Kalidou Koulibaly is a professional footballer who plays as centre back and captains the Senegal national team. Often regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, Koulibaly earned a place in The Guardian’s 100 Best Male Footballers in 2019, where he was listed as the third-best centre back in the world. Koulibaly began his professional club career with French team Metz in 2010, before moving to Belgian club Genk in 2012, winning the Belgian Cup in his first season. He joined Italian team Napoli in 2014, where he won the Supercoppa Italiana title; he also won the Coppa Italia in 2020. As Koulibaly was born in France to Senegalese parents, he was eligible to represent both nations at international level, and initially played for the France national under-20 football team. He later made his senior debut with Senegal in 2015 and was a member of the Senegal squad that took part at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He was named to the side that represented Senegal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup the following year, and subsequently helped his team to the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Parma vs Napoli
Match Worn Unwashed Shirt
Did you Know?
This shirt was worn by Kalidou Koulibaly during the Serie A game between parma and Napoli which took place in Parma, “Ennio Tardini” Stadium, on September 20th 2020. Napoli defeated Parma 2-0 and at the end of the game Koulibaly swapped his shirt with a Parma’s player whom we got it from. The shirt has a special “Keep Racism Out” badge on sleeve used in this game only. This was a campaign promoted by the Lega Serie A and UNAR (National Anti-Discrimination Office of Italian Government) the first LNPA campaign with the aim of combatting all forms of discrimination in sports, during the first matchday of 2020/21 season (19, 20 and 21 September). Before the start of the match, all the teams will line up in front of the branded arch, dedicated to the initiative as well as the ball plinth located on the sidelines and the fourth official’s substitution/extra time board. Furthermore, all the players will have the “Keep Racism Out” patch applied on the jersey’s right sleeve and all the captains will wear the armband with the words “Keep Racism Out”.
Did you Know?
Koulibaly was born on 20 June 1991, to Senegalese parents in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France. His father worked in a textile mill in Senegal for seven days a week and never took weekends off for five years before he saved enough money to bring his mother to France. He grew up in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France, revealing that: “When you grow up in this environment, you see everyone as your brother. We are black, white, Arab, African, Muslim, Christian, yes — but we are all French. We are all hungry, so let’s go have a Turkish meal together. Or tonight, let’s all go to my house and eat Senegalese food. Yes, we have differences, but we are all equal.” Koulibaly says his upbringing was “heavily influenced by the multi-cultural nature” growing up. Koulibaly revealed that he first started playing football, saying: “All the kids were running around playing football with no shoes, and I was really upset by this, I guess. My mom says that I was begging her to go to the store and buy shoes for everybody, so I could play football with them. But my mother said, “Kalidou, just take your shoes off. Go play like they do.” In the end, I threw off my shoes and went to play barefoot with my cousins — and this is where my football story begins. When we got back to France, I was playing every day in the little park by our house.” His footballing career began with local club SR Saint-Dié. He then joined FC Metz in his first spell but when was released at fifteen, which according to the club’s Academy Manager, Denis Schaeffer, Koulibaly was let go “because he was too introverted, and his level was a little below our expectations.” In May 2019, it was announced that Koulibaly was named as an honorary citizen of Naples. In April 2015, he was previously named as an honorary citizen of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. He is so popular in Naples that an entrepreneur created a pizza after him and Koulibaly himself has spoken of his fondness for the city. Koulibaly and his wife, Charline Oudenot, have a son together named Seni on 16 January 2016. He became a second time father when his daughter Nessa was born on 28 August 2019. He is a Muslim and states that his name derived from the Quran. In addition to speaking French, Koulibaly also speaks English and Italian. Throughout his time at Napoli, Koulibaly spoke out about racism in Italian football. In October 2019, Koulibaly called on the Italian football authorities to tackle racism by giving offenders a lifetime ban from entering the stadium. He had previously criticised the Italian football authorities for their lack of effort to tackle racism in January of that year.
Match Worn & Signed Boots
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Koulibaly joined Belgian club Genk on 29 June 2012 after agreeing a four-year contract. Among interested was Anderlecht but Genk won the race to sign him. On 23 August 2012, Koulibaly made his Genk debut in a UEFA Europa League play-off qualifying round, in which they were defeated by Swiss team Luzern 2–1 in the first leg of two. Since joining the club, he became a first team regular for the side, playing mostly in the centre–back position. In a match against OH Leuven on 25 November 2012, Koulibaly made a foul in the penalty box at the last minute of the game, which was successfully converted by Ibou, as Genk drew 1–1. On 23 December 2012, Koulibaly scored his first Racing Genk goal in a 4–2 home defeat to Anderlecht, in which he scored a free header from a corner, to make amends for his mistake. He later helped Genk win the 2012–13 Belgian Cup after starting the whole game to beat Cercle Brugge. At the end of the 2012–13 season, Koulibaly went on to make forty–six appearances and scoring once in all competitions. The 2013–14 season saw Koulibaly began playing in the centre–back position, where he continued to form a partnership with Kara Mbodji. He then scored two goals in two matches between 6 October 2013 and 19 October 2013. Koulibaly started in every matches since the start of the season until he suffered a knee injury during a 2–0 loss against Lokeren on 8 December 2013. A month later on 19 January 2014, Koulibaly returned to the starting lineup from injury, starting the whole game, in a 1–0 loss against Zulte Waregem. Koulibaly continued to regain his place in the first team for the rest of the season. However, he missed the remaining three league matches of the season, due to his imminent transfer move to Napoli. Despite this, Koulibaly went on to make forty–six appearances and scoring two times in all competitions.
Atalanta vs Napoli
Match Issued Shirt
Did you Know?
This shirt was prepared for Kalidou Koulibaly for the Serie A game between Napoli and Atalanta which took place in Bergamo, “Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia”, on April 3rd 2022. Napoli defeated Atalanta 3-1. This was the last colourway released and used by the team as part of the Maradona special collection that we previously saw above. This model had perhaps a controversial release and history behind because it was firstly launched in early March and it supposed to be worn by the team against A.C.Milan on March 6th. But right before the game against A.C.Milan Napoli have announced that they were not going to wear the recently unveiled “Red Maradona” special-edition kit in this game. The Napoli vs Milan match was then played with the traditional blue shirt, as the club said in an official statement. In addition to that, Napoli told that all the shirts made, but not worn, would have been auctioned. “Signed by the players, the shirts will now instead be auctioned off, with all proceeds to be donated to a charity that will help refugees from Ukraine” an official team’s statement said. Then the plans changed again because this kit was worn by the players in two Serie A games, against Atalanta and against Udinese.