10 things to know about Franck Kessie

10 things to know about Franck Kessie

The midfielder is the second Ivorian to play for FC Barcelona, the first (Touré Yaya) being one of his biggest heroes and role models

Franck Kessie is FC Barcelona’s first signing of the summer. Here are 10 things you may not know about the Ivorian midfielder. 

-He was born in Ouragahio (Ivory Coast), the same town as fellow footballers Serge Aurier (of, among others, PSG, Spurs and now Villarreal) and Wilfried Singo (Torino). 


 
-Frank Kessie is the second Ivorian to play for Barça after Yaya Touré (2007 to 2010). 
 
-He is the 19th player to have represented AC Milan and FC Barcelona, following on from the likes of Ronaldo Nazario, Dugarry, Bogarde, Rivaldo, Reiziger, Kluivert, Pepe Reina, Coco, Ronaldinho, Davids, Albertini, Maxi López, Van Bommel, Zambrotta, Bojan Krkic, Ibrahimovic, Deulofeu and Kevin Prince Boateng. 

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-Kessie has 58 international caps, and has scored six goals for his country. 
 
-He featured at the Tokyo Olympics, where his team was beaten in the quarter finals against a Spain team that included Pedri, Eric Garcia and Mingueza. That thrilling encounter was eventually decided, 5-2, in extra time.  
 
-Despite having plenty of experience of football at the highest level, the Serie A title won last season with AC Milan was his first major trophy as a professional.  


 
-There was a strange story behind his number 79 shirt at Al Milan. He actually wanted the number 19 shirt because among several personal meanings, it’s his birthday. However, Bonucci also signed for Milan that year and he has always worn the 19 shirt. So Kessie chose 79 instead because it’s the number that looks most like 19, and he’d wear that number for the next five seasons. 
 
-He is amazingly versatile in midfield, being able to play either defensively or in a more attacking role, either through the middle or on the wings. He can certainly score goals when he needs to, having amassed a total of 45 in his six seasons at Atalanta and Milan. 
 
-Kessie has played alongside former Barça players in the past, namely Pepe Reina (2018-20) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2020-22) at Milan, and of course Touré Yaya (2014-15) for Ivory Coast. 
 
-In fact, he has often cited Touré Yaya, as well as Michael Essien, as his idols and role models.  

Touré Yaya (2008/09). FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

 

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