Player profile

Momo Sissoko

Momo Sissoko

Birthdate: 22 January 1985
Birthplace: Mont Saint Agnain, France
Nationality: Mali
Other clubs: Auxerre (2001-03), Valencia (2003-05), Juventus (2008-11), Paris St Germain (2011-13), Fiorentina (loan 2013), Levante (2014-15), Shanghai Shenhua (2015-16)
Bought from: Valencia
Signed for LFC: £5.6m, 14.07.2005
International debut: 19.11.2003 vs. Morocco
International caps: 28/2 - 2013
Liverpool debut: 26.07.2005
Last appearance: 19.12.2007
Debut goal: 25.08.2007
Last goal: 25.08.2007
Contract expiry: 28.01.2008
Win ratio: 63.22% W:55 D:12 L:20
Honours: FA Cup 2006
LFC league games/goals: 51 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 87 / 1

Player profile

Born to Mali parents in France, Momo Sissoko opted to play for Mali after featuring for the French u-21 team. He has a biting tackle and is a formidable shield for any defence. Sissoko was nurtured in Auxerre’s respected academy playing as a striker for the reserves, scoring 50 goals in two years according to his website. Rafa Benítez brought the youngster over to Valencia in 2003 before he made his first-team debut at Auxerre and developed his game in a new position as a defensive midfielder. Despite his young age Rafa picked him from the start in nine La Liga matches as well as bringing him on as substitute on 12 occasions in his debut campaign. He also featured in nine UEFA Cup matches so he played an active part in Valencia’s double success in La Liga and the UEFA Cup in 2004.

Sissoko continued to impress at Mestalla following Benítez’ departure to Liverpool. Everton were about to capture the promising midfielder when Rafa became aware of his availability and “stole” him straight from under the Blues’ noses. Benítez made big claims that “Momo” would become a better player than Vieira. Sissoko’s hyperactive performances in the middle of the park earned him rave reviews. It was a dramatic first season as an eye injury received against Benfica in the Champions League in February 2006 threatened to end his playing career. When he returned a month later, he had to wear safety goggles, which he soon discarded as they were steaming up. The season ended on a high as Liverpool beat West Ham in the FA Cup final. Momo played from the start as he had done in 36 other matches during the season.

Momo was man of the match in Liverpool’s win over Chelsea in the Community Shield. As his second season progressed he wasn’t his usual self, whether his eye injury had affected his confidence or just plainly finding it more tough as his performances were not as surprising to his opponents.  Momo clearly had to improve on the technical aspects of his game, namely his close control and passing. He suffered another bad injury against Birmingham in the fourth round of the League Cup in November 2006, dislocating his shoulder and was out of action for three months. Javier Mascherano’s arrival in February 2007 meant more competition in midfield. As the 2007/08 season began, Sissoko was on the bench for the opening two games against Aston Villa and Toulouse. He wasn’t even in the squad for the first home League match against Chelsea but played from the start at Sunderland a week later, where he amazed everyone by scoring his first Liverpool goal with a sweet strike from the edge of the penalty area. It was also his last Liverpool goal because it became clear as far as the manager was concerned that Sissoko was no longer essential to the squad. He started the League Cup tie at Chelsea a few days before Christmas, 2007 but it was the last time he would pull on a Liverpool shirt. By the end of January, 2008 he was a Juventus player. At least the club made a decent profit on the reported £5+ million it had paid Valencia in 2005. Claudio Ranieri brought Sissoko over to Italy. They were old acquaintances as Ranieri had been his boss for one season, 2004/05 at Valencia. Sissoko was a regular as Juventus finished League runners-up to Inter Milan in 2009, but the rest of his career in Turin was curtailed by a broken metatarsal and a knee injury. After six months of rehabilitation Sissoko made his debut in September 2011 for the upcoming European giants at Paris St Germain, whom he had joined in the summer. Sissoko had continuing knee trouble in his first campaign in Paris during which he made 27 starts and missed the first two months of the 2012/13 season as he injured his left knee in a pre-season friendly. He was loaned to Fiorentina in the January 2013 transfer-window.

Sissoko made only seven first-team appearances for Paris Saint-Germain in 2012/13 before moving to Italy. Injury also restricted the number of appearances he made with Fiorentina, just five before his loan-spell finished. He was released from his contract at PSG in the summer of 2013 and was a free agent until he signed a six-month contract with Spanish club Levante in January 2014. The midfielder played in ten La Liga matches as the club from Valencia finished the season in a respectable 10th place with 48 points from their 38 matches. Sissoko signed a two-year deal with Levante in the summer of 2014, but a year into this left to join Shanghai Shenhua in China, where he was in the side that lost the cup final over two legs. Although Sissoko attended a training camp in Spain in February 2016 in readiness for the new season, he left soon afterwards with no explanation, instead just posting a good luck message on his twitter account.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 51 6 4 23 3 87
2005-2006 26 6 0 11 2 45
2006-2007 16 0 2 9 1 28
2007-2008 9 0 2 3 0 14

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
7 Chelsea
5 Aston Villa
5 Manchester United
5 Reading
4 Portsmouth
4 Everton
3 Newcastle United
3 Sunderland
3 Middlesbrough
3 Blackburn Rovers
3 West Ham United
3 Tottenham
2 Anderlecht
2 Barcelona
2 Birmingham City
2 Fulham
2 PSV Eindhoven
2 Real Betis
2 Toulouse
2 Bordeaux
2 FBK Kaunas
2 Bolton Wanderers
2 WBA
2 Maccabi Haifa
2 CSKA Sofia
1 Wigan Athletic
1 Galatasaray
1 Marseille
1 Arsenal
1 Sheffield United
1 Manchester City
1 Derby
1 Luton Town
1 Charlton Athletic
1 CSKA Moscow
1 Deportivo Sap.
1 Sao Paolo
1 Benfica
Total Started/substitutions
72 Started
7 On the bench
15 Substitute
23 Substituted
Total Competition
51 England Premier League
22 Champions League
6 FA Cup
4 League Cup
2 World Club Championship
1 Community Shield
1 European Super Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 1 0 0 0 0 1
2005-2006 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006-2007 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007-2008 1 0 0 0 0 1

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Opponent
1 Sunderland
Total Started/substitutions
1 Started
0 Substitute
Total Competition
1 England Premier League
Total Goal minute period
1 31-45 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
1 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 26.07.2005 FBK Kaunas Dar. & Girenas St. Europe
50 09.09.2006 Everton Goodison Park League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 37 25.08.2007 Sunderland Stadium of Light League

Related Articles

You'll never get past Sissoko! - comparison with Alonso

Statistically it is difficult to measure the worth of midfielders as clean sheets and goals are not the fairest measure of a working midfielder who wins the ball and distributes it to team mates.More

Interview with Momo Sissoko by Shakir Ahmed

Exclusive interview by Shakir Ahmed of awaaznews.com.More

Mixed news for Liverpool as Sissoko blow mars win

Match report from The Times on Birmingham - Liverpool on 08.11.2006.More

Sissoko the constant at the centre of rotation

Article by Dominic Fifield on Momo Sissoko published 31st October 2006 in the Guardian. More

Rock-solid Malian may prove to be Rafa's superman

An article from 14th August 2006 by Nick Smith, Liverpool Echo.More

Eye for danger

Momo Sissoko discarded doctor's advice and plays without safety glasses, another proof of his bravery on the field.More

How Sissoko became Everton's missing link

Tonight's derby could show why the Mali international made the right choice last summer. By Dominic Fifield at The Guardian December 28, 2005. More

Player to Watch: Mali's Sissoko sets sights on Germany

An article from fifaworldcup.com on 20th August 2004.More

Related Quotes

"Sissoko was a player that grew a lot with us and he's a fantastic boy. He was called the new Vieira a few years ago. He has incredible ability for his age. He is 20, I saw Vieira when he was 18-years old and he was no better than Sissoko. Sissoko runs more than Vieira. In a couple of years he will be more dynamic than Vieira and a better player."

Benítez on Sissoko in July 2005

"He will learn. The problem for him at the moment is everything's new. It's a new club, a new style of football and a new language. He just needs to analyse the situation a bit more. I'm very happy with him since he joined because he has contributed a lot. The positives are greater than the negatives. I prefer to have a player with high energy rather than someone who is calm. He is the kind of player we've been missing. We are working with him and we are always talking to him about things he can learn."

Rafa on Sissoko as he picked up his seventh caution of the campaign against Luton in January 2006.

"When the fans sing my name, it makes me want to play well for them all the time. I don't know why they like me so much. Maybe the English fans enjoy seeing players who enjoy winning the ball and working hard.

"When I go onto the pitch, my objective is always to work as hard as I can for the team. It's fantastic to have so many people cheering for me. I don't think of myself at the level of Steven Gerrard. I go into training every day trying to learn from Stevie or Xabi Alonso. They are two great midfielders.

"I'm still only 21 and I'm learning all the time. Maybe one day I'll be thought of in the same way."

Momo Sissoko after his man of the match performance vs. Chelsea in the 2006 Community Shield

Momo was one of the most important players for us last season and I was really surprised that he didn't even get a mention the Young Player awards. I can't think of many better.

He is a young player who every manager in the Premiership would want in his squad, and I would have thought that would have made him a contender. His running is incredible. He is an athlete, almost like a Kenyan middle-distance runner, and even though people don't seem to talk about him, he is very important to this team. He is not the finished article, but he is such a good worker. You tell him he needs to improve something and he is practise, practise, practise every day."

Rafa on Momo in September 2006

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Auxerre 2001-2003 France 1 0 0 0 0
Valencia 2003-2004 Spain 1 21 0 30 1
Valencia 2004-2005 Spain 1 24 0 29 0
Juventus 2007-2008 Italy 1 15 1 15 1
Juventus 2008-2009 Italy 1 21 2 32 2
Juventus 2009-2010 Italy 1 17 0 24 0
Juventus 2010-2011 Italy 1 18 0 29 0
Paris St Germain 2011-2012 France 1 25 2 30 3
Paris St Germain 2012-2013 France 1 3 0 7 0
Fiorentina 2012-2013 Italy 1 5 0 5 0
Levante 2013-2014 Spain 1 10 0 10 0
Levante 2014-2015 Spain 1 21 0 21 0
Shanghai Shenhua 2015-2016 Chinese Super League 10 1 15 1
Total 190 6 247 8
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