Koné lining up for Côte d'Ivoire in 2012
|Full name||Arouna Koné|
|Date of birth||11 November 1983|
|Place of birth||Anyama, Ivory Coast|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2010||→ Hannover 96 (loan)||8||(2)|
|2011–2012||→ Levante (loan)||34||(15)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of match played 19 October 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Arouna Koné (born 11 November 1983) is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Everton and Côte d'Ivoire as a striker. He has previously played for Rio Sport d'Anyama, Lierse S.K., Roda JC, PSV Eindhoven, Sevilla, Hannover 96, Levante, and Wigan Athletic.
Born in Anyama, Koné started his football career with Rio Sport d'Anyama, a club based in his hometown. In 2002–03, aged 18, Koné signed for Lierse S.K. in Belgium, being the team's top scorer at it finished fifth. He moved to the neighbouring Netherlands in the following off-season and joined Roda JC, scoring in double digits in two consecutive Eredivisie seasons, including a career-best 15 in 2004–05.
Koné continued in the Netherlands and joined PSV Eindhoven in the 2005 summer, scoring 11 goals in his first season, and nine in the first part of the following, partnering up front with Peruvian Jefferson Farfán. He also played in the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, scoring a winner in the 2–1 away defeat of Galatasaray SK. He finished 2006 by being nominated for the Ivorian Football of the Year award, an accolade eventually won by Didier Drogba. In May, after several weeks sidelined due to injury, he picked his second consecutive national championship-winners medal.
Koné endured a difficult start to PSV's 2007–08 season: due to a date mix-up, he returned late to pre-season training following a holiday in his country, thus missing out on time to prepare for the new campaign. In addition he contracted malaria at the end of July 2007, In August he had returned to training and was fit in time for the team's first league game against Heracles Almelo. He also immediately returned to international duty.
After reported interest from English club Middlesbrough, in August 2007 Koné signed for UEFA Cup holders Sevilla FC on a five-year deal, for a fee reported to be €12 million. He made his league debut on 16 September, as a second-half substitute for Frédéric Kanouté in a 4–1 win against Recreativo de Huelva. In the game, he won a penalty, but fellow striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov failed to convert. On 25 September 2007 Koné scored his first goal for Sevilla, helping the team come from behind 0–2 against RCD Espanyol to tie it 2–2, in an eventual 2–3 home loss. On 2 October, he scoredhis first UEFA Champions League goal for the club in a 4–2 group stage win against SK Slavia Prague, after only ten minutes on the pitch.
In the run-up to the 2008–09 season he suffered a serious injury while playing for Côte d'Ivoire against Guinea on 20 August 2008. A scan showed he had suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in his left leg, and he underwent surgery to repair the damage the following week, returning to training in February 2009. Subsequently Koné fell out of favour at Sevilla, and after much transfer speculation in February 2010 he joined Hannover 96 on loan until the end of the season. He scored on his Bundesliga debut, a 1–2 away loss against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Koné only appeared once for Sevilla in 2010–11, one minute against Villarreal CF. For the following season he was loaned to Levante UD, starting often and scoring his first goal of the campaign on 18 September 2011, in a surprise 1–0 home win over Real Madrid. The campaign was highly successful for the player both individually, scoring 15 goals, and collectively, as Levante finished sixth and qualified for the Europa League.
Koné was rested for the final three games of the season due to a minor injury, and also because he was "scoring too many goals", as if he reached 18 he would have to return to Sevilla automatically, something he did not desire. Instead, he moved to Levante on a permanent basis, though the club were reported to be keen to sell him immediately for a profit.
On 14 August 2012, Koné signed a three-year contract with Premier League side Wigan Athletic, for a reported fee of €3.5 million. Wigan beat off competition from a number of other English clubs, with the striker being persuaded to sign due to the team's passing style of play. He scored his first league goal in his second match and his first start, an 89th minute strike against Southampton for the final goal in a 2–0 away win. He scored a brace in the 4–1 defeat of Huddersfield Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup, on 17 February 2013, and added another two in his side's next match, a 3–0 league win at Reading.
With Wigan, Koné won the FA Cup, featuring the full 90 minutes in the 1–0 upset against Manchester City. However, only three days later, Wigan were relegated from the top division following a 1–4 defeat at Arsenal.
Koné played for the Mama Ouattara-led Côte d'Ivoire under-20 team in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, alongside Lierse teammate Adolphe Tohoua. He scored three goals in the tournament – once against Mexico in a 2–1 win, and twice in the 2–2 draw against the Republic of Ireland – in an eventual round-of-16 exit.
Koné made his debut for the senior side in March 2004 against Tunisia. He was selected for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, scoring once as the Elephants finished runners-up to hosts Egypt. Koné was also picked for the squad that appeared at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, a first-ever appearance in the tournament for the side. He replaced Abdul Kader Keïta in the 77th minute of the first game, a 1–2 loss against Argentina, and started in the other two as the national team did not make it to the knockout stages. Koné was named in the Ivorian squad for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, in an eventual fourth-place finish. On 8 October 2006, in the qualifying campaign, he scored a hat-trick in a 5–0 home win against Gabon.
After four years without an international appearance, due to injuries and loss of form, Koné was recalled to the Ivorian squad in 2012 and was named in the squad for the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
|1.||8 October 2006||Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire||Gabon||5–0||Win||2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|2.||8 October 2006||Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire||Gabon||5–0||Win||2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|3.||8 October 2006||Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire||Gabon||5–0||Win||2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|4.||3 June 2007||Bouake, Côte d'Ivoire||Madagascar||5–0||Win||2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|5.||3 June 2007||Bouake, Côte d'Ivoire||Madagascar||5–0||Win||2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|6.||21 November 2007||Doha, Qatar||Qatar||6–1||Win||Friendly|
|7.||21 November 2007||Doha, Qatar||Qatar||6–1||Win||Friendly|
- As of match played 19 October 2013.
Koné is married with two sons and three daughters. He has 15 brothers and sisters. The family name Koné is very common in the Ivory Coast, which offen causes confusion, as there are several professional football players with the name Koné, none of whom are related to Arouna.
- "List of players" (PDF). CAF. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Koné adds to Koeman's woes".[dead link]
- "Koné returns to training".[dead link]
- "Koné back in Ivory Coast squad".[dead link]
- "Middlesbrough interested in Arouna".[dead link]
- "Koné heads to Sevilla".[dead link]
- "FC Sevilla 4–1 Recreativo Huelva". ESPN Soccernet. 16 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Tamudo stuns Sevilla". ESPN Soccernet. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Arouna scores first Sevilla goal".[dead link]
- "Sevilla 4–2 Slavia Prague: Losing streak ended". ESPN Soccernet. 2 October 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Kanoute and Koné on target for rampant Sevilla".[dead link]
- "Koné blow for Sevilla". Sky Sports. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- Gourizro, Giscard (2 September 2008). "Koné hopes for rapid return". Sky Sports. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
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- "Real Zaragoza keen on Arouna Kone to replace Ikechukwu Uche". Goal.com. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Arouna Kone May Join Real Zaragoza on Loan – Sevilla Coach Manolo Jimenez". Goal.com. 26 September 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Football: The top 20 European January transfer targets". The Guardian. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Arouna Kon zu 96!" (in German). Hannover 96. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Romaric edges Sevilla thriller". ESPN Soccernet. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Khedira off as Madrid lose". ESPN Soccernet. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Arouna Koné scoring too many goals". Football.co. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Koné in Levante dilemma". A Different League. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Levante exercise option to buy Arouna Koné". Goal.com. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Latics swoop for Kone from Levante". ESPN Soccernet. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "Stylish Wigan boss Martinez persuaded Kone to sign". Tribal Football. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- "Latics sink Saints". ESPN Soccernet. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- "Wigan beat Huddersfield 4-1 in the FA Cup fifth round". Sky Sports. 17 February 2013.
- "Wigan beat Reading 3–0 to move out of the Premier League relegation zone". Sky Sports. 23 February 2013.
- "Man City 0–1 Wigan". BBC Sport. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- "Arsenal 4–1 Wigan". BBC Sport. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- "Arouna Kone: Everton sign Ivory Coast striker from Wigan Athletic". BBC Sport. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Norwich 2–2 Everton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Twelve shining stars in the Emirates". FIFA.com. 12 December 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Argentina – Côte d'Ivoire". FIFA.com. 10 June 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Netherlands – Côte d'Ivoire". FIFA.com. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Côte d'Ivoire – Serbia and Montenegro". FIFA.com. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Martinez set to lose Kone for a month". ESPN FC. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- "Arouna Koné has become father of a baby boy". PSV. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Arouna Koné: 'Wherever in the world I play I can find goals'". The Guardian. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- Official Profile at Everton FC
- Levante official profile (Spanish)
- Stats at Voetbal International (Dutch)
- BDFutbol profile
- Arouna Koné at National-Football-Teams.com
- Arouna Koné – FIFA competition record
- Transfermarkt profile