Saint-Étienne legend Salif Keita passes away at 76

The Malian FA has announced this afternoon that legendary forward Salif Keita has passed away at the age of 76. The country’s sports ministry indicated to AFP later this afternoon that the former Saint-Étienne man had passed away in a private hospital in Bamako.

Keita won the domestic double twice with Les Verts – in 1968 and 1970 – and also won the league title in 1969. He initially joined the club from Real Bamako and would go on to become the recipient of the first African Footballer of the Year award, as first awarded by France Football.

He scored 140 goals in 5 seasons before moving to Marseille in 1972. After a short spell with Les Phocéens, the striker had three-year stints at Valencia and then Sporting CP, and then closed out his career across the pond with NASL side New England Tea Men.

Saint-Étienne paid tribute to their legend before their match against Valenciennes this afternoon at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. The ten-time Ligue 1 winners were also honouring another late legend in attacking midfielder Georges Bereta, who passed away at the start of July.


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