Having won numerous league titles in France and Spain, and with considerable experience for club and country, the February 2012 arrival of Mahamadou Diarra at Craven Cottage was met with much optimism – and rightly so.
For those familiar with the European game, the imposing Mali international will be a recognisable figure, having been a driving force in the midfields of both Olympique Lyonnais and Real Madrid – who paid a reported 26 million euros for his signature in August 2006.
Four Ligue 1 titles in his four seasons at Stade de Gerland and two La Liga triumphs in his four-and-a-half terms at the Santiago Bernabéu serve as a huge indication of his impact on the continent, having previously played for OFI Crete and Dutch side Vitesse, and underline his credentials as an undoubtedly talented central midfielder.
The player showed flashes of his quality last term, moving the Club to extend his short-term contract until the summer of 2013. Having found his feet, even more is expected from this cultured performer during the 2012/13 campaign.
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