Report" (in French). French Football Federation. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Metz v. Vannes Match Report". L'Équipe (in French). 20 August 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Kalidou Koulibaly is van Genk" (in Dutch). Gazet van Antwerpen. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "K. Koulibaly: Summary". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Arsenal investigate after Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly allegedly racially abused by fan". 12 April 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  10. ^ a b "Francia, gaffe Deschamps: "Convoco Koulibaly". Ma è del Senegal..." Tuttosport (in Italian). 22 February 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  11. ^ "France news: Deschamps must have missed something – Koulibaly". Goal.com. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Tunisia Senegal 0–2". BBC Sport. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Revealed: Every World Cup 2018 squad – 23-man & preliminary lists & when will they be announced?". Goal.com. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  14. ^ Burt, Jason (17 August 2016). "Chelsea swoop for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in club-record £60 million deal". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  15. ^ D'Urso, Alessio (19 July 2014). "Napoli, Koulibaly: "Mi rimetto a Benitez, la mia altezza è l'arma in più"". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  16. ^ a b Palliggiano, Davide (4 February 2016). "K2 Koulibaly, l'oro del Napoli in vetta. Più forte di ogni razzismo". Il Corriere dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  17. ^ Palliggiano, Davide (19 October 2015). "Il bunker del Napoli? In difesa c'è un K2" (in Italian). Il Corriere dello Sport. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  18. ^ a b c Adam Digby (29 March 2016). "Kalidou Koulibaly: All about the Napoli giant who's luring Man United and Bayern scouts". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  19. ^ Christopher Simpson (16 October 2017). "Chelsea Transfer News: Kalidou Koulibaly Price Set in Latest Rumours". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  20. ^ a b Gianni Verschueren (19 December 2018). "Napoli Owner: Kalidou Koulibaly Will Eventually Be Sold for 'Indecent' Offer". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  21. ^ "The top 25 best defenders in the world". The Telegraph. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  22. ^ Peter Galindo (7 August 2018). "Sarri aiming to replicate Napoli success, style at Chelsea". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  23. ^ "'Koulibaly best defender in the world'". Football Italia. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  24. ^ Adam Hancock (29 November 2018). "Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly: the Senegalese who could have been world champion". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  25. ^ Tina, Pasquale (3 March 2016). "Napoli, Koulibaly: Scudetto? Non molliamo, ma ora blindiamo la Champions". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d "Kalidou Koulibaly". L'Équipe (in French). Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Koulibaly, Kalidou". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  28. ^ "CAF – CAF Awards – Previous Editions – 2016". CAFOnline. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Salah and Mane Picked in First Africa Best 11". FIFPro. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Gran Galà del calcio, la Juventus fa incetta di premi" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  31. ^ "Buffon named best player". Football Italia. 27 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Serie A Team of 2017–18". Football Italia. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  33. ^ "Meilleur "Lion" 2017 : Les Twittos votent Kalidou Koulibaly, Khadim Ndiaye 2e devant Keita Bladé". Pressafrik.com (in French). 24 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Equipe Nationale du Sénégal : Kalidou Koulibaly élu #GoldenLion2018". Pressafrik.com (in French). 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  35. ^ "Ronaldo MVP in Serie A Awards". Football Italia. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.

External links