Brother’s support fuelling Diarra’s drive

Aguissa after been voted as player of the macth 2

Mali forward Agueissa Diarra is blessed with qualities of a striker - dribbling skills, great conversion rate and dead-ball specialist.  

The 21-year old looks up to Argentina and Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, also her favourite player. However she counts the support of her elder brother as the biggest inspiration towards her ambition to reach the top.

In a society where women receive little or no backing to participate in sports, Diarra is very grateful for her brother’s push since the beginning of her career.

“My passion has grown because my elder brother motivates me continuously. He wakes me up early every morning to join him for trainings which inspires me a lot to train harder. Also, he has taught me to play easy and show my skills during games and help my team to win matches,” she told CAFOnline.com.

“My passion has grown because my elder brother motivates me continuously. He wakes me up early every morning to join him for trainings which inspires me a lot to train harder. Also, he has taught me to play easy and show my skills during games and help my team to win matches,” Agueissa Diarra

Diarra started playing football in the Malian capital city, Bamako at a tender age of six. While in school, she featured for local side, Girls Super Club, before joining local giants, Super Lionnes in 2015.

The same year, she was a member of the Mali squad that took part in the continental qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. After drawing a bye at the preliminary round, ‘Les Aiglons’ came up against Equatorial Guinea at the First Round losing 4-0 on aggregate, with Diarra featuring in both legs.

She graduated to the senior team, and played a bit part in their campaign at the Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2018, where the Malians finished fourth, the best ever outing in the history of the flagship women’s competition.

Having played second fiddle to compatriot Bassira Toure, who sealed a groundbreaking move to Spanish side Malaga in 2019, Diarra bid her time and didn’t disappoint when the moment came. She finished topscorer at the WAFU ‘A’ Women’s Championship in Sierra Leone last March with seven goals including a hat-trick in the 6-0 triumph of Gambia at the group stage.

“This is a big achievement for me and women’s football development particularly in Africa. I’m excited to win my first international award. My hopes are now high and I’m hoping to sign a contract with a bigger club from Europe or elsewhere.”

Aguissa Diarra in action

Disappointment stared in the face of Diarra and her teammates, touted as the best team, after losing 3-0 to Senegal in the final. Despite the defeat, she counts a lot of positives from the regional tournament, and is hoping to replicate their performance in the qualifiers for the 2020 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

“Each game I play, I want to score and when I don’t, I become sad. My target is to excel with my national team,” Diarra cried after missing out on a major championship title.

‘Les Aiglons’ are due to face either Senegal or Liberia at the Final Round of the qualifier. Having beaten Liberia (3-0) at the group stage of the WAFU Women’s Championship, Diarra is looking forward to avenging the loss to Senegal, should they emerge as opponents of the First Round contest with Liberia.

Mali has appeared at the continental finals seven times - 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016 and 2018, with their fourth place in 2018 their best performance.