Amadou Haidara of Leipzig stated, “I admired Yaya Touré and Steven Gerrard.”

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By Creative Media News

When remembering the good old days, Amadou Haidara grins. The RB Leipzig midfielder recalls playing football on the streets of Bamako, meeting friends at the prestigious JMG academy, and leaving Mali to pursue his ambition of becoming a professional footballer. “I was 18,” Haidara says. “It was difficult leaving my family. However, it was necessary to exert effort. You must make sacrifices to achieve your objectives.”

The Mali international wanted nothing to stand in his path. As a youth, Haidara was so eager to assist his teammates that he attempted to play through a knee injury in a crucial youth match. “I experienced the pain,” he says. “But it was wrong for my squad to play without me. As my knees continued to swell, the coach eventually pulled me off the field. I was in tears since I was unable to assist my comrades. It was very difficult to observe them from a distance.”

Amadou haidara of leipzig stated, "i admired yaya touré and steven gerrard. "
Amadou haidara of leipzig stated, "i admired yaya touré and steven gerrard. "

Leipzig’s hopes of advancing to the round of 16 in the Champions League hinge on Wednesday’s away match against Shakhtar Donetsk. Last week, Leipzig stunned Real Madrid by a score of 3-2, which must have made overcoming these challenges worthwhile. “Beating Real is a significant deal,” adds Haidara, though he is not getting ahead of himself. “We still have one match remaining. We have to keep working.”

Such precision is characteristic of Haidara, who had been with Leipzig for a year when they reached the Champions League semifinals in 2020. When he was younger, the 24-year-old carefully considered his future professional route. After playing a significant role in Mali’s journey to the 2015 Under-17 World Cup final, several European clubs were interested, but RB Salzburg made the most appealing offer.

Steven gerrard
Amadou haidara of leipzig stated, "i admired yaya touré and steven gerrard. "

Before signing with Salzburg, Haidara stayed there for a week. “I observed that the club was unique. I noticed that they shaped not only the athlete but also his personality. I already had a solid friend in the academy, Diadie Samassékou. I knew it was a club that would allow me to play and develop.”

Haidara first met Marco Rose, the manager of Leipzig, in Salzburg’s youth program. Rose guided the Austrian club’s youth squad to the 2017 Uefa Youth League championship and was afterward promoted to first-team manager. “Marco and I have accomplished much together,” says Haidara. “Marco is a manager who fosters the growth of young players. He makes the effort to speak with and listen to them.”

After a 4-1 home loss to Shakhtar in the Bundesliga’s Champions League opener, Leipzig fired Domenico Tedesco and hired J.J. Rose as their new head coach.

“The beginning was difficult, but we felt we could do better,” recalls Haidara. The new coach arrived and engaged us in a lengthy conversation. If we were to have a chance of remaining in the Champions League, he showed us numerous movies and explained what we would need.

“He gives us the confidence to play. If we have possession of the ball, we can be inventive. In terms of strategy, he gives us sound advice. When we lose the ball, he gives us a substantial amount of work. We enjoy pressing. He also just makes us believe in ourselves. He expects us to defeat formidable opponents.

Haidara, who identifies as a box-to-box midfielder, has always possessed confidence. Jean-Marc Guillou, a former France international, founded the JMG academy, which has multiple bases across Africa. Yaya Touré, a former midfielder for Barcelona, Manchester City, and Ivory Coast is a famous graduate, and Haidara’s acceptance was a pivotal event in its development.

“We were children, but they taught us how to be adults, become disciplined, and become players,” he says. “It was enjoyable. I still speak with my former teammates about our time together. It made me more resilient.”

Former teammates of Haidara include Cheick Doucouré of Crystal Palace, Yves Bissouma of Tottenham, and Mohamed Camara of Monaco. The competition was stiff, and Haidara had to exert great effort. He desired to return the confidence of his parents.

“Initially, it was difficult for my parents because I was so little,” Haidara explains. “They pondered education and what my life would be like if I did not become a professional. The academy stated that I would be able to concentrate on my schoolwork while also receiving daily training at a high level.

“My parents have always been encouraging. For them, I needed to remain in school since anything can happen in football. They were nonetheless always there for me. They only desired that I recognize right from wrong and develop into a nice person.”

Haidara has not lost touch with his roots and has helped build a health center in Kéla, south of Bamako. “It is in a nearby small town,” he explains. “They do not have access to hospitals, so if something awful occurs in this town, the outcome is uncertain. The center is still under development, so let’s hope it will be finished soon.

Additionally, Haidara’s organization has assisted in establishing summer football camps for children in Bamako. Players in Mali participated in one event. “It was a very special experience to see the youngsters playing and knowing I could organize something like this – to give them the gift of football,” says Haidara.

“The camp in Bamako was a tremendous success, and Orange became a partner and brought a few children to competition in Morocco. We reached the final. We ultimately lost, but we were there.

“It was great to see the children smiling and dreaming and to know I could help them. I am aware of how brutal and challenging life can be in Mali. It is difficult to live there, yet as a professional, I can make these children smile.”

In these camps, perhaps the next Haidara will arise. The individual understands what it means to have heroes. “I adored Yaya Touré,” he declares. “He was equally adept with and without the ball. I likewise adored Steven Gerrard. Everything he accomplished was fantastic.

I enjoy watching his videos and attempting to learn from his game. There are now also players. Marco Verratti is an incredible ball player. Casemiro is excellent. But I must examine myself and act like the player I am.”

In the summer, Haidara was linked to a move to the Premier League, but he dismissed the rumors. “A couple of my close buddies play there,” he explains. “However, I’m currently in Leipzig, where I’m working hard to maintain my progress.

Premier League matches are quite fierce. It’s always a good game, regardless of whatever club is competing. We will see what transpires. But I’m pleased with Leipzig.”

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