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Arouna Koné

Arouna Koné (born 11 November 1983) is an Côte d'Ivoire Association football who plays for Levante UD on loan from Sevilla FC in Spain, as a Forward (association football) Striker.

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Arouna Koné biography


Arouna Koné (born 11 November 1983) is an Côte d'Ivoire Association football who plays for Levante UD on loan from Sevilla FC in Spain, as a Forward (association football) Striker.

Club career

Early years

Born in Anyama, Koné started Arouna Koné football career with Rio Sport d'Anyama, a club based in Arouna Koné hometown. The club's president, Amidou Sylla, is said to be the guidance behind making Arouna Koné the player Arouna Koné later became.

In 2002–03 Belgian First Division, aged just 18, Koné signed for Lierse S.K in Belgium, being the team's top scorer at it finished fifth. Arouna Koné moved to the neighbouring Netherlands in the following off-season and joined Roda JC, scoring in double digits in two consecutive Eredivisie seasons, including a career-best 15 in 2004–05 Eredivisie.

PSV

Koné continued in Holland and joined national powerhouse PSV Eindhoven in the 2005 summer, netting 11 goals in 2005–06 Eredivisie, and nine in the first part of 2006–07 Eredivisie, partnering well up front with Peruvian Jefferson Farfán. Arouna Koné also proved crucial in the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League, scoring a vital winner in the 2–1 away success against Galatasaray S.K. (football team); Arouna Koné successful 2006 finished on a high note, as Arouna Koné was nominated for the Ivorian Football of the Year award, an accolade eventually won by Didier Drogba.

During the January 2007 transfer window, Koné was linked with a number of moves away from PSV, with the likes of Aston Villa F.C. and FC Shakhtar Donetsk vying for Arouna Koné services. In May, after several weeks sidelined due to injury, Arouna Koné picked Arouna Koné second consecutive national championship-winners medal.

Koné endured a difficult start to PSV's 2007–08 Eredivisie: due to a date mix-up, Arouna Koné returned late to pre-season training following a holiday in Arouna Koné country, thus missing out on valuable time to prepare for the new campaign. Added to this, the player was struck down with malaria at the end of July 2007, In August, it was announced that Arouna Koné had returned to training following Arouna Koné health scare, and was expected to be fit in time for the team's first league game against Heracles Almelo on the 19th. Arouna Koné also immediately returned to international duty.

On 20 August 2007, rumours surfaced that Scout (sport) from Premier League side Middlesbrough F.C. had been observing Koné, and that a Pound sterling6 million bid for Arouna Koné services was being prepared. The following day, news surfaced that La Liga outfit and UEFA Europa League 2006–07 UEFA Cup Sevilla FC were locked in talks with PSV to secure Arouna Koné services, with negotiations apparently at an "advanced" stage.

Sevilla

On 30 August 2007, Sevilla FC confirmed on its official website the signing of Koné for the next five years. The Spain club reportedly paid the Philips outfit a fee of Euro12 million. On 12 September, Arouna Koné was finally presented to the media, having been assigned the number 22 shirt. The delay from Arouna Koné signing to Arouna Koné unveiling led to rumours that there were problems with the Ivorian's health – in particular Arouna Koné heart. However, Koné was quick to dispel such talk, with the real reason being due to the death of Sevilla player Antonio Puerta a few days previously - the midfielder eventually died in hospital.

Koné spoke about Arouna Koné ambitions for Arouna Koné latest move, stating: "I know the team and I know that they have won many things in recent years, but I hope to be able to help them to win even more."
At Arouna Koné unveiling, club president José María del Nido commented that Koné was 'one of the best attackers in the world' and with the Ivorian in their ranks, the Andalusians had the strongest side in the club's history. Arouna Koné made Arouna Koné league debut on 16 September, as a second-half Substitute (association football) for Frédéric Kanouté in a 4–1 win against Recreativo de Huelva. In the game, Arouna Koné won a Penalty kick, but fellow striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov failed to convert; following the game, Arouna Koné commented that Arouna Koné felt fellow African Kanouté was one of the "best forwards in the world" and looked forward to striking up an attacking partnership with him.

On 25 September 2007, Koné opened Arouna Koné scoring account for Sevilla, helping the team come from behind 0–2 against RCD Espanyol to tie it 2–2, in an eventual 2–3 home loss. On 2 October, Arouna Koné netted Arouna Koné first UEFA Champions League goal for the club in a 4–2 2007–08 UEFA Champions League against SK Slavia Prague, after only ten minutes on the pitch.

In April 2008 it was reported that Koné was to be shown the door at Sevilla in the summer of 2008, after a disappointing 2007–08 La Liga. Arouna Koné lack of playing time, partly due to the form of Luís Fabiano and Kanouté, and a bust-up on the training ground with a member of the training staff that was caught on Spanish television, made for some intense speculation about the player's future. Additionally, a trip to Rome to supposedly visit a brother, fueled reports that Arouna Koné would be making the switch to Serie A when the summer transfer window begun.

Koné was expected to be more important in 2008–09 La Liga for Sevilla following the departure of Kerzhakov to FC Dynamo Moscow, but suffered a serious injury while playing for Côte d'Ivoire against Guinea national football team on 20 August 2008. A scan showed Arouna Koné had suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in Arouna Koné left leg, and Arouna Koné underwent surgery to repair the damage the following week, returning to training in February 2009.

Subsequently, Koné fell out of favour at Sevilla, with fellow top-divisioner Real Zaragoza being a likely destination. In December 2009, it was reported that Birmingham City F.C., Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Hull City A.F.C. and Burnley F.C. had also joined the race.

On 1 February 2010, Koné left Sevilla and joined Hannover 96 on loan until 30 June. Arouna Koné scored on Arouna Koné Fußball-Bundesliga debut, a 1–2 away loss against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Koné only appeared once for Sevilla in 2010–11 La Liga, one minute against Villarreal CF. For 2011–12 La Liga Arouna Koné was loaned to Levante UD, starting often and scoring Arouna Koné first goal of the campaign on 18 September 2011, in a famous 1–0 home win over Real Madrid C.F..

International career

Koné played for the Mama Ouattara-led Côte d'Ivoire national under-20 football team in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, alongside Lierse teammate where Arouna Koné starred alongside Lierse team mate Adolphe Tohoua. Arouna Koné scored three goals in the tournament - once against Mexico national under-20 football team in a 2–1 win, and twice in the 2–2 draw against the Republic of Ireland national under-21 football team - in an eventual Single-elimination tournament exit, and the official FIFA website declared Arouna Koné to be a "crucial pivot for the attacking thrust" of the Ivorian team, and described Arouna Koné as a player possessing "physical strength, aerial ability and good ball control".

Koné made Arouna Koné debut for the Côte d'Ivoire national football team in March 2004 against tunisia national football team. Arouna Koné was selected for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, scoring once as the Elephants finished runners-up to hosts Egypt national football team.

Koné was also picked for the squad that appeared at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, a first-ever for the African nation. Arouna Koné replaced Abdul Kader Keïta in the 77th minute of the first game, a 1–2 loss against Argentina national football team, and started in the other two - going scoreless in the process - as the national team did not make it to the knockout stages.

Koné was named in the Ivorian squad for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, being a backup in an eventual fourth-place finish. On 8 October 2006, in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, Arouna Koné scored a hat-trick in a 5–0 home win against Gabon national football team.

International goals


Club statistics


Honours

PSV
- Eredivisie: 2005–06 Eredivisie, 2006–07 Eredivisie
- KNVB Cup: Runner-up 2005–06 KNVB Cup

Personal life

Koné is a practising muslim. Arouna Koné prays five times a day, and also wears the traditional West African Islamic dress, the Boubou (clothing), on holidays and on Fridays – the Islamic day of public worship.

On 21 August 2007, Koné became a father after Arouna Koné wife gave birth to the couple's first child – a boy named Amidou. Arouna Koné stated that both mother and child were doing well and that Arouna Koné was absolutely delighted.

Koné's older brother, Bakari Koné, is also a footballer and a forward. Arouna Koné played several years in France and also represented the Ivorian national team. A younger sibling, Karamoko Koné, played youth football for Roda.

Koné also sends a portion of Arouna Koné wages to Arouna Koné mother and family in Arouna Koné country. Speaking of Arouna Koné success in football and Arouna Koné support of Arouna Koné family, Arouna Koné is quoted as saying: "In Africa the solidarity for your family is very large. My father died when I was nine years old. My mother and my family have spent many years with difficulty. I am glad that I am now able support them."

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arouna_Kon%c3%a9

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