17.11.2021Bayer 04

Diaby thanks youth team club: 'The people there mean a lot to me'

He has made his way from a small club in Paris to the France national team: Werkself player Moussa Diaby made his 04th international appearance on Tuesday night, 16 November. The 22-year-old was in the Les Blues side away to Finland with the game kicking off at 20.45 CET putting him on the opposite side to his Leverkusen teammate Lukas Hradecky. Ahead of the last match in the World Cup qualifiers, with Diaby and Co. already certain of progress, the winger recalls his start in football – and it caught up with him again a few days ago at the BayArena.

Review: In the fourth group match in the Europa League, the top Spanish club Real Betis were the visitors at Leverkusen. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw with the Werkself securing a convincing 4-0 victory in the second meeting on their own turf. The man of the match: Moussa Diaby. The lightning fast left-footer was inspired and it was directly involved in all four goals (two goals, two assists).

The three-time full international spoke emotionally after the game about a visit from special guests from his hometown in France who gave him additional motivation against the team from Andalusia and also provided a link to the club from the French capital.

Moussa, there were a lot of fans in the stands with your shirt on at the Europa League home game against Real Betis at the BayArena – what was that about?

Diaby: They were young youth players from my youth team club Espérance Paris 19. They had a friendly against the Bayer 04 U11s in the afternoon and were at the stadium in the evening to watch the match. It's a great story for me because the kids come from the same part of Paris that I came from.

What connection do you still have with Espérance Paris 19?

Diaby: It was my first club were I started playing football as a young child. I grew up there, absorbed my basic football knowledge and I have the lot to thank the club for because of that. They played their part in me being at Bayer 04 today.

How did it come about that the people came to Leverkusen?

Diaby:  I invited them. It was important for me to do something good for the youth players of my old club. A lot of the kids were watching their first professional much live at a stadium. And everybody was very happy in the end with the 4-0 victory – the parents and the children.


What was it like seeing so many shirts at once with your name on. That must be rather unusual?

Diaby: Yes, of course, it is absolutely unusual to see so many shirts with your name on in one place. The special thing about it is that the people really mean so much to me. It makes me proud and happy that they've travelled to Germany to see me play. That gave me a boost and helped me to produce a good performance, support the team and make people happy.

Even better that you succeeded in providing two goals and two assists in this match.

Diaby: Yes, totally. Of course, my two goals and assists make me happy – above all there are also important for my team. And as I said: I've also got to thank the people in the stands to a certain extent for my performance. I'm very happy – for them and for me too.

HERE are some emotional images on the night...


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