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Mahamadou Diarra

Mahamadou Diarra
Full nameMahamadou Diarra
Date of birth (1981-05-18) 18 May 1981 (age 34)
Place of birthBamako, Mali
HeightScript error: No such module "convert".
Playing positionDefensive Midfielder
Youth career
1997–1998Centre Salif Keita
Senior career*
2006–2011Real Madrid90(3)
2011AS Monaco9(0)
National team

Mahamadou Diarra (born 18 May 1981) is a Malian footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder. He is currently the captain of the Mali national team.


Early career

Diarra started his career with Greek side OFI Crete. Then he went to Vitesse Arnhem. He played for French club Lyon from 2002 until 2006 and formed a successful midfield partnership with Michael Essien. He won four Ligue 1 titles during his time at Lyon, playing a key role in the teams success.[1][2]

Real Madrid

After Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello asked President Ramón Calderón to sign three players, "Diarra, Diarra and Diarra",[3] Real Madrid joined Manchester United in the race to sign Mahamadou Diarra.[4] Lyon said that Diarra could not leave and put a €40 million price tag on him.[5] On 18 August 2006, Real Madrid agreed a fee of €26 million. On 22 August, Diarra was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabéu by Calderón and was assigned the number 6 shirt.

In 2006–07, Diarra was a staple player in Fabio Capello's two-defensive midfielder system. He played in 33 of Madrid's 38 matches, scoring three times. On 18 June 2007, with Real Madrid needing to win against Real Mallorca to win the league title for the first time since 2003, Diarra scored an 81st minute header to give Madrid a 2–1 lead. In the 84th minute, José Antonio Reyes scored a third goal to ensure Real Madrid were champions.[6]

Diarra played a pivotal role in the 2007–08 title defence under new coach Bernd Schuster, and he established himself as the first-choice defensive midfielder, causing teammate Fernando Gago to play higher upfield. Real Madrid comfortably won the league, finishing 8 points clear of second placed Villarreal. Diarra had now been a league champion for 6 consecutive seasons, after winning Ligue 1 with Lyon between 2002–03 and 2005–06, and La Liga with Real Madrid in 2006–07 and 2007–08.[7]

In October 2008, while playing an international fixture against Chad, Diarra was stretchered off the field after receiving a blow to his knee. He was rested for a month and made his next appearance in late November, but was forced to undergo surgery after aggravating his knee injury, which ruled him out for the rest of the season. In his absence, Real Madrid signed Lass Diarra from Portsmouth as a replacement defensive midfielder, who was given Diarra's number 6 shirt.[8][9] After recovering from injury, Diarra only started 8 further matches in two seasons for Real Madrid.[10] In January 2011, it was reported that Diarra would be leaving Real Madrid, and was linked to several clubs including Málaga.[11]

AS Monaco

Diarra returned to French football and signed with AS Monaco on 27 January 2011.[12] He made his début in a 0–0 draw against Olympique de Marseille.[13][14] Diarra left Monaco after the club was relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the 2010–11 season. After his departure from Monaco, Diarra remained without a club for the first half of the 2011–12 European season, and was linked with moves to the Middle East[15] and English Football League Championship club Doncaster Rovers.[16]


Diarra signed for Premier League team Fulham on 26 February 2012.[4] He agreed to a contract for the remainder of the 2011–12 season, with an option for the 2012–13 season.[4] He made his Fulham debut as a substitute against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 4 March 2012, assisting the fifth goal in a 5–0 win. On 17 March, he made his first start for Fulham in a 3–0 home loss to Swansea City.[17] He scored his first goal for Fulham against Bolton Wanderers on 7 April 2012.[18]

After impressing manager Martin Jol throughout his eleven Premier League games, on 17 May 2012, Diarra signed a new one-year contract at the club, keeping him at Craven Cottage until the end of the 2012–13 Premier League season.[19]

Diarra was one of twelve players released by Fulham at the end of the 2012–2013 Premier League season.[20] Despite his release, Manager Jol remained positive on Diarra and vowed to help him over the summer to continue his rehabilitation.[21]

Diarra re-signed for Fulham on 26 March 2014 on a contract that expired at the end of the 2013–14 Premier League season in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to help the club survive relegation.[22]

Playing style

FourFourTwo magazine says that "Diarra provides aggression, tactical awareness, toughness and the discipline that other players simply lack."[3]

Personal life

Diarra is a practising Muslim. He observes fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan,[23] he maintains that “every coach has respected my decision.”[23]



Real Madrid


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  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c "Mahamadou Diarra to join Fulham until end of the season". BBC Sport. 27 February 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ "Real Madrid unveil new boy Diarra". BBC News. 22 December 2008. 
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ [4]
  11. ^ [5]
  12. ^ "Monaco signs Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid". CBC News. 27 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Ligue 1 round-up". Sky Sports. 30 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Monaco agrees deal to sign midfielder Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid". The Canadian Press. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Doncaster eye Diarra & Piquionne". BBC News. 5 October 2011. 
  17. ^ [6]
  18. ^ "Bolton 0 - 3 Fulham". BBC. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Diarra Extension Confirmed". Fulham FC. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Summer transfer window: Ins and Outs". Premier League. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "Jol: Diarra Staying Positive". Fulham Official Website. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Diarra Rejoins Fulham". Fulham FC. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "Ramadan Fasting For Real Madrid Trio Lassana, Benzema and Diarra". Dadyal Online. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 

External links

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