Pione Sisto Ifolo Emirmija (Danish pronunciation: [pʰioːnə ˈsisto]; born 4 February 1995) is an Danish-South Sudanese professional footballer who plays as a left winger for Spanish club Celta de Vigo and the Danish national team.
Sisto with Celta in 2018
|Full name||Pione Sisto Ifolo Emirmija|
|Date of birth||4 February 1995|
|Place of birth||Kampala, Uganda|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 December 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 October 2018
Born in Kampala, Uganda, to South Sudanese parents, Sisto moved to Denmark at the age of two months. He was spotted by Tjørring IF in 2002, aged seven, and moved to FC Midtjylland’s youth setup in 2010.
Sisto made his league debut during the 2012–13 Danish Superliga season and scored his first professional goal during the same season in the match against AGF Århus. On 2 March 2014, he scored twice in FC Midtjylland's 5–1 away victory over F.C. København in the Danish Superliga.
In December 2014, Sisto was voted "Player of the Year 2014" by the Danish Footballers' Association and "Profile of the Autumn 2014" by the Danish Football Magazine.
After an injury he played his first club match in 2015 in May coming on as a substitute against F.C. København. Shortly after he made an assist for the game's first goal followed by scoring the deciding goal, giving FCM a 2–0 victory to win their first Danish league title.
Scouts from Barcelona, Milan, Juventus and Porto have been to Denmark several times to see the Danish midfielder and Arsenal has also shown interest in the midfielder. According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf Ajax has offered 7 million euros without success.
He scored for Midtjylland against Manchester United in a 2–1 home win in the Europa League on 18 February 2016. He also scored the opening goal of the second-leg at Old Trafford before Midtjylland went on to lose 5–1 (6–3 on aggregate) to United and bow out of the Europa League.
On 31 July 2016, La Liga club Celta de Vigo reached an agreement for the transfer of Sisto, for a fee rumoured to be €5 million. He made his debut at the club on 22 August, starting in a 0–1 home loss against CD Leganés.
Since Sisto was not a Danish citizen, but had lived almost his whole life in Denmark, the Danish national team manager Morten Olsen expressed his hope that the player would be eligible for the national squad. Upon receiving his Danish citizenship in December 2014, Sisto was immediately chosen to represent the Denmark national under-21 football team, although in an unofficial match. He was not yet able to represent Denmark in an official international match due to FIFA regulations. On 23 January 2015, he made his debut for the Danish U21 side, scoring a hat-trick in a 7–1 win against Romanian club FC Dinamo București.
On 8 May 2015, Sisto received official word of FIFA's dispensation decision, allowing him to represent Denmark without waiting the obligatory five years following his 18th birthday. Twelve days later, he was called up to the Denmark national football team for its matches against Montenegro and Serbia.
In June 2015, he represented the Denmark U21 team at the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic, and scored the last goal in a 2–1 victory against the host nation in the opening match at the Eden Arena in Prague.
Sisto debuted for the Danish national football team on 4 September 2015, in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Albania. He played the first 45 minutes before being replaced at halftime by Yussuf Poulsen. The game ended 0–0. Sisto scored his first international goal for Denmark in a friendly against Panama on 22 March 2018. In May 2018 he was named in Denmark’s preliminary 35-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
- As of 5 June 2019
- Statistics accurate as of match played 16 October 2018.
- Scores and results list Denmark's goal tally first.
|1.||22 March 2018||Brøndby Stadium, Brøndbyvester, Denmark||Panama||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
- "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – List of Players" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Forslag til Lov om indfødsrets meddelelse" [Proposals to Act on naturalization] (PDF) (in Danish). Danish Parliament. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "Pione Sisto: the Uganda-born Dane who gunned down Man United and dreams of Barcelona". FourFourTwo. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Milan: eyes on Pione Sisto. Juve: Almamy Touré farther".
- "Arsenal prepared to battle with Barcelona and Juventus for Man City midfielder target". 19 May 2015.
- "Arsenal 'prepare SHOCK transfer bid for goal-scoring Danish midfielder'". 19 May 2015.
- "Sport - Het laatste nieuws uit Nederland leest u op Telegraaf.nl". Telegraaf.
- "Midtjylland 2-1 Manchester United". Mail Online. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- Johnston, Neil (25 February 2016). "Manchester United 5-1 FC Midtjylland (agg 6-3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- "El internacional danés Pione Sisto enriquece el ataque celeste" [Danish international Pione Sisto bolsters the celeste attack] (in Spanish). Celta de Vigo. 31 July 2016. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Pione Sisto, una bala para el Celta" [Pione Sisto, a bullet to Celta] (in Spanish). La Voz de Galicia. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Estreno de oro del Leganés en Primera" [Golden debut of Leganés in Primera] (in Spanish). Marca. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Peter Bonde håber på dansk pas til Pione Sisto". Politiken. 5 August 2014.
- "European U21 championship players to watch include Hughes and Sisto". ESPN. 17 June 2015.
- "Lykkelig Pione Sisto klar til det danske landshold". Ekstra Bladet. 8 May 2015.
- "Czech Republic 1-2 Denmark". UEFA. 17 June 2015.
- "Albania refuse to yield to Denmark pressure". UEFA. 4 September 2015.
- "Denmark v Panama LIVE SCORE". The Sun. 22 March 2018.
- "Revealed: Every World Cup 2018 squad - 23-man & preliminary lists & when will they be announced?". Goal. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Pione Sisto". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
- Pione Sisto at National-Football-Teams.com
- "Sisto, Pione". National Football Teams. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- "Kristian Jensen on Twitter".