Keita Baldé Diao
|Full name||Keita Baldé Diao|
|Date of birth||8 March 1995|
|Place of birth||Arbúcies, Spain|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2010–2011||→ Cornellà (loan)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 October 2016.
Born in Arbúcies, Girona, Catalonia, to Senegalese parents, Keita came up through the FC Barcelona's youth academy. In 2010, Keita travelled with the Barcelona youth team to Qatar for a tournament, where he played a practical joke by placing an ice-cube in a teammate's bed.
As a punishment, Barcelona sent the 15-year-old Keita on loan to satellite club UE Cornellà, despite Keita's reputation as a future prospect for the first team. The loan meant Cornellà held the rights to a fraction of Keita's playing rights. After a season in which he scored 47 goals for Cornellà's youth side, Keita turned down the chance to return to Barcelona, attracting the interest of Real Madrid and Manchester United.
In the summer of 2011, he was signed by Serie A club Lazio for a fee of €300,000, of which 10% went to Cornellà. Keita was unable to play official matches for Lazio's youth sides for a year, as he had to wait to be granted Spanish citizenship and the EU passport required for the Italian club to register him. However, he impressed while playing in the Torneo Karol Wojtyla youth competition, where he scored six goals in just four matches.
Keita then spent the 2012–13 season playing with Lazio's Primavera youth side and training with the first team. He was selected by coach Vladimir Petković to sit on the bench for some matches in the latter part of the season but did not make his senior debut.
Promoted to the first team for the following season, Keita made his league debut in a 3–0 home win against Chievo at the Stadio Olimpico on 15 September 2013, coming on as a late substitute for Luis Pedro Cavanda. Five days later, Keita made his debut in the Europa League, starting in a 1–0 home victory against Legia Warsaw. He provided the assist for the only goal of the game, scored by Hernanes. On 10 November 2013, he scored his first senior goal in a 1–1 draw against Parma.
Keita is born in Spain to parents of Senegalese descent. Although he could be eligible to play for Spain, Keita had chosen to play for his parents' country, Senegal, being called-up by their manager, Aliou Cissé, for the match against Niger, valid for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group K. He made his debut for Senegal in a 2–0 win over Niger as a late sub.
- Finalmente Keita La Lazio scopre il baby fenomeno (Gazzetta dello Sport – ed. romana), Marco Calabresi. Lazio.net (30 December 2012). Retrieved on 20 June 2016.
- Esclusiva – Keita, la nuova promessa della Lazio. L?agente: ?C?era l?offerta del Real Madrid, ma??. Calcionews24.com (3 January 2013). Retrieved on 20 June 2016.
- Parma-Lazio 1–1, non basta Keita show e gol: pareggia Lucarelli. Gazzetta.it. Retrieved on 20 June 2016.
- Champions League play-offs: Keita Balde gives Lazio edge | Football News. Sky Sports (18 August 2015). Retrieved on 20 June 2016.
- "Sénégal-Niger : Aliou Cissé publie une liste de 26 joueurs.". Dakar Actu. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
- CAF – Competitions – Q CAN 2017 – Match Details. Cafonline.com. Retrieved on 20 June 2016.
- Keita Balde Diao profile at Soccerway
- Keita profile at Soccerway