- Birth Date
- 16 Jan 1980
- Current Club
- Dalian Aerbin
Seydou Keita will be Mali’s key figure in midfield when they participate in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The 32-year-old (he’ll be 33 by the time the tournament kicks off) has over 70 caps for ‘The Eagles’ under his belt and will be making a sixth trip to an AFCON tournament, having been part of national team squads at the 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012 events.
Keita now plays his club football in the burgeoning Chinese Super League for Dalian Aerbin, but he had a stellar career in the European game, with a four-year spell at Spanish giants Barcelona bringing him winners medals from three La Liga triumphs and two UEFA Champions Leagues (2009 & 2011). He has also played for Marseille, Lorient, Lens and Sevilla.
Ostensibly a defensive midfielder throughout his club career, Keita has generally played a more offensive role for Mali down the years, with the West Africans making best use of his fine passing range and hammer-like left foot.
If Mali are to repeat or even better their third place finish from the last AFCON when they tackle SA 2013, then they will need Keita to be at his best.
Unlucky not to have walked away with the prize of being the best player in the tournament, Keita controlled the Malian side on the field like a conductor does a choir.
He scored crucial goals for the side. Notably against Niger in their opening match, South Africa in the quarterfinal victory and Ghana in the third place playoff match.
He was an absolute one-man-show in the tournament and carried their Malian side on his shoulders.
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