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Lassana Diarra

Lassana "Lass" Diarra (born 10 March 1985 in Paris) is a French Association football who currently plays for Real Madrid C.F.. Lassana Diarra predominant position is Midfielder but Lassana Diarra can also play in a more advanced role and has played at Defender (association football), which Lassana Diarra occasionally did for former club Chelsea F.C., as well as France national football team.

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Lassana Diarra biography

Lassana "Lass" Diarra (born 10 March 1985 in Paris) is a French Association football who currently plays for Real Madrid C.F.. Lassana Diarra predominant position is Midfielder but Lassana Diarra can also play in a more advanced role and has played at Defender (association football), which Lassana Diarra occasionally did for former club Chelsea F.C., as well as France national football team.

Club career

Early career

Diarra was turned down by football clubs as a youngster. FC Nantes Atlantique deemed Lassana Diarra too "small and lightweight" to succeed at 170 cm and 58 kg (5'7" and 9 Stone (weight)). Diarra admitted Lassana Diarra thought Lassana Diarra "football career was over".


Diarra was in Chelsea F.C.'s first team squad in the 2005–06 season, but did not get much first team football. Lassana Diarra Chelsea debut came in the UEFA Champions League in October 2005, when Lassana Diarra was given a brief run out as a substitute when Chelsea were 4–0 up against Real Betis. However, Lassana Diarra was not expecting to come straight into the side. Learning from Makélélé, a master of Lassana Diarra position, Diarra improved throughout the season, showing impressively when playing for the reserve team. Lassana Diarra played well against Huddersfield Town F.C. in the FA Cup third round, winning rave reviews from both managers, teammates, and media sources. Lassana Diarra became a bit part player in Chelsea's first team and also completed the full 90 minutes in Chelsea's last two games of the season at Blackburn Rovers F.C. and Newcastle United F.C., as manager José Mourinho rotated Lassana Diarra squad. Diarra was named Chelsea's young player of the season for 2005–06. Due to Chelsea's defensive injury setbacks during the 2006–07 season, Lassana Diarra was often asked to play at right-back. Lassana Diarra played full Premiership games against Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic F.C., and Middlesbrough F.C., with some success, and also started in Chelsea's win over Arsenal F.C. in the Football League Cup Final 2007 at the Millennium Stadium. On 29 July, reports surfaced suggesting Lassana Diarra could be on Lassana Diarra way to Arsenal in pursuit of first-team football. Lassana Diarra contract with Chelsea was due to expire in January 2008, and having made no move to extend it, Chelsea sold Lassana Diarra to Arsenal on 31 August 2007, before Lassana Diarra could leave on a Bosman ruling.


On 31 August 2007, transfer deadline day, Diarra signed for Arsenal F.C. for an undisclosed fee. Lassana Diarra was given the number 8 shirt, vacated by the departure of winger Fredrik Ljungberg. On Lassana Diarra move across London, Lassana Diarra cited Gunners manager Arsène Wenger as one of the main reasons for joining the club, along with the style of football played by Arsenal. Wenger had called the young Frenchman a "multi-functional player", and a good addition to the squad.

Diarra made Lassana Diarra Arsenal debut as a late substitute in the home leg of the 2007–08 Champions League group stage match against Sevilla FC, and Lassana Diarra full debut against Newcastle United F.C. in the third round of the Football League Cup. Diarra started Lassana Diarra first Premier League match for Arsenal against Aston Villa F.C..

With the emergence of defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini in the Arsenal side, Diarra saw only limited action in the early months of the season. Having expressed concerns that Lassana Diarra was not playing enough first team football, Diarra signed for Portsmouth F.C. in January 2008 after only 5 months at Arsenal for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £5.5 million.


Diarra signed for Portsmouth F.C. on 17 January 2008.
Lassana Diarra was given Lassana Diarra first start against Derby County F.C., contributing to a 3–1 win at Fratton Park. Lassana Diarra scored Lassana Diarra first goal for the club in the following match, against FA Cup Fourth Round Football League Championship opponents Plymouth Argyle F.C., and Lassana Diarra first Premier League goal two weeks later, a controversial late winner against Bolton Wanderers F.C.. Diarra went on to play in every minute of Portsmouth's remaining FA Cup matches FA Cup 2007-2008 en route to claiming the trophy in the 2008 FA Cup Final. Lassana Diarra topped Premier League 2007-08 by being included in the France national football team squad for Euro 2008; this and the FA Cup win arguably vindicated Lassana Diarra decision to part company with Arsenal, Diarra himself saying that it had "more than justified my decision." Lassana Diarra played in the 2008 FA Community Shield against Manchester United F.C., missing in the penalty shoot out which was won by United. On 18 September 2008 Lassana Diarra scored Pompey's first ever goal in UEFA Cup against Vitória S.C., Lassana Diarra third and final goal for the club. The first misconduct (football) of Diarra's Premiership career came on 28 September 2008 when Lassana Diarra was booked twice against Tottenham Hotspur F.C. at Fratton Park. In mid December 2008, Portsmouth agreed a fee with Real Madrid C.F. subject to medical that Lassana Diarra would join them on 1 January 2009 for a fee of around €20 million (£18.88 million).

Real Madrid

Portsmouth announced on 17 December 2008 that they had accepted a "substantial" offer from Real Madrid C.F. for Diarra's services Lassana Diarra was assigned the number 6 shirt of Mahamadou Diarra for domestic competitions as the Malian midfielder was out with a season-ending injury and the vacant number 39 for the UEFA Champions League. Lassana Diarra wears the name Lass on the back of Lassana Diarra shirt to avoid confusion with Mahamadou. Lassana Diarra transfer was officially completed on 1 January 2009, the opening of the transfer window.

Diarra's performance for Real Madrid in Lassana Diarra first few months earned Lassana Diarra a spot among the starting eleven on UEFA's 2008/09 La Liga Breakthrough Team. The Madridista joined Sevilla's Diego Perotti as the only foreigner on the list. According to the UEFA website, Lass "joined Real Madrid in the winter transfer window with a very low profile, although in a few short months Lassana Diarra managed to convince the demanding Madridista fan base."

For the 2009-10 in Spanish Football Diarra was assigned the number 10 shirt after Wesley Sneijder moved to F.C. Internazionale Milano and Mahamadou Diarra came back from injury and reclaimed the number 6 shirt. Lass scored Lassana Diarra first official goal for Madrid in the 2009–2010 La Liga season opener against Deportivo de La Coruña, providing Lassana Diarra side with their winning goal in a 3–2 victory.

In August 2010, it was reported that Diarra has been transfer listed by Real. However, José Mourinho included Lass Diarra in Lassana Diarra starting lineup for the first game of the 2010/11 season. Since Madrid bought Sami Khedira, Diarra has faced further competition to get into the squad. However, Mourinho has stated Lassana Diarra will not be leaving and sees Lassana Diarra as a starting player.

After huge speculations of Lass Diarra leaving Real Madrid C.F. during the summer 2011 transfer window, during which Lassana Diarra didn't participate in the team's preseason, Diarra finally stayed at the club, getting the 24 jersey after Sami Khedira had taken 6 and Mesut Özil the 10 during the summer.

Playing style

Diarra has unusually good ball control for a defensive midfielder and has been praised for Lassana Diarra physical strength in defense. Due to Lassana Diarra versatility, Madrid’s La Sexta television commentators refer to Lassana Diarra as a "todocampista" or "jack of all trades."

International career

Diarra won eighteen caps for the France national under-21 football team. Perhaps Lassana Diarra most notable performance came in a UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualifying match against England national under-21 football team in November 2005. With the game deep into stoppage time and seemingly destined for extra time (the aggregate score was 2–2), Diarra received the ball in the England penalty area. A challenge from Kieran Richardson saw Diarra go down, and a penalty was given. Lassana Diarra French teammate Jimmy Briand scored the penalty past Scott Carson and France qualified.

Diarra was selected for the French national football team by coach Raymond Domenech for a 2008 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying away to Lithuania national football team on 24 March 2007. Lassana Diarra started the match, alongside Claude Makélélé and Jérémy Toulalan also in midfield, and played the full 90 minutes. Lassana Diarra was also selected that year for a Exhibition game against Austria national football team on 28 March 2007. Diarra's consistent club performances in 2008 meant that Lassana Diarra was picked for the France squad for UEFA Euro 2008, ahead of high-calibre players such as Djibril Cissé and Mathieu Flamini. Following the international retirement of fellow defensive midfielder Makélélé, Lassana Diarra was called up for Raymond Domenech's France squad in the 20 August 2008 friendly with Sweden national football team.

By the end of the 2010 World Cup Qualifying campaign, Diarra had made 26 appearances for France. On 11 May 2010, Diarra was named to the preliminary squad of Domenech's squad to play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Lassana Diarra was later named to the shortened list of players and was expected to be a starter alongside Jérémy Toulalan in the midfield. However, on 22 May, while training with the national team in the high-altitude commune of Tignes, it was announced that Diarra was dropping out of the squad due to suffering severe intestinal pain and stomach cramps as a result of the altitude. A follow-up medical check revealed that the injury requires a significant amount of rest. Lassana Diarra parent club, Real Madrid, later revealed that Diarra's injury was due to asthenic syndrome secondary related to sickle-cell anemia, a genetic blood disorder characterized by red blood cells that assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape.


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