If it wasn’t for numerous back to back injuries that prevented him from reaching his full potential, he would have achieved more in world football. In this article, we take a look at Zoumana Camara biography.
Zoumana Camara, born 3 April 1979 in Colombes, is a French footballer with Malian roots who played in the position of central defender. At present, he is the head coach of the Paris Saint-Germain U19 team. His football career began in the academy of AS Saint-Étienne, and in 1996 he moved to the first team and in the season 1996/1997 made his debut in the colours of the "Greens" in the second league of France. With AS Saint-Étienne he spent two seasons and after failing to get promoted to the first league by the club he left the team.
Camara joined Italian Inter Milan in the summer of 1998 for a fee of one million euros. He failed, however, to win a place in the team led by Romanian Mircea Lucescu and in January 1999, without playing any league match for the "Nerazzurri", he was loaned to another team from Serie A, Empoli FC. He played there for half a season, and in summer 1999 he was sent again on loan, this time to Bastia.
He made his debut in its colours in Ligue 1, and the debut happened on 19 September in the lost 0:2 away match with Sedan. For the rest of the season, he was a key player of the club from Corsica, and after the season he returned to Inter. In the summer of 2000, however, Zoumana was sold to Olympique Marseille and played his first match for OM on 28 July, winning 3:1 againstTroyes AC
. Zoumana played for two seasons at Olympique, but only in the 2000/2001 season, he was in the starting line-up.
Camara switched clubs again in 2002 and joined RC Lens. His first appearance for this club was only on 15 December in a match againstLe Havre AC
. He played 13 games in the whole season, before going on loan to England's Leeds United in 2003. His debut in the Premier League came on 17 August in a 2-2 draw againstNewcastle United
. While at Leeds he played one year and was challenged for a place in the squad with players such as Dominic Matteo, Lucas Radebe and Roque Júnior.
Camara rejoined AS Saint-Étienne in 2004 and teamed up with Vincent Hognon as a central defender. For three seasons in the club, he was a key player, and his performance in Ligue 1 earned him a €6 million transfer toParis Saint-Germain
in the summer of 2007.
He played his first match for PSG on 4 August, which was a 0-0 draw with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. He played all 38 full-time league games in the 2007/2008 season and lifted the French League Cup with PSG. Following the 2014/15 season, he retired from competitive football having won four domestic trophies with Paris Saint-Germain: the Ligue 1 championship, the French League Cup, the French FA Cup and the Trophée des champions.
Camara played in two games for the France B national team between 2000 and 2007. His only game in the senior national team was played on June 1, 2001, againstAustralia
, which was lost by the "Tricolores" 0:1.
Now that we know the German coach much better, in this section of
Zoumana Camara biography
we will share more general information about him such as
Zoumana Camara nationality
to let you know him even better.
Zoumana Camara Bio
Full Name: Zoumana Camara
Profession: Professional Football Coach
Zoumana Camara Physical Stats
Weight: 76 Kg
Height: 1.82 m
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Hair Color: Black
Zoumana Camara Football Information
Position: Central Defender
Jersey Number: 6
Professional Debut: 1996
Zoumana Camara Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 3 April 1979
Birth Place: Colombes, France
Zodiac Sign: Aries
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Zoumana Camara biography
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Zoumana Camara childhood
Zoumana Camara was born on April 3, 1979, in Colombes, very close to a mythical stadium. Therefore, it was in the Paris region, a great breeding ground if ever there was one, that he made his first steps as a footballer.
In the mid-1990s, Zoumana Camara was spotted byAS Saint-Étienne
and passed from one mythical stadium to another and discovered Geoffroy-Guichard. He was frequently compared to Mettomo at the beginning of his career by the less physically minded of his observers. Camara made his first appearances in the first team during the miserable 1996-97 season in the second division.
However, while he only played 6 matches for his debut, it was during the following season that this athletic player of 1.82 m for 76kg regularly played in the heart of the green defence: he made 26 appearances and scored one goal.
Together with his teammate Lilian Astier and his future teammate David Hellebuyck, Camara was the winner of the Euro-19 in Iceland in the summer of 1997 and made an international name for himself. Just one year later, the Greens were not doing any better, he was promising, so it was suspected that the solid defender of the Greens would not last long in the Forez.
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Zoumana Camara biography
as we want to share some info about his career inItaly
Lulled by the Italian sirens, he decided to join the Serie A and the prestigiousInter Milan
in 1998. Zoumana Camara said about this transfer: "My departure from Saint-Etienne to Inter in 1998 caused a bit of a stir. I had played a few matches in the second division with the Greens. I was one of the club's promising players, but I wanted to experience the top flight. I was at the end of my U23 contract. I made the most of the regulations at the time to leave.”
“But my priority was to stay inFrance
. At that period, Saint-Etienne had a few financial difficulties. In the first division, I had a few offers but the club was asking for too much money for the French teams interested. I don't think I was ungrateful to my training club, and my transfer went well. There was a training compensation for Saint-Etienne and the promise by Inter Milan to organize a friendly match in the Chaudron to allow the club to make a nice ticket revenue.” He added.
However, at a time when the looting of French training centres by the big English and Italian teams was at its peak, it was not surprising that Camara was not able to find his place in the plethora of Milanese players: while he did play in the AS Saint-Étienne-Inter friendly at the Chaudron in 1999, along with two Cup matches, he never sawSerie A
under the Nerazzurri shirt!
For this reason, he accepted, out of frustration, to be loaned out a few months later to Empoli, a modest club fighting to stay in the top flight. As a result, from January to June 1999, he experienced the rough and tumble of Calcio in 12 matches.
He then made his debut in the French top flight with Bastia on loan for a season. His first game in the top flight was on 19 September 1999, against the green shirts ofSedan
, with a 2-0 defeat. He played 27 matches during the 1999-00 season (including his first encounters with AS Saint-Étienne) and scored one goal.
Having made a name for himself in Corsica, he was transferred toOlympique de Marseille
. That was already a small victory for such a precocious exile, but the Olympique was not at its best and was fighting for survival. However, his prestige was not affected by this as, to everyone's surprise, his career really blossomed when he was called up by Roger Lemerre to play in the 2001 Confederations Cup in Asia!
His first and only cap came on 1 June 2001 in Taegon, in a 1-0 loss to Australia. In fact, this Confederations Cup match will be the first line on his prize list.
While his first year at OM (2000-01) was crowned with success (31 matches for one goal), the following year was less satisfying for the player now nicknamed Papus. However, a recurring adductor injury slowed down his progress and Bernard Tapie, who had returned to the game briefly, made some harsh comments about him, claiming that "Zoumana's adductors are so crushed that the day he plays again, it will rain shit. A sentence that did not fall on deaf ears.
The fact that he made only 11 appearances in 2001-02 for the Marseille team meant that the worst was to come for this technical, sober and efficient defender. However, Camara was to play football again and for a long time, leaving the former OM president to deal with the uncertainties of his personal weather.
However, everything was not easy for him when, in January 2002, he joined RC Lens in an exchange of players with Lamine Sakho, another future Green. He waited almost a year to get back on the pitch, until the winter of 2003 to be exact, and eventually played 14 matches for the Sang et Or, before going on loan to Leeds in 2003-04 where he played 13 matches (and scored one goal).
However, in July 2004, his training club AS Saint-Étienne, which had just been promoted to Ligue 1, was reluctant to continue with Laurent Morestin and was considering handing over the defensive duties to Stéphane Hernandez.
The club wanted to find a good partner for Vincent Hognon in central defence and felt it was a good idea to (re)sign Zoumana Camara. Although this type of return is usually not very successful, this time the Greens got a rejuvenated player who was eager to finally settle down and the bet taken by the Green House paid off.
His understanding with Vincent Hognon in the centre of the park proved to be exemplary and the two men formed one of the most formidable backs in the league. In 2004-05, Camara played 36 times in Ligue 1 in this shirt that suited him so well.
Four years after his only cap, he was even called up by Raymond Domenech in October 2005 for the 2006World Cup
qualifiers. However, neither in Switzerland nor in Cyprus did he get the chance to make his second appearance for the national team.
The 26-year-old Zoumana Camara certainly had a long way to go and this vote of confidence from the French coach was a reward for the player and his club. At that time, you had to go back a long way to find a man from St Etienne in the French team (Laurent Blanc, who was last called up from St Etienne on 26 April 1995).
Before Blanc, Jean-Pierre Cyprien (16 February 1994 against Italy) and Philippe Tibeuf (17 November 1990 against Albania) had been selected as a member of the AS Saint-Étienne team. The next Green to do so was Bafé Gomis in 2008, rapidly followed by Dimitri Payet, Blaise Matuidi, Josuha Guilavogui, Stéphane Ruffier and Kurt Zouma.
But unfortunately, in July 2007, following a fierce struggle behind the scenes, Papus left Les Verts once again to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), signing a four-year contract for a transfer fee of €6m: "I had three great years from 2004 to 2007 but I still had one small regret: I never wrote a line in the club's record books. We had a very good generation with Sablé, Zokora, Perrin, Piquionne, Feindouno and Gomis. Unfortunately, that is only validated by the titles.”
The season started badly, but he finally established himself in central defence alongside Mario Yepes. Though he had originally left for four years, Papus finally spent twice that time in Paris! With PSG, he won a League Cup in 2008 and was a first-team regular until the arrival of Antoine Kombouaré in the early 2010s who favoured Mamadou Sakho. His contract at PSG was renewed in the summer of 2011, just as the Qataris from QSI were investing in the capital club.
While he played half the games in 2011-12, he was only a starter twice the following season in the league. Of course, he played in the cups and demonstrated that the 34-year-old defender was not dead! In the Qatari era, Paris Saint-Germain acquired incredible sporting and financial power, which meant that he was inevitably relegated to the bench, though Carlo Ancelotti and then Laurent Blanc regularly showed their confidence in him.
With the Brazilian quartet of Thiago Silva, Alex, Marquinhos and Maxwell at his side, he played only token games, but nonetheless won his first French league title in 2013, his second one a year later, as well as his second League Cup, and then, if only to finish on a high note, a league, cup and championship treble in 2015. He then retired from football, joining the technical staff of the Parisian club.
In February 2013, he told the French radio station RMC: " Considering the size of the club today, it's exceptional to be able to work with the players who are already here and those who are arriving. I'm very happy here. I'm experiencing incredible moments. To play with teammates like Zlatan or Beckham is a chance. I'd like to finish here, why not? They are very good and simple guys. When you meet them, you realise that in top-level sport, there is no such thing as chance. They are great champions who have won almost everything, and when you consider the investment they put into their work every day and their professionalism, they are examples for us all."
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As a player, he was popular with the group and Paris Saint-Germain decided to make him an assistant coach in Laurent Blanc's staff following his retirement in July 2015. Much like Claude Makélélé before him, his role was to act as a link between the professional group and the technical staff. He continued in this position after the departure of Laurent Blanc, but this time under the management of Spanish coach Unai Emery from July 2016.
When the Basque coach left at the end of the 2017-2018 season, he was considered to become the coach of the reserve team of Paris Saint-Germain, although the new coach, Thomas Tuchel, then decided to retain him as an assistant and appointed him in charge of offensive and defensive set-pieces.
Zoumana was not kept in Mauricio Pochettino's new technical staff when he was appointed in January 2021. He subsequently became the sports coordinator of the training centre of the Paris Saint-German football club.
Since 2021, he went on to become coach of the Under-19 team of the French club Paris Saint-Germain from the 2021-2022 season, where he succeeded Stéphane Roche. In his first match as head coach of the team, they played against Club Brugge YL in the UEFA Youth League, which finished in a 2-2 draw.
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He was a physically strong central defender who had great skills such as tackling and marking, which allowed him to act like a solid player in the heart of the defence of his teams. Although he was not very tall (1.82 m), but he was also good at headers.
While at the beginning of his career, Zoumana Camara was considered to be one of the top French talents of his time and even was called up to the French national team in 2001 when he was just 21 years old, however, back to back injuries prevented him from reaching his full potential.
Zoumana, still in the early stages of his coaching career, these days has dedicated his life to football and hardly has any time for stuff outside football, however, as a family man, he always spends time with his family when not on the pitch.
He is also a fan of paddle tennis and from time to time, attends paddle tennis courts in Paris to play with his friends. Zoumana Camara is a Muslim.
In this section of Zoumana Camara biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like
Zoumana Camara life story
Zoumana Camara religion
, stay tuned.
Zoumana Camara has been married to his wife Awa Coulibaly and the couple has three daughters together. His wife is the founder and CEO of AWA XBEAUTY, a beauty brand in Paris.
At the time of writing this article, there are no reports of any charity activities regarding Zoumana Camara in the press. Now stay tuned to this section of Zoumana Camara biography as we want to share some info about his legal issues.
There are not any reports of legal issues or disputes regarding French defender and current coach of Paris Saint-German U19 coach Zoumana Camara either in the French or English press at the time of writing this Zoumana Camara biography article.
In this section of Zoumana Camara biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.
Since the 1996-97 season Zoumana started his career with A S Saint-Etienne to the day he decided to hang up his boots with Paris Saint-Germain, the French defender played a total of 499 matches in all competitions and scored 11 goals. He had spent the majority of his career playing for Paris Saint-Germain.
In 2001, Zoumana Camara played his one and only match for the French national team in the Confederations Cup against the national team of Australia. After that match, he was also called up to the national team for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers but never managed to play a single match.
On the club level, Zoumana Camara has earned all of his trophies while playing for the Paris Saint-Germain club, including the Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions.
He has also won the European Under-19 Championship in 1997 and was the winner of the 2001 Confederations Cup with the French national team.
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