Birthdate: 1 March 1980
Birthplace: Laval, France
Other clubs: Laval (1997-99), Lens (loan 2001-02), Charlton Athletic (2006-07), Portsmouth (2007-09), Rennes (loan 2008), Birmingham City (loan 2009), Monaco (2009-11), Olympique Marseille (2011-12), Seattle Sounders (2013-14)
Bought from: Laval
Signed for LFC: £550,000, 18.02.1999
International debut: 10.10.2004 vs. Togo
International caps: Mali 10/1 - 08.10.2005
Liverpool debut: 14.09.1999
Last appearance: 29.04.2006
Debut goal: 06.11.2003
Last goal: 06.11.2003
Contract expiry: 09.08.2006
Win ratio: 52.48% W:74 D:29 L:38
Honours: FA Cup 2006; League Cup 2003; Champions League 2005;
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 2 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 88 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 141 / 1
Player profileHoullier bought Traore from second division Laval despite competition from Paris St Germain, AC Milan, Parma and Lazio. Traore seemed nervous enough when his big chance arrived at the start of the 2000/01 season when he was put in the unfamiliar role of left-back. He was loaned to France the following season and gained valuable experience with El Hadji Diouf's Lens and almost won the French championship. He returned a stronger character and found his feet when he was moved to his natural centre-half position when Stephane Henchoz got injured in the 2002/03 season. Traore was out of favour with Houllier which proved to be his last campaign as boss, in 2003/04. Traore welcomed a change at the top: "A lot of the French players didn't have a chance to play and express themselves. We had to work twice as hard to play. In the end, I didn't trust him anymore. I was upset. So many times I knocked on his door saying I wanted to leave the club. It was frustrating because I didn't play. And nothing changed. If he would have stayed then I would not be at Liverpool anymore." Benítez showed a lot of faith in Traore in his inaugural season in English football using him as a left-back opting for the centre-half pairing of Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher. On 18 January 2005 Traore dumped Liverpool out of the third round of the FA Cup with a disastrous own-goal but didn't lose his focus and will forever be a part of Liverpool's victorious team in Istanbul where he played the whole 120 minutes. Traore was used less by Benítez the following season as it was painfully clear he wasn't up to the high standard required at Liverpool.
During the summer of 2006, Traore was sold to Charlton Athletic. He was sent off on his debut against West Ham on the opening day of the 2006/07 season. He also very kindly committed an outrageous foul on Jermaine Pennant when Liverpool visited the Valley in the middle of December, a challenge that saw a penalty awarded against him, which Alonso duly scored. Shortly afterwards, Traore was sold to Portsmouth but made only ten League appearances between his debut on 13 January 2007 and the end of the season. Traore moved to Rennes on loan in the following season and the French club seemed keen to make the deal permanent but were unable to reach an agreement with Portsmouth. Championship club Birmingham City was his next stop in February 2009. Although Birmingham were promoted back to the Premier League at the end of the 2008/09 season, Traore could hardly claim any credit for that as he appeared on only three occasions. In June 2009 Traore eventually left Portsmouth for good signing for Monaco, whose manager, Guy Lacombe, had been in charge at Rennes when Traore had a loan spell there in 2008. He played in 29 league and 3 cup matches for Monaco in 2009/10 and his career seemed resurrected. However, Traore only played in seven Ligue 1 matches for Monaco during 2010/11 as he was unavailable in the second part of the season because of a cruciate ligament rupture. Traoe signed a one-year contract with Marseille in August 2011 but only made 14 first-team appearances and left the club when the contract expired in the summer of 2012. In February 2013 Traoré joined Seattle Sounders in the MLS.
Traore played in fifteen first-team matches for Seattle between early-March and early-June 2013. Seattle Sounders finished the 2013 season fourth in the Western Conference division and sixth in the overall table. The defender was still playing fairly regular for the club from Washington state as the 2014 season got under way. At the end of that season he retired from playing but has remained in Seattle and taken on a coaching role at the club.
On the final day of November 2014 and at the age of thrty-four Traore told a journalist in an interview that he would be retiring as a player "soon". When asked to explain what "soon" meant the defender replied "We're talking about the next few weeks".
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|3||West Ham United|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|1||14.09.1999||Hull City||Boothferry Park||League Cup|
|50||20.02.2003||Auxerre||St. l'Abbé Desch.||Europe|
|1||23||06.11.2003||Steaua Bucharest||Ghencea St.||Europe|
Djimi Traore talks with The Guardian's Jeremy Wilson on April 24, 2007.More
Paul Grech looks at Djimi Traore's career at Liverpool.More
"When I came back for training I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know if I was staying at Liverpool or going. Then I spoke to the boss and he told me I would be playing more and he wanted me to stay. Every summer I have been here, all I have heard is clubs want to buy me and I may be leaving.
I don't think I'm a different player except I have more confidence in myself now because I know I will have a chance to play for the first team. At the moment I'm playing at left back, although my position is centre- half. I think that's my position of the future. But it's okay because in my view the best centre-halves in the world are Sami Hyypia and Stephane Henchoz. I spent a year at Lens and that helped me. I played 19 games in a side which did very well, coming second in the league and going close to the championship. It was a good year for me to learn from top players at a high level. I received good advice there."
Djimi Traore, pre-season 2002
"We only had about 15 minutes training on the pitch yesterday, and Djimi scored the exact same goal from the same spot at the same end in our practice match."
Houllier after Traore's first goal 06.11.2003
"Jimbo is the last person you want marking you in training - he's got the longest legs in football and is a great tackler."
Neil Mellor in February 2005 on Traore
"Houllier did a lot of work - he built a great training centre. He was much appreciated by the Englishmen and I can see why. But a lot of the French players didn't have a chance to play and express themselves. We had to work twice as hard to play. So, I have a mixed view on Houllier. Today I proved that it is not down to him that I was there - I deserve to play for Reds. Personally, in the end, I didn't trust him anymore. I was upset.
So many times I knocked on his door saying I wanted to leave the club. It was frustrating because I didn't play. And nothing changed. If he would have stayed then I would not be at Liverpool anymore. We, the Frenchmen, were frustrated because we saw how it worked at Arsenal."
Djimi Traore in June 2005
"I think it was the right time for me to move. I enjoyed my seven years at Liverpool but I want to play more regular football. It's a good move for me because when you've been at a club for a long while you get into a routine. Especially in the situation that I was in where sometimes I played and sometimes I didn't, which caused some frustration. And that's one of the reasons why I decided to move.
I'm very proud of what I achieved at Liverpool, especially winning the Champions League, but it wasn't difficult for me to leave that behind. I'd prefer to go somewhere where I can play football rather than be in the Champions League with Liverpool and sit on the bench."
Traore explains his Anfield exit
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Charlton Athletic||2006-2007||England Premier League||11||0||13||0|
|Portsmouth||2006-2007||England Premier League||10||0||10||0|
|Portsmouth||2007-2008||England Premier League||3||0||5||0|
|Birmingham City||2008-2009||England Premier League||3||0||3||0|
|AS Monaco||2009-2010||France 1||29||0||35||1|
|AS Monaco||2010-2011||France 1||7||0||8||0|
|Seattle Sounders||2012-2013||MLS 1||27||1||34||2|
|Seattle Sounders||2013-2014||MLS 1||15||0||16||0|