Sat 26 March 2022 | 10:30

Yves Bissouma Biography

Currently with Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations ahead of their game against Equatorial Guinea, the 25-year-old midfielder has become one of the hottest Premier League prospects during recent seasons, and here, we learn about his life inside and outside the pitch.

Joining Brighton & Hove Albion in 2018, Bissouma’s splendid appearances with the Seagulls have made him on top of the wishlist of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal,

Aston Villa

, and Newcastle United.

Because of Bissouma’s all-action approach, he’s the ideal midfielder for the Premier League. Not only can he snuff out the danger, but he can also use his pace and power to drive his team up the field in turning defense into attack.

Still a young prospect, Bissouma can grow and develop his skillset in becoming a leading player both domestically and in Europe, hence, it would be hard for the seagulls to keep their highly-praised defensive midfielder ahead of a move to his favorite club, Arsenal.

In this article, we will cover

Yves Bissouma life story

and prepare a complete overview of his life career. Bissouma's story can be a good source of inspiration for us to know that nothing is impossible. Beginning from the slums of Mali and reaching the Premier League, the Malian midfielder has faced many difficulties. In addition to his great talents, his family's support has been one of the other efficient factors which played a significant role in his success in football.

All You Need to Know About Yves Bissouma Biography

Here, in

Yves Bissouma bio

, we first learn some basic facts about the Mali international before going in-depth about his career and his life story.

Yves Bissouma Information

Yves Bissouma date of birth

is 30 August 1996, and here are some basic facts about the talented defensive midfielder.

  • Full name: Yves Bissouma

  • Nickname: Zokora

Personal information

  • Date of birth: 30 August 1996

  • Zodiac sign: Virgo

  • Place of birth: Issia, Ivory Coast

  • Religion: Islam

  • Nationality: Malian/Ivorian

  • Marital status: Single

Body Measurements

  • Hair color: Black

  • Eye color: Black

  • Height: 1.82 m

  • Weight:80 kg

  • Body Type: Athletic

Yves Bissouma Early Life

Starting our journey with

Yves Bissouma childhood

, he was born in Issia town, Ivory Coast, on 30 August 1996. He remained in Ivory Coast for 12 years before moving to Mali.

Yves grew up with the mindset that his parents had taught him about sport. Based on that, owning much talent and passion was not enough for becoming a professional player. As a young boy interested in football, he needed training and guiding principles.

In an interview, Yves talked about his strong relationship with his parents. He stated,

"It was hard to leave my parents because I have always been very devoted to them, but I said to myself: Mama and Papa have to do their best for me, now I have to show I am a man fan fight, to achieve."

Yves grew up in a poor economic situation, and his chances for achieving his dream and appearing as a professional player in the football world were slim. However, they did not lead Yves to give up his efforts, and Yves' high motivation and hardworking were two factors that were enough for him to gain his wish.

The enthusiastic boy joined one of the major clubs in his hometown very soon. Fortunately, his brilliant performance led him to promote Majestic SC, Abidjan junior club. Playing there earned him many opportunities for much improvement.

Following his impressive playing style at the tournament in Bamako, Mali, Yves could attract all attention. At the end of the competition, JMG Academy Bamako invited four youngsters that Yves was one of them.

Only 19-year-old at the time, Yves had to say goodbye to his parents and travel to France to pursue his dreams as just four months after having arrived at

Lille OSC

from AS Real Bamako, Bissouma signed his first professional contract with the club, with a duration of three years.

Yves Bissouma Profile

In this part of Yves Bissouma biography, we gather you the whole package of in-field information of the footballer.

Starting his career at the Majestic SC academy in 2009, where he played with Malian international

Adama Traoré

, he joined AS Real Bamako where he caught the attention of France Ligue 1 champions, Lille. He was invited as a trainee, and after four months, he signed his first professional contract with the club.

After a hard time with the weather, he adopted him to it finally and became one of Lille’s cornerstones.

During his playing time with Lille, Yves found his footing, and the club's former coach decided to change his position to a right-back. However, he changed his mind later and let him play as a midfielder. Following the decision, Yves' performance prevented his team from relegation.

Despite representing Mali at the international level,

Yves Bissouma nationality

is Ivorian, and during that time, he got the nickname Zokora, an Ivorian icon who Yves adored. He said:

"I admired him so much that my friends nicknamed me Zokora.

“The way he defended, his aggressiveness, and the way he worked so hard. We got the same education because he was raised in a Jean-Marc Guillou academy, albeit in a different country. I could not watch him when he was at Spurs because we did not have the necessary channel, but I never missed his international matches. For me, he is one of the greatest ever African players."

During the two years he was at Lille from 2016 to 2018, he made 55 appearances and scored four goals. His performance earned him a £15.12m move to

Brighton and Hove Albion


Playing in France had created a mentality in Yves that the game in England would be similar to what he had experienced formerly. However, after joining the English club, he changed his mind and said, "When I came to England, I thought it was going to be like playing in France, but it is not the same.

The intensity is on a different level." He evaluates himself a lot, and when he did it after a period of playing with Brighton, he concluded, "I am a lot better than when I started here. I know what I can do- a lot has changed."

After 4 years with the Seagulls, Bissouma has turned into a cornerstone of the Graham Potter side. Since then, Yves has participated in 108 competitions and scored four goals with the club, and became one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

Style of Play

In this part of

Yves Bissouma biography

, we take a look at Malian’s style of play.

Since becoming a regular starter at Brighton from the 2018/19 season, he has been utilized in different roles within the midfield, whether it’s as a defensive midfielder or as a box-to-box midfielder. Yves Bissouma is a central midfielder who is usually played alongside Steven Alzate in

Graham Potter

’s 3-4-3 formation, the more defensive player of the two, with two wing-backs on either side of the midfield for width. When playing alongside a more defensive partner, Bissouma is allowed much more freedom to roam and display his talents in different parts of the pitch while still having a defensive anchor behind him. He plays as a No.8, but very much possesses box-to-box abilities and has even been deployed as a defensive mid in a double pivot on occasion.

Through his intelligent way of reading the game and his constant knack to intercept and win the ball with ease, the 24-year-old has no problems with playing as a lone midfielder or in a double pivot.

Bissouma is frequently involved in the way Brighton kick start attacks and defend them. Naturally, one would expect a player who is tasked with many roles to be skillful in many ways. Bissouma’s strengths include all things such as his tackling, passing, dribbling, etc. and in a few of these attributes, one could solely observe at some of his metrics to decipher this. Being previously been linked with a move away from the Amex Stadium to the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, which should indicate to the majority of people that he is a talented player and a valuable asset to have in the middle of the pitch.


One of the main transfer targets of English elite clubs, Bissouma is known as one of the best Premier League defensive midfielders who still can grow his skills to become one of the best in the world.

Goal Celebration

Although Bissouma has only scored 2 goals for Brighton, both of them were spectacular. He scored his first-ever Premier League goal on the last day of the 2019–20 season with a long-range shot in a 2–1 away win against Burnley and went right toward the crowd for celebration. His second goal came on 23 January 2021, in a fourth-round FA Cup tie, Bissouma scored a 30-yard goal to put Brighton ahead in a 2–1 home win against



Yves Bissouma Outside Football

Being born to a Muslim family,

Yves Bissouma religion

is Islam and he’s very devoted, too. He told an interview: “I am always happy because for me you need to be happy when God gives you life. Sometimes when I am home I am thinking about six or seven years ago I was in Mali, I was playing in an academy and now I am playing for Brighton in the Premier League but I know I can do more.

"I just say, 'thank you god', I do my job and I do my dream. My religion is so important for me and my family. My mum, my dad, everyone prays. I don't pray every day but I believe in god.”

He also opened up how his family is proud of him when they watch him playing on television. He further opened up how Brighton fans hold a very special place in his heart and he wishes for their return soon.

He particularly loves the song they sing for him, which is to the "Tequila" song by The Champs.

Yves Bissouma Personal Life

Still single, Yves owns a strong bond with his mother. He drives a massive Mercedes SUV that bought this car shortly after he moved to the UK. Yves Bissouma remains relatively quiet when it comes to sharing his personal life and makes it a point to stay out of the public eye. It’s been said that he enjoys his single life as his focus is on football. One thing is sure, and that is Yves loves being adored by Brighton fans:

“Sometimes when I’m in the car, another car will pull up alongside and the people will wave at me and start singing my song,” he says. “I like it! When you leave Africa to pursue your dream and then, just three years later, you find yourself in England with people chanting your name …” He pauses to find the right words. “It’s lovely.”

If you have visited Yves Bissouma Twitter account, Yves Bissouma #YB8, you might have seen that 40.1k fans (at the time of writing) have followed him there. On his page, Yves has shared a lot of posts. The posts are about his profession, and sadly, Yves has not posted anything from his life out of the pitch.

Family, Children, and Relationships

Reportedly enjoying his single life, Yves still bonds with his parental family.  “It was hard to leave my parents because I’ve always been very devoted to them but I said to myself: ‘Maman and Papa have done their best for me, now I have to show I am a man and fight to achieve.’

Bissouma feels an urge to ring Rominigue Kouamé, with whom he joined Lille from Real de Bamako in 2016 as they remain best friends ever since.


In 2019, a Brighton & Hove Albion shirt signed by Yves Bissouma was put in an auction by the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club.

The charity uses the power of football and the reach of the club to engage and inspire local people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. As per reports, in the last 12 months alone the charity has engaged with more than 40,000 people and worked with 148 local schools. AITC is also the largest provider of inclusive football sessions for people with disabilities in the area.

Legal Issues

Bissouma has been banned from driving in the United Kingdom on two occasions due to repeated speeding offenses in 2019 and 2021.

On 6 October 2021, Sussex Police arrested Bissouma on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman. He was led out of The Arch, a nightclub in Brighton, with handcuffs. He was initially bailed until 3 November; his bail was later extended to 6 December.

A further update in January 2022 from Sussex police noted that he was currently released under investigation while inquiries continue.

Yves Bissouma Career Statistics

In this section of

Yves Bissouma biography

, we bring you all the career statistics of the Brighton midfielder.  Playing for AS Real Bamako, Lille II, Lille, and Brighton and Hove Albion, Yves had an outstanding international career with Mali as well.


In the 55 appearances Bissouma made for Lille, he contributed 4 goals and 2 assists as he not only helped them avoid relegation, but was included in the French side’s European journey.

He made a further 111 appearances for Brighton, in which he contributed the exact amount of goals and assist he managed for Lille.

In a total of 166 club appearances, Bissouma has scored 8 goals and provided 4 assists, by considering him as a defensive midfielder, that’s not a bad record at all.


Despite being born in Ivory Coast, Bissouma represented


at the international level. He participated at the 2016 African Nations Championship with Mali and made his international debut in the competition, where Mali reached the finals of the competition, where they lost to DR Congo. In the semi-final against the Ivory Coast, he was substituted on in the 76th minute and scored the decisive goal for 1–0 in the 89th minute.

During this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, he made 3 appearances for Mali, summing the total of his international appearances to 19 games, scoring three goals for his country.

Yves Bissouma Honors

In this last part of

Yves Bissouma biography

, we take a look at the Malian’s honors.

During his playing time with Lille, Yves found his footing, and the club's former coach decided to change his position to a right-back. However, he changed his mind later and let him play as a midfielder. Following the decision, Yves' performance prevented his team from relegation, and it was the beginning of the comparison between him and

Paul Pogba

. However, being asked about the comparison when he joined Brighton, he said: "He has won titles, played in the Champions League final, lifted the World Cup, he has blazed his trial." He then described himself, "I am just starting. So, there is no comparison, or maybe they think we have the same hairdo."

The only achievement Bissouma earned was being in Mali’s runner-up team in the 2016 African Nations Championship. However, being linked to massive clubs, his days of glory are ahead of him.

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