Kalidou Koulibaly is moving to Chelsea from Napoli for a fee in the region of €40 million. After the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona earlier this summer, Thomas Tuchel’s side is looking to bolster their defensive options.
Koulibaly was born in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France, on June 20, 1991, to Senegalese parents. For five years, his father toiled seven days a week at a Senegalese textile mill, never taking weekends off, until he had collected enough money to send his mother to France. It’s worth noting that he grew up in the town of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges “Everybody becomes your brother when you’re raised in such a household.” said Koulibaly in an interview. To put it another way, Koulibaly thinks that growing up in a multicultural environment had a significant impact on his childhood.
Koulibaly began his professional career with SR Saint-development Dié’s team, where he spent two seasons in the Championnat de France Amateur 2 before joining Metz’s training program on 1 July 2009. A 5–4 penalty shootout victory over Sochaux gave Metz’s under-19 team a Coupe Gambardella triumph during Koulibaly’s time there. Also in the Championnat de France Amateur, he appeared in 15 games for the club’s amateur team, who won the league with 107 points.
First professional contract: Koulibaly signed a one-year deal prior to the start of the 2010–11 season with FC Metz. New manager Dominique Bijotat then promoted him to the senior team and eventually on August 20, 2010, Koulibaly made his professional debut against Vannes in a league match.
Napoli signed Koulibaly on a five-year deal worth an estimated £6.5 million on July 2, 2014. Napoli drew 1–1 with Athletic Bilbao in a UEFA Champions League play-off round qualifier on August 19, 2014, when he made his debut. Ultimately, Napoli were eliminated from the competition after dropping the second leg by a score of 3–1.