Seydou Keita (footballer)
Keita in action for Barcelona
|Full name||Seydou Keita|
|Date of birth||16 January 1980|
|Place of birth||Bamako, Mali|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Current club||Dalian Aerbin|
|1995–1997||Centre Salif Keita|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 April 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Seydou Keita (born 16 January 1980) is a Malian professional footballer who plays for Dalian Aerbin in the Chinese Super League. A versatile midfielder, he can operate as both a central or defensive midfielder, and played most notably with Lens (five seasons) and Barcelona (four), winning 14 titles with the latter.
Club career 
Born in Bamako, Mali, Keita finished his football formation in France with Olympique de Marseille, joining the club at the age of 17. He played mainly for the reserve squad during his three-year spell.
Lorient / Lens 
Keita signed for FC Lorient in Ligue 2, being instrumental (37 games, one goal) as the club promoted to the top level in 2001. He appeared slightly less due to injury in the following season, which ended in immediate relegation back, but brought the conquest of the Coupe de France, the club's first-ever (he played the full 90 minutes in the final against SC Bastia).
In 2002 Keita joined fellow league side RC Lens, eventually becoming team captain, and scoring a career-best 11 goals in the 2006–07 season – his fifth and last – helping Les Sang et Or to the fifth position in the league and the last-16 in the UEFA Cup.
Keita was an automatic first-choice for the Andalusians during the 2007–08 season, helping the team to the fifth position in the league. On 3 November 2007 he scored from long-distance in a 2–0 home win also against Real Madrid, and added three in nine games in the Champions League – including one against Arsenal in a 3–1 group stage home success, which was the Gunners' first loss of the campaign.
On 26 May 2008 Keita signed a four-year contract with FC Barcelona, with the Catalan club being believed to have paid the player's buy-out clause, which stood at around €14 million. He became the first Malian Barcelona player ever, and the club set his new release clause at €90 million.
Keita made his official debut for Barcelona in a Champions League qualifier against Poland's Wisła Kraków on 13 August 2008, a 4–0 home win. He made his league debut against CD Numancia on the 31st, replacing Andrés Iniesta midway through the second half of a 0–1 away loss.
Keita scored his first goal for Barcelona on 16 November 2008, in a 2–0 win at Recreativo de Huelva. The following week he added another, in a 1–1 home draw against Getafe CF; he finished his first season at Camp Nou with 46 official games as Barça won the treble. He played 20 minutes in the Champions League final, taking the place of Thierry Henry in the 2–0 win against Manchester United.
On 25 October 2009 Keita scored his first career hat-trick, in a 6–1 home win against Real Zaragoza, and contributed with 29 games – 23 starts – as Barcelona renewed its domestic supremacy. In the 2010–11 season he made more appearances than any other outfield player and, on 31 August, aged 31, signed a contract extension that would link him to the club until 2014.
On 7 July 2012, Keita announced he would be leaving Barcelona after four seasons.
International career 
Keita made his debut for Mali on 9 April 2000, in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Libya. He represented the country in six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments: in the 2010 edition in Angola he scored twice, both goals coming in the 4–4 group stage draw against the hosts, who were leading 4–0 with 11 minutes to go; Les Aigles, however, could not make it past the group stage.
Keita also participated in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, scoring in the 1–1 quarterfinal draw against the hosts as Mali eventually won the shootout. Previously, he helped the under-20s finish third at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria, scoring in the last match against Uruguay – the game's only– and being named the tournament's best player.
- La Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11
- Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12; Runner-up 2010–11
- Supercopa de España: 2009, 2010, 2011
- UEFA Champions League: 2008–09, 2010–11
- UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011
Club statistics 
- As of 26 May 2012
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|France||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|China PR||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
Personal life 
- "El Sevilla ficha al centrocampista Keita" [Sevilla signs midfielder Keita] (in Spanish). Merca Fútbol. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- FC Sevilla 2-0 Real Madrid; ESPN Soccernet, 3 November 2007
- Unbeaten run ends; ESPN Soccernet, 27 November 2007
- Contract details; Barcelona's official website, 26 May 2008
- Barcelona 4–0 Wisla Krakow; ESPN Soccernet, 13 August 2008
- Numancia 1-0 Barcelona; ESPN Soccernet, 31 August 2008
- More leaders than ever (0-2); FC Barcelona's website, 16 November 2008
- Recreativo Huelva 0-2 Barcelona; ESPN Soccernet, 16 November 2008
- Barcelona 1-1 Getafe; ESPN Soccernet, 23 November 2008
- Sensational Barca rediscover form; ESPN Soccernet, 25 October 2009
- Keita announces he won’t be at Barça next season; Barcelona's official website, 7 July 2012
- "Match report: Libya - Mali". FIFA.com. 9 April 2000. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- Hosts stunned by fightback; ESPN Soccernet, 10 January 2010
- "South Africa 1–1 Mali". BBC Sport. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Seydou Keita – FIFA competition record
- ESPN Soccernet statistics
- "Seydou Keita se ha forjado un nombre" [Seydou Keita has made a name for himself] (in Spanish). FIFA.com. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- FC Barcelona profile
- L'Équipe stats (French)
- Seydou Keita French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
- BDFutbol profile
- Seydou Keita at National-Football-Teams.com
- Seydou Keita – FIFA competition record
- Seydou Keita – UEFA competition record
- Transfermarkt profile