Salif Keita
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Salif Keita

The first ever African player to win the African Footballer of the Year in 1970, Salif Keita was born on December 12, 1946 in Bamako, Mali.

Professional career

  • Keita started his career playing as a striker for the local club Stade Malien. Aged 16, Keita debuted for the Mali’s national team in 1963. Then, he moved to the French Saint-Etienne in 1967 and won three league titles in a row.
  • In 1970/1971 season, he scored a record 42 goals for his French team.
  • In 1972, he moved to the Spanish club Valencia CF and was named by the Spanish football fans as the Black Pearl.
  • Three years later, Keita moved to the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, before he retired football in 1980, playing for the American club New England Tea Men.
  • In 2005, he was elected president of Malian Football Federation for a four-year term.
  • In 2006, the CAF picked him as one of the best 200 African footballers in the past 50 years.