Salomon Kalou

Salomon Kalou Biography

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2006 by A-Z Players Directory
    Salomon Kalou Biography
Salomon Kalou (born August 5, 1985 in Oumé, Côte d'Ivoire) is an Ivorian football player, who currently plays for Chelsea and formerly for the Dutch club Feyenoord Rotterdam.

He is a forward, but he is also capable of playing on the wing. He has a preference for playing on the left wing as this gives him opportunities to cut inside and take shots with his right foot (which is his favoured foot). However, he can also put in fairly accurate crosses.

Career in the Netherlands
AJ Auxerre coach Guy Roux wanted to sign him to unite him with his brother, and former Feyenoord Rotterdam player, Bonaventure Kalou. However, Kalou signed for Excelsior Rotterdam, Feyenoord Rotterdam's 'satellite club'.

Kalou scored 15 goals in 11 appearances for Excelsior in 2002-2003. He was 'promoted' to Feyenoord and played in the Dutch top flight for three seasons from 2003 to 2006.

Failure to acquire Dutch citizenship
Kalou received much media attention regarding his possible naturalization as a Dutch citizen which, if granted, would allow him to play for the Netherlands national football team. Having never played for the Côte d'Ivoire team, he would be eligible for the Dutch team if he was naturalized. His brother Bonaventure had advised him to pursue foreign citizenship after experiencing regular problems with the Côte d'Ivoire football authorities.

The Dutch national team head coach, Marco van Basten, regards Kalou as a great talent, so an official application was quickly made. However the Minister of Immigration Rita Verdonk was opposed to considering Kalou for an accelerated naturalization process.

Van Basten, keen to show Kalou's worth to the Dutch team, obtained support from influential football figures, including the legendary Johan Cruijff. Despite general agreement among football pundits that Kalou would be valuable for the Dutch team, Verdonk rejected a request for reconsideration.

Kalou appealed the decision and took the matter to a court of law, gaining a victory on December 9 2005 when the judge ordered Verdonk to re-consider whether or not Kalou could be considered for accelerated naturalization. Verdonk has decided to appeal, placing the matter before the Council of State. Kalou has since then publicly stated he has given up hope of ever attaining the Dutch nationality.

For the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Netherlands and Côte d'Ivoire were allocated to the same group in the first round. If Kalou had become a Dutch citizen and was selected for the Netherlands, he could have played against his native country and possibly against his own brother.

Kalou's failure to acquire Dutch citizenship was a factor in his decision to leave Feyenoord for Chelsea.

He has been named in the Côte d'Ivoire national squad on a number of occasions, However he rejected all call ups until February 6th 2007 when he finally made his Cote d'Ivoire debut in the friendly against Guinea, where the Elephants ran out 1-0 winners.

Centraal Beheer commercial
The process of Kalou's naturalization became the theme of a shortly-lived television commercial of Centraal Beheer. In the commercial of April 2006, a character representing Kalou is depicted as becoming a naturalized citizen, not of the Netherlands, but of Germany.

This was a reference to Angolan-born forward Nando Rafael, now of Borussia Moenchengladbach, who, after failing to acquire Dutch citizenship while at Ajax Amsterdam, moved to German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin, became a German citizen, and represented Germany at Under-21 level.

Kalou was not amused with this commercial, and with copyright law at his hands, the commercial was removed from Dutch television within a week.

Chelsea
Kalou moved to Chelsea on May 30, 2006, for an undisclosed fee, thought to be between 8 to 10 million pounds. He is under contract to Chelsea until 2009. Kalou was handed the number 21 jersey at Chelsea for pre-season friendly games. He will keep this shirt number for the season.

Chelsea manager José Mourinho has spoken highly of Kalou, praising the young Ivorian as being hardworking, versatile, eager to improve, and unafraid of the physical side of the game. Kalou himself admitted while he still gets 'overwhelmed' at the prospect of training with such luminaries of world football as Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard, he is determined to learn as much as he can and improve his game.

According to Soccernet, Kalou revealed that he idolises French forward Thierry Henry, of Arsenal F.C., and tries to imitate Henry's moves in his free time. His admiration of Henry is a factor in his decision to play in the FA Premier League. However, Kalou insists that he will not have any fear of Henry should he face Henry on the pitch.

At Chelsea, Kalou may earn the chance to be the strike partner of his compatriot, Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba. 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. Scott Sinclair scored the other two goals in the game. Kalou scored his first senior goal for Chelsea in a 2 goal win over Blackburn Rovers in the third round of the Carling Cup.

Kalou 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 in Chelsea's 3-0 win at Ewood Park.

Trivia
Throughout the 2006/2007 FA Premier League season, Chelsea fans began chanting "Kalouuuuuuu" (done as a low, rumbling sound) whenever the young striker successfully beat a player or shot at goal. In more recent games, the chant started almost as soon as Kalou came near the ball, to his own amusement.
source: wikipedia.org
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