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Salif Diao
Personal information
Full name Salif Alassane Diao
Date of birth February 10, 1977 (1977-02-10) (age 32)
Place of birth Kédougou, Senegal
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current club Stoke City
Number 15
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996-2000 AS Monaco 27 (0)
1996-1997 SAS Epinal (loan) 2 (0)
2000-2002 CS Sedan Ardennes 49 (0)
2002-2007 Liverpool 37 (1)
2005 Birmingham City (loan) 2 (0)
2005-2006 Portsmouth (loan) 11 (0)
2006-2007 Stoke City (loan) 16 (0)
2007- Stoke City 53 (0)
National team
2000- Senegal 39 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:12, 16 January 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:03, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Salif Alassane Diao (born February 10, 1977) is a Senegalese football player, playing as a defensive midfielder. He currently plays for Stoke City.

Contents

Career

Diao was born in Kédougou, Tambacounda Region. He began his career in his native country before moving to France at the age of seventeen. He played for AS Monaco and won the French League with them in the 1999-2000 season. He also won a runner-up medal in the 2002 African Cup of Nations, where Senegal lost in extra time to Cameroon.

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Liverpool

He was signed by former Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier from French club CS Sedan Ardennes for £5 million (€7.5m) after impressing several watching scouts with his performances at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. He helped Senegal reach the quarter finals, most notably in scoring a memorable goal against Denmark in the first round, although he was subsequently red-carded.

At the club, he tended to be used out of position by Houllier, often played at centre back or full back and as a result never had the chance to demonstrate whether he was capable of playing a central midfield role for the club, although the evidence did suggest he was somewhat out of his depth at such a large club. His first Liverpool goal came against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.[1] He scored a total of three goals, only one coming in the league, in a 1-0 win at Leeds United in October 2002.[2] Both he and fellow countryman El Hadji Diouf, who signed at the same time, are now considered failures at Liverpool, despite high hopes for them after the World Cup.

Diao was played in his correct position by Rafa Benitez but several poor displays saw him displaced by Xabi Alonso notably after a 4-2 win at Fulham. Liverpool were 2-0 down when Diao was substituted, he had been at fault for one of the goals Fulham scored whilst attempting a bizarre back heel. Despite not having featured for months Diao was present in Istanbul when Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005. Some Liverpool fans expressed displeasure at Diao being at the forefront of a lot of photos celebrating and holding the cup even though he contributed very little to the success. He appeared only once in the campaign, coming on as a substitute away at Olympiakos in the group stage.[3] It was during this season (2004-5) that Diao scored his last Liverpool goal against Millwall in the Carling Cup,[4] and he played his last game for Liverpool at Norwich in January.

In January 2005 Birmingham City took Diao, who had struggled to make Liverpool's first team, on loan for the rest of the season but he had his spell at Birmingham ended by injury almost immediately. The arrival of Rafael Benítez (and especially the signing of fellow defensive midfielder Mohamed Sissoko), signalled the end of his Liverpool career. Ironically, while Sissoko has been branded the "new Vieira" by Benítez, Diao had received this same tag from Houllier upon his arrival at Liverpool.

Diao was not issued a squad number by Liverpool for the 2005/06 season, with his #15 being given to new signing Peter Crouch. He joined Portsmouth in August 2005 on a season long loan but spent much of the season out injured. At the end of the season Pompey manager Harry Redknapp decided not to take up the option to sign him permanently because of his injury-proneness.

In July 2006 Diao was taken on trial by Premiership side Charlton Athletic. He reportedly failed a medical at the club, thus ending his chances of signing. On 10 October 2006 Diao joined Stoke City on loan. He has been a consistent player for Stoke, holding the team together, and has been considered by some fans to play like Claude Makélélé, slowing down the tempo and speed of the game. It is thought that the revival of Stoke City this season was in a large part due to Salif's hardworking performances. On 25 January 2007, his contract at Stoke was extended until the end of the season and was permanently transferred from Liverpool[5].

Stoke City

He eventually signed permanently for Stoke on a one and a half year deal in December 2007.[6]

Diao recently put in some classy performances for Stoke including games against former club Liverpool and man of the match performances against Chelsea and Sunderland.

In June 2009 he was offered a new one-year contract to stay at the Britannia, which he accepted.[7]

International career

Diao has appeared 39 times for Senegal, netting 4 goals in the process, including a strike against Denmark at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was later sent off in the same match.

Honours

  • 1997/98 French Super Cup
  • 1999/00 French Division 1
  • 2007–08 Football League Championship Runner Up

Statistics

[8]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1996-97 Monaco Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1996-97 Épinal Division 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1997-98 Monaco Division 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 0
1998-99 14 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 17 0
1999-00 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
2000-01 Sedan Ardennes Division 1 27 0 1 0 1 0 3 0 32 0
2001-02 22 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 25 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2002-03 Liverpool Premier League 26 1 2 0 4 0 8 1 40 2
2003-04 3 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 7 0
2004-05 8 0 0 0 3 1 3 0 14 1
2004-05 Birmingham City Premier League 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2005-06 Portsmouth Premier League 11 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 13 0
2006-07 Stoke City Championship 27 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
2007-08 11 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 12 0
2008-09 Premier League 20 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 21 0
2009-10 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
Total France 78 0 2 0 1 0 9 0 90 0
England 113 1 6 0 9 1 14 1 142 3
Career Total 189 1 8 0 10 1 23 1 218 3

References

External links


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