Mahamadou Diarra

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Mahamadou Diarra
Mahamadou Diarra.JPG
Diarra in 2007.
Personal information
Full name Mahamadou Diarra
Date of birth (1981-05-18) 18 May 1981 (age 35)
Place of birth Bamako, Mali
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Youth career
1997–1998 Centre Salif Keita
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 OFI 21 (2)
1999–2002 Vitesse Arnhem 69 (9)
2002–2006 Lyon 123 (7)
2006–2011 Real Madrid 90 (3)
2011 AS Monaco 11 (0)
2012–2014 Fulham 25 (1)
Total 339 (22)
National team
2001–2012 Mali 69 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:37, 20 September 2016 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:37, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Mahamadou Diarra (born 18 May 1981) is Malian former footballer who played as a defensive midfielder. He was the captain of the Mali national team.


Early career[edit]

Diarra started his career with Greek side OFI Crete. Then he went to Vitesse Arnhem. He played for French club Lyon from 2002 until 2006 and formed a successful midfield partnership with Michael Essien. He won four Ligue 1 titles during his time at Lyon, playing a key role in the teams success.[1][2]

Real Madrid[edit]

After Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello asked President Ramón Calderón to sign three players, "Diarra, Diarra and Diarra",[3] Real Madrid joined Manchester United in the race to sign Mahamadou Diarra.[4] Lyon said that Diarra could not leave and put a €40 million price tag on him.[5] On 18 May 2006, Real Madrid agreed a fee of €26 million. On 22 May, Diarra was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabéu by Calderón and was assigned the number 6 shirt.

In 2006–07, Diarra was a staple player in Fabio Capello's two-defensive midfielder system. He played in 33 of Madrid's 38 matches, scoring three times. On 18 June 2007, with Real Madrid needing to win against Real Mallorca to win the league title for the first time since 2003, Diarra scored an 81st-minute header to give Madrid a 2–1 lead. In the 84th minute, José Antonio Reyes scored a third goal to ensure Real Madrid were champions.[6]

Diarra played a pivotal role in the 2007–08 title defence under new coach Bernd Schuster, and he established himself as the first-choice defensive midfielder, causing teammate Fernando Gago to play higher upfield. Real Madrid comfortably won the league, finishing 8 points clear of second placed Villarreal. Diarra had now been a league champion for 6 consecutive seasons, after winning Ligue 1 with Lyon between 2002–03 and 2005–06, and La Liga with Real Madrid in 2006–07 and 2007–08.[7]

In October 2008, while playing an international fixture against Chad, Diarra was stretchered off the field after receiving a blow to his knee. He was rested for a month and made his next appearance in late November, but was forced to undergo surgery after aggravating his knee injury, which ruled him out for the rest of the season. In his absence, Real Madrid signed Lass Diarra from Portsmouth as a replacement defensive midfielder, who was given Diarra's number 6 shirt.[8][9] After recovering from injury, Diarra only started 8 further matches in two seasons for Real Madrid.[10] In January 2011, it was reported that Diarra would be leaving Real Madrid, and was linked to several clubs including Málaga.[11]

AS Monaco[edit]

Diarra returned to French football and signed with AS Monaco on 27 January 2011.[12] He made his début in a 0–0 draw against Olympique de Marseille.[13][14] Diarra left Monaco after the club was relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the 2010–11 season. After his departure from Monaco, Diarra remained without a club for the first half of the 2011–12 European season, and was linked with moves to the Middle East[15] and English Football League Championship club Doncaster Rovers.[16]


Diarra signed for Premier League team Fulham on 26 February 2012.[4] He agreed to a contract for the remainder of the 2011–12 season, with an option for the 2012–13 season.[4] He made his Fulham debut as a substitute against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 4 March 2012, assisting the fifth goal in a 5–0 win. On 17 March, he made his first start for Fulham in a 3–0 home loss to Swansea City.[17] He scored his first goal for Fulham against Bolton Wanderers on 7 April 2012.[18]

After impressing manager Martin Jol throughout his eleven Premier League games, on 17 May 2012, Diarra signed a new one-year contract at the club, keeping him at Craven Cottage until the end of the 2012–13 Premier League season.[19]

Diarra was one of twelve players released by Fulham at the end of the 2012–2013 Premier League season.[20] Despite his release, Manager Jol remained positive on Diarra and vowed to help him over the summer to continue his rehabilitation.[21]

Diarra re-signed for Fulham on 26 March 2014 on a contract that expired at the end of the 2013–14 Premier League season in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to help the club survive relegation.[22]

After career[edit]

Diarra began training with Championship side Brentford in 2016–17 pre-season and made an appearance for the club's B team on 20 September 2016.[23][24]

Playing style[edit]

FourFourTwo magazine says that "Diarra provides aggression, tactical awareness, toughness and the discipline that other players simply lack."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Diarra is a practising Muslim. He observes fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan,[25] he maintains that “every coach has respected my decision.”[26]



Real Madrid


  1. ^ "Mahamadou Diarra Top 20 Player Profile -". 5 July 2010. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "From Clasicos to the Cottage - How former Real Madrid man Mahamadou Diarra ended up at Fulham -". 3 March 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "Mahamadou Diarra to join Fulham until end of the season". BBC Sport. 27 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Where Will Diarra Go? Lyon, Manchester United, or Real Madrid? - Soccerlens". 13 July 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Real Madrid C.F. - Official Web Site - Real Madrid 3-1 Mallorca". 6 December 2013. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Fulham sign former Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra subject to visa -". 27 February 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Real Madrid unveil new boy Diarra". BBC News. 22 December 2008. 
  9. ^ Lassana Diarra - Real Madrid
  10. ^ "Mahamadou Diarra Player Profile - ESPN FC". Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "Mahamadou Diarra set to leave Real Madrid for Malaga - report -". 26 January 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  12. ^ "Monaco signs Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid". CBC News. 27 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Ligue 1 round-up". Sky Sports. 30 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Monaco agrees deal to sign midfielder Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid". The Canadian Press. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Mahamadou Diarra Offered Lucrative Middle East Option". 24 September 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Doncaster eye Diarra & Piquionne". BBC News. 5 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Team News: Diarra handed first start". Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "Bolton 0 - 3 Fulham". BBC. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Diarra Extension Confirmed". Fulham FC. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Summer transfer window: Ins and Outs". Premier League. Archived from the original on 1 January 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "Jol: Diarra Staying Positive". Fulham Official Website. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Diarra Rejoins Fulham". Fulham FC. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Moore, Tom (2016-09-09). "Former Real Madrid and Lyon star training with Brentford". Retrieved 2016-09-20. 
  24. ^ FC, Brentford. "Brentford v Leyton Orient friendly match report". Retrieved 2016-09-20. 
  25. ^ "Ramadan Fasting For Real Madrid Trio Lassana, Benzema and Diarra". Dadyal Online. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  26. ^ Din, Tusdiq (24 August 2009). "Exclusive: I Can Keep Fasting In Ramadan Even When I Am Playing – Fredi Kanoute". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

External links[edit]