Mohamed Sissoko

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Mohamed Sissoko
Mohamed Sissoko.jpg
Sissoko in 2012
Personal information
Full name Mohamed Lamine Sissoko [1]
Date of birth (1985-01-22) 22 January 1985 (age 36) [2]
Place of birth Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) [2]
Position(s) Defensive midfielder [3]
Youth career
1998–2002 Auxerre
Senior career*
2002–2003 Auxerre 0 (0)
2003–2005 Valencia 45 (0)
2005–2008 Liverpool 51 (1)
2008–2011 Juventus 71 (3)
2011–2013 Paris Saint-Germain 28 (2)
2013Fiorentina (loan) 5 (0)
2013–2015 Levante 31 (0)
2015 Shanghai Shenhua 10 (1)
2016 Pune City 13 (2)
2017 Ternana 1 (0)
2017 Mitra Kukar 26 (5)
2017–2018 Atlético San Luis 13 (1)
2018 Kitchee 3 (0)
2019 Sochaux 13 (0)
National team
2003–2013 Mali 33 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Mohamed Lamine Sissoko (born 22 January 1985) is a former professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.


Born in France, he could have elected to play for France internationally, but chose instead to play for the national side of his ancestral country, Mali.

Club career


Sissoko played as a second striker in the youth system of French club AJ Auxerre. [4]


In 2003 Sissoko made a free transfer to Spanish club Valencia CF, managed by Rafael Benítez, [5] where he was deployed in midfield. [4] Valencia won the 2003–04 La Liga title and in the same year became UEFA Cup champions, during which Sissoko played nine matches. The following year, Benítez left to manage Liverpool and was replaced by Claudio Ranieri.


Sissoko playing for Liverpool in 2005 Sissoko.jpg
Sissoko playing for Liverpool in 2005

Sissoko moved from Valencia to Liverpool for £5.6 million in the summer of 2005. [6] His first appearance was against Kaunas on 26 July 2005 in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. [7] In February 2006, he suffered serious eye injury after collision with Benfica's midfielder Beto. [8]

Sissoko was part of the FA Cup winning side in 2006 and played an integral role for the team. In the summer of 2007, Sissoko rejected offers from Barcelona, CSKA Moscow and Juventus to stay on Merseyside. His only goal for Liverpool came on 25 August 2007, a low shot from twenty yards out against Sunderland in a 2–0 away win. [9]


In January 2008 Sissoko transferred to Italian club Juventus, where he would team up with former coach Claudio Ranieri, for a fee of €11 million. He made his first appearance for the club in February 2008, coming in as a 67th minute substitution for Tiago in a Serie A fixture versus Cagliari Calcio. Sissoko scored his first goal for Juventus on 2 March 2008, the equaliser against Fiorentina. During the first half of the 2008–09 season, he regularly featured in the starting line-up, forming a partnership with youngster Claudio Marchisio as the centre midfield pair in Claudio Ranieri's 4–4–2 formation. His season ended early after he broke his foot in March 2009 ruling him out for the rest of that season and into the start of the 2009–10 season. [10]

Sissoko's injury problems continued throughout the rest of the 2009–10 season and into 2010–11 season, as he suffered thigh strains, a leg strain, Achilles tendon inflammation, and finally season-ending knee surgery in March 2011. [11]

Paris Saint-Germain

On 28 July 2011, Sissoko moved to Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain for a transfer fee of €7 million, plus €1 million if they qualified for the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League before September 2013. [12] Sissoko scored his first goal for PSG in November, when he headed in a cross from Nenê, [13] in a 1–1 draw against Bordeaux at the Stade Chaban Delmas. [14] In April 2012 he captained the squad against rivals Olympique de Marseille in Le Classique, but was sent off in the 86th minute for two bookable offences in a game that finished 2–1 to the Parisian club. [15]

On 30 January 2013, Sissoko joined Fiorentina on loan. [16] On 3 September 2013 Sissoko left PSG by mutual consent. [17]

Later years

On 30 January 2014, Sissoko joined La Liga side Levante on a six-month deal after spending nearly five months without a club. [18] On 25 June 2015, he was transferred to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, and was released on 21 February 2016. [19]

On 1 October 2016, he joined Indian Super League franchise FC Pune City as a marquee player. [20] On 17 February 2017, he joined Italian club Ternana Calcio on a six-month contract, [21] but terminated his contract just 25 days later. [22]

On 13 April 2017, he joined Indonesian club side Mitra Kukar on a one-year contract. [23] On 2 December 2017, Sissoko switched to Mexican club Atlético San Luis. [24]

On 4 July 2018. Sissoko moved to Hong Kong Premier League club Kitchee on a one-year deal. [25] Less than four months later, he terminated his contract in order to care for his father in France. [26]

On 16 January 2019, he signed a six-month contract with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. [27]

In January 2020, Sissoko announced his retirement as a player. [28] [29]

International career

Born in Mont-Saint-Aignan, France, Sissoko was eligible to play for the French national football team but opted to play international football for his ancestral country, Mali. Sissoko obtained his first international call-up in 2004, and has appeared for his country in almost all African Cup of Nations qualifiers and tournaments since then. He has also featured in FIFA World Cup qualifiers for both 2006 and 2010. Sissoko has made 34 official appearances for Mali, and has scored 2 goals. With the Mali national football team, he finished fourth in the 2004 African Cup of Nations, and third in the 2013 African Cup of Nations. [30]

Style of play

A large, quick, combative, and physically strong defensive midfielder, Sissoko excels as a ball winner, a role which allows him to support his more offensive midfield teammates defensively by laying off the ball to them after winning back possession. Due to his tenacious tackling, stamina, work-rate, and tactical intelligence, he has been compared to former French midfielder Patrick Vieira, [31] [32] also earning the nickname "La Piovra" (the octopus) during his time with Juventus, due to his long limbs and energetic style of play. [4] In addition to his ball-winning abilities, and his physical and athletic attributes, he is also known for his powerful striking ability from distance. [33]

Personal life

Sissoko is the nephew of former African Footballer of the Year Salif Keïta, [34] who, like Sissoko, played for Mali and Valencia CF. Salif Keita is also the uncle of former FC Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita. Both Sissoko and Seydou Keita play similar roles as hard-tackling defensive midfielders. Sissoko is sometimes referred to as "the Black Ninja" for his tenacious tackling and work rate. He is the elder brother of Abdou Sissoko. [4] He is the cousin of the footballer Oumar Sissoko. [35]

Sissoko has said "I am proud of being a Muslim and I follow Ramadan even during the football tournament," on the Dubai-based Arab TV network, Al Arabiya. [36]

Career statistics


Sources: [37] [38]
ClubSeasonLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalOtherTotal
Auxerre 2002–03 Ligue 1 00000000
Valencia 2003–04 La Liga 2104091341
2004–05 2400050290
Liverpool 2005–06 Premier League 26060001103 [39] 0460
2006–07 160002090270
2007–08 91002030141
Juventus 2007–08 Serie A 1510000151
2008–09 2123080322
2009–10 1701060240
2010–11 18010100290
Paris Saint-Germain 2011–12 Ligue 1252000030282
2012–13 3000103070
Fiorentina (loan) 2012–13 Serie A500050
Levante 2013–14 La Liga10000100
2014–15 2100000210
Shanghai Shenhua 2015 Chinese Super League 10150151
Pune City 2016 Indian Super League 132132
Ternana Calcio 2016–17 Serie B 1010
Mitra Kukar 2017 Liga 1 265265
Atlético San Luis 2017–18 Ascenso MX 13110141
Kitchee 2018–19 Hong Kong Premier League 30001040
Sochaux 2018–19 Ligue 2 1300000130
Career total31015160506714040216


Source: [40]
Mali national team




Paris Saint-Germain



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