Koulibaly playing for Genk in 2014
|Full name||Kalidou Koulibaly|
|Date of birth||20 June 1991|
|Place of birth||Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France|
|Height||1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 May 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 May 2016
Kalidou Koulibaly (born 20 June 1991) is a Senegalese footballer who plays as defender for Serie A club Napoli and the Senegal national football team, usually as a centre-back. A large, quick and physically strong yet elegant player, he is recognised for his aerial prowess, anticipation, passing ability and versatility, as he can play both as a central defender, or as a full-back on either the right or left flank, in both a three or four-man defence; he has even been deployed as a defensive midfielder. His playing style has earned him the nicknames K2 and The Wall from his fans.
Koulibaly began his professional club career with French side Metz in 2010, before moving to Belgian club Genk in 2012. He joined Italian side Napoli in 2014, where he soon established himself as one of the best defenders in Italy.
As Koulibaly was born in France to Senegalese parents, he was eligible to represent both nations at international level, and initially played for the France national under-20 football team. He later made his senior debut with Senegal in 2015, and was a member of the Senegal squad that took part at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Koulibaly began his career playing for his hometown club SR Saint-Dié's youth team, and spent two seasons playing on the club's senior team in the Championnat de France amateur 2, before joining the youth academy of professional club Metz on 1 July 2009. While at Metz, Koulibaly helped the club's under-19 team win the 2009–10 Coupe Gambardella after the team defeated Sochaux 5–4 on penalties in the final. He also played on the club's amateur team in the Championnat de France amateur appearing in 15 matches as Metz were crowned champions of the league finishing with 107 points.
Prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, Koulibaly signed his first professional contract agreeing to a one-year deal. He was, subsequently, promoted to the senior team by new manager Dominique Bijotat. Koulibaly made his professional debut on 20 August 2010 in a league match against Vannes. He appeared as a substitute in a 1–0 victory.
On 29 June 2012, Koulibaly joined Belgian club Racing Genk after agreeing to a four-year deal. On 23 August 2012, Koulibaly made his Racing Genk debut in a UEFA Europa League play-off qualifying round, in which they were defeated by Swiss side Luzern 2–1 in the first leg of two. On 23 December 2012, Koulibaly scored his first Racing Genk goal in a 4–2 home defeat to Anderlecht, in which he scored a free header from a corner.
On 19 August 2014, Koulibaly made his debut in a UEFA Champions League play-off round qualifier, in which Napoli drew 1–1 with Athletic Bilbao. Napoli went on to lose the second leg 3–1, therefore sending them out of the competition. On 24 September 2014, almost a month later after making his Napoli debut, Koulibaly scored his first goal for the Italian side in a 3–3 draw with Palermo, in which he nodded home a header from an inviting ball in.
Kalidou Koulibaly was born and raised in France by Senegalese parents, and was therefore eligible for both nations. He played for the U-20 French side starting in 2011. However, in early September 2015, Koulibaly changed federations and joined the Senegal national football team, despite the interest to call him for Les Bleus from Didier Deschamps. He made his debut on 5 September 2015 in an AFCON qualifier against Namibia in a 2–0 victory. He was a member of the Senegal squad that took part at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
- As of match played 20 May 2017.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Racing Genk||2012–13||Belgian Pro League||31||1||6||0||—||9[a]||0||46||1|
|2013–14||Belgian Pro League||33||2||3||0||—||10[b][a]||0||46||2|
- K.R.C. Genk
- "Mercato, Napoli: ufficiale Koulibaly. Visite, firma: è il primo colpo azzurro" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- Jason Burt (17 August 2016). "Chelsea swoop for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in club-record £60 million deal" (in Italian). The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Alessio D'Urso (19 July 2014). "Napoli, Koulibaly: "Mi rimetto a Benitez, la mia altezza è l'arma in più"" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Davide Palliggiano (4 February 2016). "K2 Koulibaly, l'oro del Napoli in vetta. Più forte di ogni razzismo" (in Italian). Il Corriere dello Sport. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Davide Palliggiano (19 October 2015). "Il bunker del Napoli? In difesa c'è un K2" (in Italian). Il Corriere dello Sport. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Francia, gaffe Deschamps: "Convoco Koulibaly". Ma è del Senegal..." (in Italian). Tutto Sport. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Pasquale Tina (3 March 2016). "Napoli, Koulibaly: Scudetto? Non molliamo, ma ora blindiamo la Champions" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Koulibaly, le jour d’après" (in French). Le Républicain Lorrain. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "Sochaux v. Metz Match Report" (in French). French Football Federation. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "Metz v. Vannes Match Report" (in French). L'Equipe. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "Kalidou Koulibaly is van Genk" (in Dutch). Gazet van Antwerpen. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Luzern vs. Genk". Soccerway. 23 August 2012.
- "Genk vs. Anderlecht". Soccerway. 23 December 2012.
- "Napoli vs. Athletic Club". Soccerway. 19 August 2014.
- "Athletic Club vs. Napoli". Soccerway. 27 August 2014.
- "Napoli vs. Palermo". Soccerway. 24 September 2014.
- "Tunisia Senegal 0-2". BBC.com. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Kalidou Koulibaly at Soccerway
- "CAF – CAF Awards – Previous Editions – 2016". CAFOnline. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- "Gran Galà del calcio, la Juventus fa incetta di premi" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.