Lassana Diarra Biography

Tuesday23 February 2021 | 12:30
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As Chelsea Young Player of the Year during the 2005-06 season, many say he could’ve achieved more in his football career. In this article, we take a look at Lassana Diarra biography.

Lassana Diarra, born on March 10, 1985, in Paris, is a French retired international footballer. He played as a midfielder.

After having played for





Real Madrid

in particular, Lassana Diarra joined Anji Makhachkala and then

Lokomotiv Moscow

. Following a sparkling first half of the season, the midfielder experienced a sudden drop in performance and the club decided to lower his salary, which led him to leave the club. Subpoenaed before FIFA for unlawful breach of contract, he had to wait a year before he could play for another club.

To relaunch his career, he chooses Olympique de Marseille where he became an essential part of the team. Three months later, Didier Deschamps called him up for the French national team. However, the midfielder had announced his international retirement two years earlier and had not played for the French national team since 2010. He had notably participated in Euro 2008. He is one of the 23 players selected to play at Euro 2016, but a recalcitrant left knee injury forced him to withdraw.

On 21 February 2019, he terminated his contract with

Paris Saint-Germain

and retired from playing professional football after almost 15 years of his career.

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All You Need to Know About Lassana Diarra Biography

His preferred position on the pitch was supporting midfielder. He could also play closer to attack or right-back, as at Chelsea or for the French national team. In Spain, he was known as Lass to distinguish him from then-Real Madrid midfielder Mamadou Diarra.

Lassana Diarra Information

In this section of 

Lassana Diarra biography

, it is time to share some more general information about him such as 

Lassana Diarra nationality 

to let you know him much better.

Lassana Diarra Bio

  • Full Name: Lassana Diarra

  • Nickname: Lass

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Lassana Diarra Physical Stats

  • Weight: 73 Kg

  • Height: 1.73 m

  • Eye Color: Black

  • Hair Color: Black

Lassana Diarra Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 19

  • Professional Debut: 2004

Lassana Diarra Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 10 March 1985

  • Birth Place: Paris, France

  • Zodiac Sign: Pisces

  • Nationality: French

Now stay tuned to this section of 

Lassana Diarra biography

 as we want to share some information about

 Lassana Diarra childhood 

and more.

Lassana Diarra Early Life

Lassana Diarra, born in Paris, began playing youth football at the Rue Julien-Lacroix sports centre in Belleville, his childhood neighborhood, in the 20th arrondissement of Paris. He continued his football training at Paris FC,

FC Nantes

(from 1999 to 2001), Le Mans (where he only spent a year) and then at Le Havre AC.

Lassana Diarra Profile

Lassana Diarra made his professional debut at Le Havre during the 2004-2005 season in

Ligue 2

. At the age of 19, he quickly established himself as a key player, playing a full season, then won the Toulon Tournament with the France U-21 national team. Prestigious European clubs then began to show serious interest in him.

Now stay tuned to this section of Lassana Diarra biography as we want to share some information about his career at Chelsea.

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In the summer of 2005, after only one season as a professional in Ligue 2, Diarra was recruited by the London club Chelsea for a fee of around four million euros. He joined the first-team squad but was not given a place in the starting line-up. During the 2005-2006 season, he was mainly used in the English Cup and League Cup, where he impressed many observers with his vision of the game and his strength, who saw him as a worthy successor to Claude Makelele in the position of a defensive midfielder.

Moreover, Makelele's presence at the club proved beneficial for Diarra, due to the former Real Madrid midfielder's extensive experience. Chelsea was crowned

English Premier League

champions at the end of the 2005-2006 season.

He was brought into the unusual position of right-back by José Mourinho during the 2006-2007 season, who preferred him to Portuguese defender Paulo Ferreira, who had been playing at full-back. He played in the final of the League Cup between Chelsea and Arsenal, where he impressed more than a few people with his lively, attacking full-back style during his club's victory.

Being mainly used only for domestic cups by Mourinho, playing thirty-one matches in all competitions including only thirteen Premier League and eleven cup matches for Chelsea during his two seasons at the club, he asked to leave the London Blues.

Portsmouth FC

He left Arsenal in the winter transfer window and signed for a smaller club,

Portsmouth FC

, which paid Arsenal £5.5 million, to sign Diarra.

Diarra finally became a regular at an English club, demonstrating all the hopes he had placed in him. He won the English Cup in May 2008 against

Cardiff City

, enabling his new club to qualify for the next season's Europa League.

Only one year after his arrival at Portsmouth FC, on 22 December 2008, in the middle of the winter transfer break, the Spanish giants Real Madrid signed him for around 20 million euros to replace Mahamadou Diarra and Rubén de la Red, who had been injured for a long time.

Now stay tuned to this section of Lassana Diarra biography as we want to share some information about his Real Madrid career.

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Real Madrid

In Real Madrid, Diarra first wore the number 6, in the absence of the usual number holder, Mahamadou Diarra. He soon became a regular in the Spanish capital team and ended his first half of the season in


with 19 games played in

La Liga

. Real finished second in the league.

From the beginning of the 2009-2010 season, he took over the number 10 left vacant following the departure of Wesley Sneijder. He scored his first and only official goal in the Real Madrid jersey on the first day against Deportivo La Coruna (3-2). Real finished second once again in La Liga.

Lassana Diarra has a good 2010-2011 season, despite the arrival of a direct competitor, Sami Khedira, and a new coach, José Mourinho, whom he had already worked with at Chelsea. He made three assists during the season, two for his fellow countryman Karim Benzema and one for Cristiano Ronaldo. Following Sami Khedira's injury, "Lass" was a starter in both matches against


in the semi-finals of the

Champions League


Although he played two solid matches against them, his team was eliminated from the competition by his Catalan rival. He ended the season having played 41 matches in all competitions, despite the strong competition for his position. In the off-season he was close to leaving, even going into conflict with his managers, but finally, he chose to stay in Madrid due to a lack of interesting contract offers. With his number 10 having been assigned to the new recruit Mesut Özil, he was forced to take the number 24 worn by Claude Makelele.

With the arrival of the Turkish player Nuri Şahin, Diarra had to fight harder to hope for a starting place in the midfield. On 24 September 2011 in the league, he gave

Rayo Vallecano

a goal in the first seconds of the game with a poor pass. His performance was so bad that his coach replaced him in the 30th minute. Nevertheless, he kept on playing regularly, with Mourinho sharing the playing time between him and Khedira. He was also used as a right-back following an injury to Alvaro Arbeloa.

Eventually, the returns of Khedira and Arbeloa prevented him from being a regular player. Then Esteban Granero and Nuri Şahin moved ahead of him in the midfield hierarchy and soon he wasn't even called up for the matches, with his good first half of the season. Real finished Spanish champions.

Anji Makhachkala

After six months without playing, he signed for the Russian club FK Anji Makhachkala in August 2012, for around 5 million euros, while he still had a year's contract at Real where he has just spent three and a half seasons. The Russian club, bought in 2011 by a billionaire, was ambitious and recruited Samuel Eto'o, Roberto Carlos and the famous Dutch coach Guus Hiddink. Lassana Diarra was given the number 85, about his year of birth.

Anji finished 3rd in the Russian league and qualified for the Europa League. The same season, the club was also a finalist in the Russian Cup but lost on penalties to Lokomotiv Moscow (after a 1-1 draw), despite the equalizer scored by Lassana Diarra. The chairman finally withdrew his plans for a big club, and the highest earners were asked to leave.

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Lokomotiv Moscow

On 20th August 2013, Diarra signed at Lokomotiv Moscow where he took over the number 85 and finished once again in 3rd place in the league with his new team.

In the summer of 2014, the player was without a club. In an interview with the newspaper L'Équipe on 14 February 2015, Diarra explained that "his club cancelled (his) contract on 22 August 2014, one week before the end of the season", "claiming a delay in resuming training" because "the club was trying to sell (him) or reduce (his) salary".

Lokomotiv Moscow, for its part, claimed that it was the player who broke his contract in May 2015. Still, feeling free of any commitment, the player left Lokomotiv Moscow and said he was ready to sign wherever he wanted. The Russian team did not agree and brought him before the FIFA for breach of contract. He was then dismissed.

After six months without playing, Diarra was very close to signing with Inter Milan in January 2015. But the contractual and financial disagreement with Lokomotiv Moscow, who demanded 10 million euros from him, was still ongoing. His former club persuaded FIFA that he could not play during the 2014-2015 season until this difficult case is resolved. Diarra's transfer to Italy failed, and the player remained blocked.

He was finally sentenced on 28 May 2016 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to a 15-month suspension of play and wages, already served, as well as a fine of 10 million euros and 110,000 euros in damages to the CAS.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Lassana Diarra biography

as we want to share some information about his OM career.


At the end of July 2015, after being unable to play an official match for more than a year as a result of the dispute, he signed a four-season contract with Olympique de Marseille15. He then expressed his relief to be able to find a club and getting back to playing fields again after a difficult year. At Marseille, "Lass" first took the number 6, but after Florian Thauvin's departure after two days to Newcastle United, he took the number 10.

He plays his first match in the Stade Vélodrome on the third day of the league as a first-team player in a six-goal win against ES Troyes. It was his very first match in the French Ligue 1, at over 30 years of age. He took the opportunity to score his first goal for OM, with a powerful shot from 20 meters into the top corner. On 18 October 2015, he won the UNFP trophy for the best player in Ligue 1 for the month of September.

He quickly found an important place in the team and was voted best player of the month four times by the Olympic fans. In spite of his good season on a personal level, the club struggled and finished in 13th place but reached the French Cup final, losing against Paris Saint-Germain.

He wanted to leave in the summer of 2016 and considered himself free despite his contract which was to run until 2019. He finally stayed at OM and was even elected by his team-mates as team captain for the 2016-2017 season. After Rudi Garcia arrived at the club, he lost the armband to Bafétimbi Gomis and lost playing time. On 14 February 2017, his contract was terminated after an agreement with the Marseilles management.

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Al-Jazeera Club

In April 2017 and after two months without a club, he reached an agreement with the United Arab Emirates club Al-Jazeera to join the squad for a three-year contract starting in the 2017-2018 season. On 24 December 2017, Al-Jazeera Club announced that the contract between the two parties had been mutually terminated.

Paris Saint-Germain

On 23 January 2018, he entered into an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain until 30 June 2019. He made his first decisive pass in his second match with PSG, on 2 February 2018 against LOSC, and made his first starting line-up on 6 February in the Round of 16 of the French Cup in Sochaux.

He made ten league appearances in his first season with PSG and four in national cups (including the final of the League Cup). He also played in the Round of 16 return leg of the Champions League against Real Madrid, although Giovani Lo Celso was preferred to him at kick-off.

With the arrival of Thomas Tuchel in place of Unai Emery in 2018-2019, Lassana Diarra started in the Champions Trophy (4-0 win against Monaco) but then had little playing time after the return of the internationals.

On 8 February 2019, the press announced that the player was about to terminate his contract with PSG. On Thursday 21 February 2019, he terminated his contract with PSG and put an end to his playing career.

French National Team

On 15 March 2007, he was called up for the first time for the French national team by Raymond Domenech against Lithuania, during the Euro 2008 qualifiers, whereas he had previously only been selected four times by José Mourinho at Chelsea. He quickly became a regular for the national team and even played as a right-back against Italy, replacing Willy Sagnol and François Clerc, who were absent from the starting line-up. He was called up for the Euro 2008 but did not play.

He took part in the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, being mostly lined up in the middle alongside Jérémy Toulalan. Selected by Raymond Domenech for the 2010 World Cup, he withdrew because of intestinal pains linked to a vaso-occlusive sickle cell disease crisis during the Les Bleus preparation camp in Tignes, at altitude, on 22 May 201028.

After the elimination of the French team in the first round of the 2010 World Cup, Laurent Blanc succeeded Raymond Domenech. Lassana Diarra was called up for the friendly match against Norway in August 2010. Thereafter, he was not selected due to the emergence of Abou Diaby, Yann M'Vila and Blaise Matuidi. His ability to play the right side and his playing time made him a candidate evoked to the selection for Euro 2012, but he was not finally called up.

Didier Deschamps recalled him to the French team on 4 October 2012 to face Japan in a friendly match and against Spain in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, but following a back injury, it was Clément Chantôme who replaced him. In 2013, he announced he had retired from the national team.

On 1 October 2015, he was called back for the matches against Armenia and Denmark. On 8 October, he made his return to the national team against Armenia at the Allianz Riviera as a starting player and played the whole match in a big 4-0 victory.

He was one of the 23 French players selected by Didier Deschamps to play at Euro 2016 but inflammation in his left knee forced him to withdraw. Now stay tuned to this section of Lassana Diarra biography as we want to share some information about his playing style.

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Style of Play

A defensive midfielder, he was adept at countering and recovering the ball and had a good sense of position. If necessary, he could play on the right flank in a four-man defence. He was also able to become an attacking threat because of his willingness to push ahead and score a goal, and he scored some beautiful goals from distance during his career.


Despite having what it take to be one of the best midfielders of his generation, somehow Lassana Diarra ended up changing teams frequently and thus failing to establish himself as one of the best French players.

Goal Celebration

Lassana Diarra has not scored many goals during his career (only 7 on club level), and as he didn’t have a signature goal celebration, we almost saw him celebrate his goals differently after scoring goals.

Lassana Diarra outside Football

In 2019, Lassana Diarra had joined forces with the Parisian drugstore to co-create a line of shower gels, body creams and eau de toilette for men. A collection made from natural ingredients and available in four ranges with specific benefits. At the time, Lassana Diarra has said that this collaboration was born from a meeting with the Chairman and CEO of Franprix, Jean-Paul Mochet.

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Lassana Diarra Personal Life

In this section of Lassana Diarra biography, we want to take a look into the top French footballer’s personal life and share some stories of

Lassana Diarra religion


Lassana Diarra life story

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

In 2017 and after the legal dispute he had with the Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow and the fine he had to give to them, Lassana Diarra had a contract offer from a Chinese club that offered huge money for the player, however, he ended up missing the chance to play in China because his wife refused to leave in the Asian country.

Lassana Diarra is a Muslim. Although he has a wife, there is no information about her on the media.

On 13 November 2015, his cousin Asta Diakité died in the terrorist attacks in Paris, while Diarra was playing in the friendly match between Germany and France in the same city.


During his playing days, we have seen some charity activities from Lassana Diarra. In 2018 he attended the charity held by Kelina Association which was held at Hotel Mariott champs Elysee and is one of the supporters of their charitable projects in France.

Legal Issues

In 2013 Lassana Diarra transferred to Lokomotiv Moscow and played with the Russian club for a season until falling out with the club head coach, Leonid Kuchuk. He was fired in 2014 after he declined to practice or play for the club, however, because of the legal dispute, he was prohibited from finding another team until the next transfer window.

He moved back to France in 2015 and signed for Olympique Marseille, but the Russian club was already peeking at his actions and taking it to the notice of the ruling body of the world football, who considered it in their favor. Diarra appealed to the CAS, but the ruling was confirmed, and the French footballer confirmed the news on his Twitter profile.

Having already completed a 15-month ban, Diarra paid a fine of EUR 110,000 to the CAS and also a fine of EUR 10 million to Lokomotiv Moscow.

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Lassana Diarra Career Statistics

In this section of Lassana Diarra, we will take a look into his career stats as a player on the club and international level. Stay tuned.


In a rather short professional career of 15 years, between 2004 and 2019, Lassana Diarra has played a total of 337 matches in all competitions and scored just 7 goals. As a player who frequently switches between clubs, he played a big part in his career with Real Madrid, which is 117 matches.


His record in the France national team is not so impressive either. Between 2007 and 2016, Diarra has played just 34 matches for his country, failing to score a goal.

Lassana Diarra Honors

At the club level, Lassana Diarra has won many awards and titles including

FA Cup

, Football League Cup, La Liga, Copa del Rey, Ligue 1, Coupe de France and others.

At the international level, he hasn’t won any awards or titles with his country.

Lassana Diarra has also managed to win Chelsea Young Player of the Year and Ligue 1 Team of the Year on the individual level.

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source: SportMob