Naby Keita is a Guinean professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder in the English Premier League near Liverpool. The story of Naby Keita is a story of determination, passion, struggle, and great achievement. After selling ice-cold water and playing football on the streets of Conakry, Keita strutted on beautifully landscaped pitches and under the lights in some of the most famous stadiums in football. “Deco”, as he is affectionately called, is certainly living his childhood dream.
Naby Keita’s Bio
Keita was born on February 10, 1995, in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. As his mother would later say, little Keita played soccer with everything he could get his hands on. It was only a matter of time before he would take to the streets with a real football.
He was born as the son of Miriam Camara and Sekou Keita. His birth name is Naby Laye Keita; the Guinean is also called Deco because he has similarities with the Portuguese and former midfielder of Barcelona. He spent his childhood in the soccer-centered Koleya, a part of Conakry. Keita remembers those streets where it was said that his parents were not initially enthusiastic about the idea of their son playing soccer because they considered education to be the most important thing and could rather guarantee him a stable life.
Naby Keita joined his local club and hometown club Horoya AC at the age of nine. In 2012, when he was 17 years old, he traveled to France to undergo a football test. At a tournament organized by the former Celtic defender and fellow countryman Bobo Balde, he was able to demonstrate his skills well enough. He was signed by FC Istres, a Ligue 2 team. This happened after unsuccessful tests in Le Mans and at FC Lorient.
In 2013 he was promoted to the first team of FC Istres. On his debut, he scored in a 4-2 victory over Nimes Olympique. In his first professional season, Keita made more than 20 stars and contributed 11 goals. However, his efforts were not enough to save Istres FC from relegation to the Championnat National, the third division of French football.
Red Bull Salzburg paid FC Istres 1.5 million pounds to sign Keita in 2014. He made his debut in the match against Werner Neustadt on July 26, 2014, and scored his first goal for Salzburg in a 3-1 victory in the Europa League against Scottish giants Celtic in November 2014. During his stay in Salzburg, Keita met his future Liverpool teammate, Sadio Mane. The couple made friends before Mane moved to Southampton in England. Keita finished his first season in Salzburg with 30 appearances, scoring five goals and assisting two. He also won the league and the cup twice. In his next season, Keita continued to excel with 29 appearances, 12 goals, and assisting his team in defending the league and cup double.
Red Bull Salzburg sold Keita to the sister club RB Leipzig in June 2016. The deal was worth 11 million Euros and the German team with Keita in it would make an impression in the German Bundesliga. Keita’s time in Leipzig began with a bang when he scored a goal against Borussia Dortmund in the 89th minute of his league debut. By the end of his first season in Germany, Keita had scored eight goals, assisted seven times, and played in 31 matches. His team RB Leipzig qualified for the European premium club competition – the Champions League in demand for the first time.
Named in the Bundesliga team of the season, Keita’s exploits were not lost in the football world, and soon the English giant called Liverpool. An agreement was reached when his release clause of £48 million was activated with a bonus of £14 million paid when Leipzig qualified for the Europa League, bringing the total fee to a whopping £62 million. However, Keita stayed with Leipzig for another season and scored six goals.
Keita officially joined Liverpool on 27 June 2018. He took over the number 8 jersey from the legendary Steven Gerrard and is ready to blossom in his new stomping ground, Anfield.
Height, Weight & Body Stats
Keita is not one of the greatest players you would ever meet. Small, with a low center of gravity, Keita’s stature gives his fast feet and dynamism. He stands at a height of 5 feet 8 inches and weighs 141 pounds.