|Full name||Bakary Sako|
|Date of birth||26 April 1988|
|Place of birth||Ivry-sur-Seine, Paris, France|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder, Winger|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:08, 20 September 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Bakary Sako (born 26 April 1988) is a French-born Malian international footballer who plays for English club Wolverhampton Wanderers. He plays primarily as a midfielder but can be also utilised as a striker.
Sako had been with Châteauroux since 2001, joining the club as an academy player. He made his league debut on the final matchday of the 2005–06 Ligue 2 season coming on as a half-time substitute in a 4–1 victory over Bastia. Following the season, he signed his first professional contract after agreeing to a three-year deal. He was promoted to the senior squad and assigned the number 26 shirt.
During the next two seasons, Sako was limited to mostly substitute appearances. He did score his first league goal, during the 2007–08 season, in a 1–2 defeat against Brest. During the 2008–09 season Sako became an integral part of the team, helping the club narrowly avoid relegation on the final day.
On 29 August 2012, Sako signed for English Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. He scored on his Wolves debut in a League Cup tie against Northampton on 30 August 2012, and again on his league debut in the following match, a 1–3 defeat at Cardiff.
The winger adapted well to English football, scoring ten times in total and contributing eleven assists. However, his season was halted early when he tore his hamstring in March 2013 in a match against Bristol City, which ruled him out for much of the season's final games, during which the team were relegated to League One.
Sako was the subject of transfer speculation during Summer 2013. Owing to his uncertain future, the player did not play in Wolves' final match of the transfer window as he "didn't feel he was in the right frame of mind". Several reported bids from Nottingham Forest were rejected by the club. In October 2013, Forest again attempted to set up a deal but Wolves pulled out of negotiations citing that "the terms surrounding the offer were unrealistic". He put aside this distraction to become a key player in the second half of the 2013/14 season to help Wolves run away with the English League One title.
Sako played for the Malian U17 team in one friendly match in 2005, while the team was preparing for the 2005 African Under-17 Championship. The following year, he returned to the French team playing with the under-18 squad. He was a member of the French squad that participated in the 2007 European Under-19 Championship reaching the semi-finals before being eliminated by Spain. He made his French under-21 debut on 11 February 2009 in a friendly match against Tunisia. He scored his first under-21 goal in the 2009 Toulon Tournament against Qatar.
Sako was called up by the Malian national team for the first time for a friendly against Senegal on 5 March 2014. He scored his first international goal against Guinea in a friendly match played in Colombes, France, on 25 May 2014. His first goal in competitive internationals came when he scored the opener in a 2-0 win over Malawi in an Africa Cup of Nations qualification match played in Bamako on 7 September 2014.
- As of 10 September 2014
|Club||Season||League||Domestic League||Domestic Cups||Europe||Total|
- Wolverhampton Wanderers
- "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 26. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- Bastia v. Chateauroux Match Report. Lfp.fr. Retrieved on 2012-09-29.
- Embouteillage en équipe nationale. 24sn.com. Retrieved on 2012-09-29.
- Chateauroux v. Brest Match Report. Lfp.fr. Retrieved on 2012-09-29.
- "Wolves sign Bakary Sako from St Etienne on three-year deal". BBC Sport. 29 August 2012.
- "Northampton 1–3 Wolves". BBC Sport. 2012-08-30.
- "Cardiff 3–1 Wolves". BBC Sport. 2 September 2012.
- "Bakary Sako". ESPN.
- "Bakary Sako & Dave Edwards: Wolves await injury diagnosis". BBC Sport. 18 March 2013.
- "Wolves trio Carl Ikeme, Bakary Sako and Dave Edwards ruled out for the season". Express & Star. 25 March 2013.
- "Wolves turn down Nottingham Forest Bakary Sako bid". Express & Star. 1 September 2013.
- "Wolves reject £3.5m bid for Bakary Sako". Shropshire Star. 3 September 2013.
- "Club Statement: Bakary Sako". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 4 October 2013.
- "Mali call-up for Wolves winger Bakary Sako". Express and Star. 28 February 2014.
- "Ten-man Mali hold on to defeat Malawi in Afcon qualifier". BBC. 7 September 2014.
- Official club profile
- Bakary Sako career stats at Soccerbase
- Bakary Sako at National-Football-Teams.com
- Bakary Sako French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
- FFF national team stats. (French)