Salifou pictured in 2007
|Full name||Moustapha Salifou|
|Date of birth||1 June 1983|
|Place of birth||Lomé, Togo|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2005–2006||→ Brest (loan)||7||(0)|
|2011–2012||1. FC Saarbrücken||11||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:17, 24 October 2011 (UTC).
Moustapha Salifou (born 1 June 1983) is a Togolese footballer who plays mostly as a midfielder. He most recently played in Germany for TSV 1860 Rosenheim, as well as the Togo national football team. Salifou is perhaps best known for representing Togo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and spending four years at English Premier League club Aston Villa.
Born in Lomé, Salifou started his career in his native Togo with AC Merlan. The midfielder had fleeting stints with Swiss side FC Wil, French team Stade Brest 29 and German team Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, prior to moving to England. On 31 August 2007, Salifou signed a one-year deal with Aston Villa, joining for a nominal fee after a successful trial. Martin O'Neill commented that "He has great determination to succeed at this level and may well prove to be an excellent asset". Salifou encountered problems acquiring a work permit though, and was forced to train with his old club in Switzerland.
It was reported on 25 September 2007 that the work permit had been granted and that Salifou was to join up with the squad within a week, however, he did not join up with his new club until 18 October 2007. Salifou made his debut for Aston Villa Reserves on 22 October 2007 creating two of the goals in a 6–0 win over Chelsea reserves. Salifou made his debut for the first team on 12 January 2008 as a 90th-minute substitute in a 3–1 win against Reading. Despite not having played a game, his name was chanted loudly to the tune of Daddy Cool by the Holte End. He was later rewarded with a one-year extension to his contract. Salifou made his second appearance for the club on the 15 March 2008, coming on as a late substitute in the 2–0 away defeat at Portsmouth, as well as appearing in the 4–0 defeat to Manchester United. On 6 November 2008, Martin O'Neill decided to change his starting eleven for Villa's UEFA Cup match against Slavia Prague. Salifou started and played the full ninety minutes. During this time salifou was being linked with a move away from Aston villa, clubs such as Juventus and Calcio Catania.
Despite rarely featuring for the club at all during the 2009–10 season, Salifou was named in caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald's 22-man Premier League squad for 2010–11. He failed to make an impact during this season too, and underwent a trial at AS Monaco in January 2011. With the arrival of Jean Makoun to Villa in January 2011, Salifou found himself without a squad number for a period after the number 17 shirt was given to Makoun. However, he was later given the number 37. Throughout this time Salifou was praised for his time with the reserves, often passing on his experience to the Villa youngsters. Although his appearances at Aston Villa were limited he soon became a cult hero due to his close relationship with Aston Villa fan Jimmy Ennis and his surname being sung to the tune of Boney M hit Daddy Cool. On 27 May 2011, Aston Villa announced that Salifou was one of a number of players who was released by the club after their contracts expired.
Salifou remained a free agent until November 2011, when he signed a two-year deal with 1. FC Saarbrücken. He took the number 16 shirt on arrival at the German club. He made his début for the team as an 80th-minute substitute for Marcel Ziemer in a 3–1 win over Kickers Offenbach on 26 November 2011. He scored his first goal for Saarbrücken in a 5–2 win over former club Rot-Weiß Oberhausen on 10 December. He was released by Saarbrücken at the end of the season. Despite not being registered to a club, Salifou continued to represent Togo internationally and had been linked with a transfer to former club FC Wil.
On March 1, 2014, Salifou signed for German club Rosenheim of the Regionalliga Bayern, the fourth tier of German football. After making his début against SV Heimstetten, Salifou went on to make 11 appearances for the club in 2013-14 including three assists and one goal against TSV 1860 München II.
The midfielder earned glowing reports after a positive performance at the 2006 World Cup, which alerted the attention of many French league clubs, and prompted the nickname the 'Togolese Zidane' or 'the great of the figure of eight' from his compatriot Emmanuel Adebayor, due to Salifou's playmaking nature.
On 8 January 2010, the bus containing the Togo squad for the Africa Cup of Nations was subjected to an attack from gunmen; Salifou was on the bus during the attack who was said to be 'shaken but okay' after the incident.
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- "Farewell to Reo-Coker and Carew as released list announced". Aston Villa F.C. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "liga3-online.de — Saarbrücken verpflichtet Moustapha Salifou". liga3-online.de. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
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- "Villa take Salifou". Ireland On-line. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- "Not Zizou- I'm Salifou". Aston Villa F.C. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
- "Togo football stars tell of gun attack". BBC Sport. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010.