Transfer Hub

01 Jan 2017


ON THIS DAY: JAN 1 DIARRA JOINS REAL MADRID

JANUARY 1, 2009: LASSANA DIARRA JOINS REAL MADRID FROM PORTSMOUTH FOR £18.8million

France international Diarra officially became a Galactico on New Year's Day 2009 but Portsmouth agreed to the deal which took the defensive midifelder to the Bernabeu Stadium on December 17.

Within five days Diarra was photographed with his new Real Madrid shirt, which revealed a slight change in his name.

He was signed on a four-and-half year contract by coach Juande Ramos to provide cover for injured pair Mahamadou Diarra and Ruben de la Red, who have both been ruled out for the season.

The former Chelsea and Arsenal star was determined that he would not be in the shadow of his namesake, so had LASS written on the back of his No6 shirt.

At the time, Diarra explained: "I don't want to be called Diarra One or Diarra Two. I want to be known as Lass."

Lass went on to make 87 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid, scoring just one goal and providing three assists.

He was part of the Real squad which won the La Liga title under Jose Mourinho in 2011-12 but was not involved in any of the last 10 matches and moved to Anzhi Makhachkala on summer transfer deadline day the following season.

Diarra signed for Locomotive Moscow on a four-year contract just a year later as Anzi sold all their big-name stars as part of a cost-cutting plan. But he was only to stay in the Russian capital for one year.

Things turned sour for Diarra at Lokomotiv in the summer of 2014, when he fell out with head coach Leonid Kuchuk and the club tried to cut his wages. 

Diarra responded by refusing to train and he was dismissed by Lokomotiv in August 2014, who also managed to get FIFA to ban him from playing professionally for another club while their contract dispute remained unresolved.

This resulted in Diarra having to pay Lokomotiv a £6.8million fine and he did not play again for 15 months.

He marked his return to playing by scoring on his debut for current club Olypique Marseille against Troyes on August 23, 2015.

More stories