Il aura marqué l’histoire avec l’Impact de Montréal et ce sera son dernier grand moment de football. Le jour de son anniversaire, à 30 ans, Bakary Soumaré met un terme à sa carrière footballistique via une publication Instagram. Cet imposant défenseur central, au salaire proportionnel, était un joueur respecté en MLS mais les blessures chroniques auront eu raison de lui.

30. When the birthday cards began arriving in my mailbox a few days ago, I stared at the number, incredulously. My 20s — where had they gone? Time is passing too quickly. Until this week, birthdays for me were nearly always a time for celebrating the moment; rarely were they marked by reflection, much less consideration of the future. Today is different. As I turn 30 today, I wanted to take this opportunity to officially announce my retirement from soccer at the end of this season. Recent health setbacks have made this a necessity. But while I make the decision with conviction, it is one that has sparked a great deal of personal and professional reflection along with enthusiasm for what lies ahead. Soccer — football to some of you — has provided me with an abundance of good fortune and riches, far behind what any child born in Mali, West Africa in 1985 could have imagined. From the first days that I arrived in New York City as a child with my adoptive family, to an island that had barely enough land for soccer fields, I received unconditional support and guidance from my family and coaches. In particular, Dave Masur and John Diffley at St. Johns University played significant roles in my athletic development as my dream of playing professional soccer matured into a reality. Soccer has carried me far beyond the tiny village of Soueina where I was born. And for nearly my entire adult life, the game has provided me with a wealth of privileges — traveling the world, representing my country, performing before amazing crowds of fans and foreign dignitaries, all while earning a very generous living — but none greater than meeting the scores of people along the way who inspired and befriended me. As I reflect on my career, I am overwhelmed by memories that I will cherish forever: hearing my name called at the 2007 MLS draft; signing with French Ligue 1, the very league I grew up watching on television as a child; feeling butterflies while singing Mali’s national anthem during World Cup qualifiers; playing for Bundesliga-side Karlsruhe and their magnificent fans; the contagious spirit of Chicago’s Section 8 members…

Une vidéo publiée par Baky Soumare (@bakysoumare) le

Bakary Soumare aura été international malien a 13 reprises et aura joué en Europe, notamment à Karlsruher SC en Allemagne et à l’US Boulogne  en France.

Au total, Bakary Soumaré aura disputé 148 matchs en MLS avec quatre franchises différentes. C’est au Chicago Fire de Frank Klopas où il aura le plus évolué et c’est au FC Dallas qu’il terminera sa carrière, malheureusement sans y avoir disputé le moindre match.

« Baky » aura participé à la belle aventure montréalaise de la Ligue des Champions avant d’être échangé au FC Dallas en retour de Kyle Bekker. Sans sa prise de bec avec la direction technique du club, le colosse malien serait en train de danser Ekotité avec Didier Drogba.

Attachant, généreux et volontaire, le meilleur ami de Laurent Ciman aura néanmoins laissé un bon souvenir dans la Belle Province. Merci Baky et bon vent dans ta carrière de spécialiste en aménagement paysager.

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