Salomon Kalou

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Salomon Kalou
Kalou 2012.jpg
0Full Name Salomon Kalou
0Date of Birth 5 August 1985
0Place of Birth Oumé, Côte d'Ivoire
0Position Forward
0Chelsea career 2006 - 2012
0Debut 13 August 2006
0Games (goals) 254 (60)
0Other clubs Mimosas
Excelsior (loan)

Salomon Kalou (born 5 August 1985 in Oumé, Côte d'Ivoire) is an Ivorian international who played for Chelsea from 2006 until 2012. A forward, at Chelsea he played as a striker or as an advanced winger, usually as part of a front three. Despite many of his Chelsea appearances coming as a substitute he scored several important goals during his time at the club and contributed to multiple trophy wins. He was part of Chelsea's 2009-10 double winning squad, and won the FA Cup three times in his first four seasons at Chelsea, in addition to the League Cup. In 2012 he added a fourth FA Cup win and was a member of Chelsea's UEFA Champions League-winning side, starting in both matches.


Before Chelsea

Just like his older brother, Kalou started his career at Mimosas in his native Ivory Coast. After having spent his youth years at Mimosas, Kalou moved to Europe and joined the Dutch club Feyernoord in 2003. Initially he was loaned out to another Dutch club Excelsior, having found opportunities difficult to come by in the first team. However, in the next two seasons at Feyernoord he excelled, scoring 39 goals in all competitions. He was honoured with the Johan Cruyff Award for Young Talent in 2004-05 for his impressive performance that season, in which he netted 20 goals in the Dutch Eredivisie.

During his time at Feyernoord then Dutch coach, Marco Van Basten, liked him so much so, that he asked him to try to obtain Dutch citizenship so he could be picked to play in the World Cup in Germany for them. Later, Kalou commented on the situation in an interview,

‘I had been in Holland for four years but you needed to be there for five years to become a Dutch citizen,’ says Kalou. It was a very exciting time. Van Basten was voted the best player in the world three times and he wanted me to be a member of his World Cup squad. [1]

His application was rejected by the Dutch Government and Kalou wasn't able to participate in the 2006 World Cup. After this controversy, Kalou decided to move to England and sign for the Blues, and in the process gave up the chance to acquire Dutch Citizenship, as he had to remain in Holland for another year to get the citizenship. At that time it was said that, he was supposedly convinced by Mourinho to give up the Dutch Citizenship to move to Chelsea, a fact which he later goes on to confirm by saying,

‘I was told I would have to wait another year for citizenship and I was prepared to do that until I met Mourinho,’ he says. ‘Chelsea were interested and I went to see Mourinho in a London hotel.‘But from the moment I met Mourinho I wanted to play for him. He knew things about my game even I hadn’t been aware of. He started to tell me how to improve my game. Do this, don’t do that. “Have you been following me?” I said. “Of course I have,” he replied. [2]

Chelsea career

Kalou moved to Chelsea on 30 May 2006, for an undisclosed fee, believed to be approximately £9,000,000. He signed a three year contract.

Former Chelsea manager José Mourinho praised the young Ivorian as being hardworking, versatile, eager to improve, and unafraid of the physical side of the game. Kalou later admitted that he brought a camera with him to his first training session at Chelsea's training centre at Cobham because he could not believe that he was going to be rubbing shoulders with famous footballers like Michael Ballack, John Terry, and Didier Drogba.[3] Describing the experience, Kalou said: "This was the dream moment of my life and I did not want to wake up and find that it was not real."


Kalou scored his first goals for Chelsea in a reserve game against Portsmouth, bagging a hat trick and the match ball in a 5-0 thrashing. Kalou scored his first senior goal for Chelsea in a two-goal win over Blackburn Rovers in the third round of the League Cup.

He scored his first Premiership goal in December 2006 in Chelsea's 3-2 victory over Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium. He scored his second Premiership goal against Blackburn Rovers in Chelsea's 3-0 win. He also scored a 93rd minute winner against Watford, with the only goal of a 1-0 victory. He also scored a volleyed goal from 12 yards against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup Quarter-Final, which ended 3-3. Chelsea won the replay 2-1, before progressing to the final with a similar scoreline against Blackburn Rovers. Kalou also came on as a substitute in the 2007 FA Cup Final win over Manchester United for his second trophy in his first season in England, having earlier come on as a substitute for Chelsea in the 2007 League Cup Final victory over Arsenal.


Kalou continued his good form into the following season, scoring his first goal of the campaign against Manchester City in Chelsea's 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge and the opening goal against Derby County in a 2-0 win. The 2007-08 League Cup quarter final saw Kalou take up the right wing position of two wing players (the other being Scott Sinclair) of a 4-3-2-1 formation. Kalou made lots of chances for himself and his team-mates; including a very precise left-footed cross, resulting in a Shevchenko headed goal. He thereafter scored crucial goals against Newcastle United and Fulham, before adding to his tally against West Ham United, Olympiacos and Derby County. His last minute cross into the penalty area led to John Arne Riise scoring the own goal in the UEFA Champion's League Semi-final first leg against Liverpool at Anfield, which gave Chelsea a vital away goal. Kalou also scored with Chelsea's sixth penalty in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final in Moscow, with Chelsea eventually losing the shootout.


He did not feature much under Avram Grant's successor, Luiz Felipe Scolari except for in pre-season, because of his participation in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as part of the Ivory Coast U-23 team. However he came on off the bench against Manchester United on 21 September 2008 and scored a header after 80 minutes from a John Obi Mikel free kick. The goal ensured that Chelsea secured a point and kept their long-running unbeaten home record. Kalou then scored two goals and assisted a Frank Lampard header on 18 October 2008 in Chelsea's 5-0 win at Middlesbrough. He again scored two goals against Middlesbrough, this time at Stamford Bridge on 28 January 2009 in Chelsea's 2-0 win and appeared regularly under interim manager Guus Hiddink. On 25 April 2009, he scored the winner against West Ham United, before going on to secure his second FA Cup Winners' medal in the Final against Everton, as an unused substitute.


Kalou and Chelsea began the season in winning form; beating Manchester United to lift the 2009 FA Community Shield, with Kalou scoring the winning penalty to celebrate his birthday during the same week. Kalou scored his first goal of the 2009-10 season against Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge in the 3rd round of the League Cup, earning his team a deserved 1-0 victory. On 12 October 2009, Kalou signed a new 3 year contract extension with Chelsea, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2012.[4] He celebrated his new contract with an excellent brace against Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, helping Chelsea maintain their 100% record in the competition. Kalou continued his good form scoring a header in the 4-0 win against Bolton Wanderers in the League Cup. He also netted in the Blues' League Cup loss to Blackburn Rovers, but it was to be his last goal for two months, as he struggled to aquire game-time, until he broke the duck against Cardiff City in the FA Cup on 13 February.

On 24 February 2010, he scored against Internazionale in the UEFA Champions League second round first leg. His shot from outside the box was tame but an error from Inter 'keeper Julio Cesar allowed the ball to find the back of the net. Chelsea lost the leg 2-1, but Kalou's goal provided a much needed away goal for Chelsea, though it couldn't prevent the Londoners losing the tie. He netted a goal in the Premier League for the first time since September 2009 on 27 March 2010, in Chelsea's 7-1 win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge. In Chelsea's 7-0 win over Stoke City on 25 April, Kalou netted a hat trick, and he scored Chelsea's third of eight goals on the last day of the season against Wigan Athletic, as the Blues clinched the Premier League title for the first time in four years. He then started in an FA Cup Final for the first time, playing for 70 minutes in a 1-0 victory, as Chelsea clinched the double against Portsmouth at Wembley.


Kalou started the season in goalscoring form, scoring Chelsea's only goal in the 3-1 Community Shield defeat at Wembley to Manchester United, and scoring two goals against Wigan Athletic in a 6-0 away victory having come off the subsitutes' bench, with both goals assisted by fellow Ivorian Didier Drogba. Goals against West Ham United, Blackpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers followed, before Chelsea's form declined dramatically in November. Kalou scored an equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United, and in January kept Chelsea in the FA Cup with another equaliser, this time against Everton.

Despite demonstrating his ability to score goals, Kalou had never established himself as a first choice striker, and his opportunities were further limited following the signing of Fernando Torres in January. However Kalou did score the day after the Spaniard's signature was secured, in a 4-2 win against Sunderland. He would go on to score three more times over the remainder of the season, bringing his total for the season to 13, with many of his appearances having been as a substitute.


Kalou started the first two matches of the season under new manager André Villas-Boas, but soon fell out of favour. He would start just two further matches under the Portuguese; playing the full match and scoring in the penalty shoot-out in a League Cup tie against Fulham, before starting and scoring in the following round against Everton. As was often the case throughout his Chelsea career Kalou did appear as a substitute on several occasions throughout the period, with mixed fortunes. In a Champions League tie against Valencia he handled in his own area to give away a penalty shortly after coming on towards the end of the match, but he scored in the next round at home against Genk just five minutes after coming on.

At the beginning of the year the Ivorian left to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations, and continued to be used sparingly by Villa-Boas upon his return. However the Portuguese manager was sacked at the start of March and replaced by his assistant Roberto Di Matteo, who would grant Kalou a more prominent role in the first team, although still often as a substitute. Kalou started several games over the remainder of what turned out to be a highly successful season. He scored the only goal of the game in the Champions League quarter-final 1st leg against Benfica; a vital goal that would turn out to be his last for the club. He replaced Juan Mata in both legs of the semi-final against Barcelona, before cementing his place in Chelsea's history by starting in the final itself, playing 84 minutes before being replaced by Fernando Torres.

Kalou left Chelsea in July 2012 upon the expiry of his contact. Despite 107 of his 254 appearances coming as a substitute, he scored 60 goals for Chelsea, making him the 26th highest goalscorer in the club's history at the time.

After Chelsea

Shortly after the expiry of his contract at Chelsea Kalou joined French side Lille. [5]


After attaining Dutch citizenship was no longer an option, Kalou played for his native Côte d'Ivoire, making his debut on 6 February 2007, in a friendly against Guinea. Kalou's first international goal was scored on 21 March 2007 in a friendly against Mauritius, and he went on to represent Côte d'Ivoire at the 2008, 2010 and 2012 African Cup of Nations and the 2010 World Cup, where he scored against North Korea in the group stage. He also represented his country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


See also: List of Salomon Kalou goals
Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2006-07 33 7 7 1 6 1 11 0 1 0 58 9
2007-08 30 7 3 1 4 2 11 1 0 0 48 11
2008-09 27 6 6 2 2 1 8 1 0 0 43 10
2009-10 23 5 4 1 3 3 6 3 1 0 37 12
2010-11 31 10 3 2 1 0 6 0 1 1 42 13
2011-12 12 1 5 1 2 1 7 2 0 0 26 5
Total 156 36 28 8 18 8 49 7 3 1 254 60


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