Biography

Naby Keita

Guinean Footballer
Naby Keita
Naby Keita (Photo: Naby Keita / Instagram)

Naby Keita is a Guinean footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Liverpool FC.

Naby Keita

• Date of birth: 10 February 1995
• Age: 27 years old
• Place of birth: Conakry, Guinea
• Position: Midfielder
• Nationality: Guinean
• Height: 172cm / 5ft 8ins
• Weight: 64kg / 141lbs
• Wages: £100,000 per week (reported)

• Instagram: @keitanabydeco

Keita started his career for a local Guinean club at the age of nine before he moved to French club FC Istres in 2012.

Naby’s career really took off at Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg, where he won two top-flight titles and the Austrian Cup twice between 2014 and 2016.

Keita completed a switch to Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig in a £12m deal and the Guinea international proved a big hit, scoring 17 goals in 71 games in all competitions.

His performances for the German club earned him a £48m move to Liverpool FC. Keita was officially unveiled as a Reds player on 27 June 2018.

Naby has been a regular fixture in the Guinea international team since making his debut in 2012.

Early Career

Naby started his career for his local team in Guinea called Horoya AC.

He moved to French club FC Istres at the age of 17 after Le Mans and Lorient turned down the chance to sign the versatile midfielder.

Naby Keita

(Photo: @keitanabydeco / Instagram)

After 12 months, he was promoted to FC Istres first team and Keita made his debut against Nimes Olympique. Naby got on the score sheet in a 4-2 victory.

Naby finished the 2013-14 season with a respectable four goals in 22 starts and one substitute appearance in Ligue 2.

Unfortunately, Keita and FC Istres were relegated to the Championnat National.

Red Bull Salzburg

Keita moved to Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg from FC Istres in a £1.5m deal in 2014. He made his league debut in a 5-0 win against Wiener Neustadt on 26 July 2014.

Keita opened his account for Salzburg in a 3-1 win at Scottish Premier League club Celtic in the Europa League in November.

Naby scored his first goal in the Austrian Bundesliga in a 2-2 draw with Ried in February 2015.

Naby Keita

(Photo: @keitanabydeco / Instagram)

He finished the season with five league goals (SV Grodig, Sturm Graz, Wiener Neustadt and Ried x2) in 30 top-flight appearances. Naby was part of the Salzburg team that won the Austrian title and the Austrian Cup in 2014-15.

The Guinea international continued to build upon his growing reputation in the 2015-16 season.

Keita contributed 12 goals in 29 games to help Salzburg to retain their Austrian Bundesliga title, and he also helped them to win the Austrian Cup.

RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig signed in an €11m deal from their sister club Red Bull Salzburg in June 2016.

Naby moved to Leipzig following their promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history.

He made an instant impact at the German club with a sensational 89th-minute winner in RB Leipzig’s 1-0 victory over Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund on 10 September 2016.

Naby Keita

(Photo: @keitanabydeco / Instagram)

He scored again in a 4-1 victory at Freiburg to cap an impressive calendar year for the Guinea international.

Naby scored four times in six games in April 2017. Keita found the net against SV Darmstadt, Mainz 05 and Freiburg.

He finished the 2016-17 campaign with eight goals and seven assists in 31 games in the Bundesliga to help RB Leipzig qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Keita was named in the 2016-17 Bundesliga team of the season.

Premier League side Liverpool FC were heavily linked with a move to sign Keita in the 2017 summer transfer window. RB Leipzig were adamant that Naby wouldn’t be allowed to leave the German club in that transfer market.

Liverpool FC reached an agreement to sign Keita in a £48m deal, with the midfielder set to join the Reds at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Keita opened his account for the new season in a 2-0 win at Hamburg on September 8 2017.

He didn’t find the net again until November, when Naby scored his first Champions League goal in a 4-1 win at AS Monaco.

Keita scored three times in four games with strikes against Werder Bremen and Besiktas. Naby continued to chip in with goals in victories over Schalke and Augsburg.

He produced a man of the match performance in a 2-1 win against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich thanks to a goal and an assist.

Naby’s final goal for RB Leipzig came in a 5-2 loss to Hoffenheim.

Keita scored six goals and made five assists in 37 games in all competitions in the 2017-18 season.

Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC officially unveiled Keita as their new signing on 27 June 2018.

Keita put pen to paper on a long-term deal to become their second signing of the 2018 summer transfer window.

The midfielder was handed the number eight shirt to become the first player to occupy the shirt number since Steven Gerrard left Liverpool FC for LA Galaxy in the 2015 summer transfer window.

On wearing the Liverpool FC legend’s shirt number, Keita said: “It was an incredible day for me. He gave me the number eight jersey. When it happened, it was a surprise and I didn’t expect it.

“When he came in, I looked at him and said, ‘wow’ because he is a legend. He is somebody who always showed respect, who gave his all on the pitch, somebody who is loved here.

Naby Keita

(Photo: @keitanabydeco / Instagram)

“If somebody like that gives you his shirt number, it’s not to play around with, it is to try and do as much as he did – that’s my motivation.”

On the role that Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane played in the transfer, Naby added: “I chose Liverpool because it is a team I watched often – and I also spoke a lot about it with Sadio [Mane]. He told me a lot about the team and the club.

“I also spoke with the coach, who told me about the project for the team and that motivated me to be here.”

Keita scored his first goal for Liverpool FC in a 3–1 win against Southampton on 5 April 2019.

Keita was part of the Liverpool FC sides who won the Champions League in 2018-19 and Premier League in 2019-20.

International Career

Keita made his international debut for the Guinea national team on 14 December 2012 against Sierra Leone in a 2014 African Nations Championship qualification match.

He made four appearances for the national side at the 2015 African Cup of Nations. He then featured twice in the 2019 version of the competition.

Naby Keita

(Photo: @keitanabydeco / Instagram)

Personal Life

Keita seems to enjoy keeping his personal life private, with the vast majority of his posts on social media focusing on his football-related activities.

Naby has a younger brother, Petit Keita, who was previously on the books with German club Inter Leipzig.

Keita is believed to remain grounded and close to his family in his native Conakry. He has previously said that if he had not made it as a footballer he would “probably, like my father, repair motorcyles.”

Naby Keita – Did You Know?

• Keita was born in the Guinean capital Conakry in February 1995. He was often seen with his mother, Miriam, selling water on the streets of Conakry during his youth.

• Naby earned a move to Ligue 2 side FC Istres after he impressed at a tournament organised by compatriot and former Celtic defender Bobo Balde in Marseille.

• Born “Naby Laye Keita”, you may have noticed that his middle name has been replaced with “Deco” – believed to be a reference to the former Portuguese midfielder – on the player’s social media channels.

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