Koné in 2005
|Full name||Bakari Koné|
|Date of birth||17 September 1981|
|Place of birth||Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire|
|Height||1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 16 November 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Like many other Ivorian stars, he began his career at the famed youth academy at ASEC Mimosas, run by Frenchman Jean-Marc Guillou in his home country. Guillou recalls: "One day, when I was passing through his district, some kids stopped me. They kept saying, ‘We’ve got Pelé living here, you’ve got to take a look at him’. Then Kone came along. He was slightly built but I never doubted for one moment that he was a real find. I took him into the academy after a trial of just ten minutes, but I did tell him that the Pele nickname would have to go. That's when he became Baky, and I think it's better that way."
Koné stayed at the academy for five years before joining the first team squad and turning professional in 1999. During his time with the ASEC first team Bakari won the Ivorian League three times, and also the African Supercup before moving on.
In 2002, he joined Qatari club Al-Ittihad, staying in the Gulf for just six months, before moving to France where he joined the then Ligue 2 outfit FC Lorient following a successful trial. It was here that Koné rose to fame. In his first season at the club he scored a respectable 10 goals, but then bagged an impressive 24 in 35 appearances in the 2004–05 season, earning him the Player of the Year and Top Scorer titles in the Ligue 2. At the end of the season, Lorient narrowly missed out on promotion to Ligue 1, and with speculation mounting linking the Ivorian to top flight sides such as OSC Lille, RC Strasbourg and AJ Auxerre, Koné received a standing ovation in his final appearance for his club. In the summer, Bakari finally made his move, relocating to the French Riviera at top flight side OGC Nice, where he signed a four-year contract.
Bakari made his Nice debut against Troyes on 30 July 2005. In his first season at the club, he made 32 appearances, scoring seven times, and eight goals in 33 appearances in his second. In his second season at the club, English side Arsenal's manager Arsène Wenger labelled him a 'phenomenon' and one of the hottest prospects in French football, leading to speculation that the forward would be playing in the English Premiership.
Bakari made an impressive start to the 2007–08 season for Nice. After signing a contract extension to 2009 with the Côte d'Azur side, he went on to score four times in his first eight appearances for the club. He won the Ligue 1 player of the month award for both September and October 2007, and finished the 2007–08 Ligue 1 season top scorer for his club, after netting 14 goals in 30 appearances for the Côte d'Azur outfit.
In June 2008, Koné began talks with French giants Olympique de Marseille with a view to move to the club. The proposed transfer was held up however, with a disagreement over the fee, a situation which caused Koné to miss pre-season training at OGC Nice apparently as a protest. The striker spoke out to state that he had been carrying an injury.
The saga went further, with Nice president Maurice Cohen stating that their south-coast rivals had till 15 July to sign the striker, otherwise the club would speak to other interested parties. One reportedly interested club was capital club Paris Saint-Germain.
The striker was quoted as saying: "I know that this is going to get sorted out but I can't tell you when. If we talk about (the) 15 July (deadline)...I'm not worried about that."
Marseille president Pape Diouf echoed Koné's comments, stating: "Ultimatums not only fail to impress me, but they also never provide a solution. Now, concerning Baki, it doesn't just depend on us but on the wishes of the two clubs and, in particular, the two presidents. Personally I think that good sense can do a lot in this case. I remain calm."
On 17 July, Thursday, Koné spoke to the media once again regarding his drawn-out transfer saga. He stated: "It's heading down a good road, I hope that it is all going to be done quickly. The important thing is that the two clubs reach an understanding."
Olympique de Marseille
On 18 July, it was announced on the official Marseille website that the transfer of the diminutive striker had been completed. The striker commented: "Marseille is a big club. It's a club that has proven its qualities in the past and continues to do it today. I wanted to take part in that."
He was part of the Ivorian team for the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt. He scored a vital equaliser against Cameroon in the quarter-final. His team won the penalty shootout 12–11. However, in the final, he was one of two Ivorian players to have his penalty saved as the Ivorians lost to hosts Egypt.
The forward was selected as part of the Ivorian side for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He was given the number 14 shirt, and played his first match for Côte d'Ivoire against the Netherlands on 16 June 2006. He scored his first World Cup goal in that match, where Côte d' Ivoire lost 2–1.
Koné was also selected as part of the Ivorian squad for the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana. He made four substitute appearances for the Elephants, and scored once against West African rivals Guinea in the quarter final stage, where the Ivorians ran out 5–1 winners.
He was also selected in the preliminary Côte d'Ivoire squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but was eventually dropped along with Gilles Yapi Yapo and Emerse Fae, who played with him in the 2006 World Cup.
|4 February 2006||Cairo Military Academy Stadium, Cairo, Egypt||Cameroon||1–1 (11–12 pen.)||Won||2006 African Nations Cup|
|16 June 2006||Stuttgart, Germany||Netherlands||1–2||Lost||2006 FIFA World Cup|
|3 February 2008||Sekondi-Takoradi Stadium, Sekondi, Ghana||Guinea||5–0||Won||2008 African Nations Cup|
|20 August 2008||Chantilly, France||Guinea||2–1||Won||Friendly|
|7 September 2008||Estádio da Machava, Maputo, Mozambique||Mozambique||1–1||Draw||2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification|
|29 March 2009||Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast||Malawi||5–0||Won||2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification|
|7 June 2009||Stade du 28 Septembre, Conakry, Guinea||Guinea||1–2||Won||2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification|
Koné has nine brothers and five sisters. He is the older brother of fellow Ivorian international Arouna Koné, who is a striker for English Premier League club Everton FC. He also has another brother who plays football, Karamoko Koné, who is part of the reserve team setup at Dutch Eredivisie club Roda JC.
Club Career stats
- ASEC Mimosas
- OGC Nice
- Olympique Marseille
- Ligue 2 Player of the Year: 2005
- Ligue 2 Top Scorer: 2005 24 goals with FC Lorient
- Ligue 1 Player of the Month: September 2007, October 2007
- Ivorian Player of the Year: 2008
- Qatar Stars League Best Player of the Season: 2010–2011
- رسميًا | باكاري كوني لاعبًا لأم صلال القطري
- Bakari Koné – the small man of Ivorian football
- Arsenal Boss Following Ivorian Striker Koné
- Koné dreams of English move
- Koné wins French Ligue One award
- Koné denies any wrong-doing
- Koné not bound for Marseille
- Koné confident of Marseille deal
- OM unfazed by Koné ultimatum
- Gerets delighted with Koné deal
- Koné set for Marseille move
- Koné finally arrives at Marseille
- Koné named Ivorian player of the year
- Koné au Qatar (officiel)
- كونيه: أحلم بتحقيق البطولات مع نادي قطر (in Arabic). Al Kass. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Bakari Koné – the small man of Ivorian football
- Koné dreams of English move
- Profile on Yahoo World Cup site
- Goal against Netherlands at the 2006 World Cup (video)
- Profile on L'Equipe
- Bakari Koné Official Website
- Bakari Koné French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
- Ivorian Koné Wants Premiership Move
- Koné close to Marseille move
- Gerets gets impatient over Koné
- Interview with Koné French