Ligue 1: who is Sékou Mara, the young striker who delivered Bordeaux against Rennes?


Sékou Mara made himself known to the general public by offering a capital victory to the Girondins for the maintenance, last Sunday, against Rennes (1-0), at only 18 years old. The son of journalist Audrey Crespo-Mara is a great hope for the Bordeaux club.


He celebrated his first professional goal for his first tenure on the forecourt of Matmut Atlantique, last Sunday, against Rennes (1-0), during the 35th day of Ligue 1. Microphone in hand with the young guard of the Girondins, songs of celebration and total communion with Bordeaux supporters relieved to have been sheltered by a young 18-year-old player. Sékou Mara had already come into play four times with his training club but had only 71 cumulative minutes of play in L1 when he scored his capital goal. For his first tenure, he allowed Bordeaux to win their first league match since March 14.

After being spotted by PSG at 8, he joined ACBB before joining INF Clairefontaine. Its potential catches the eye of the Girondins, Lyon, Monaco and Rennes. It is Mara who decides to join Bordeaux who has been flirting with him since he was 10 years old. “He has the Girondins in his heart, confirms Yannick Stopyra, in charge of recruiting the training center. The hardest part is to start with the pros. Sékou, we are very proud of it because he is very promising.”


“A head game like I have rarely seen”

Modern striker, capable of scoring with both feet, of taking space, Sékou Mara squats in the youth teams in U16, U17 and now U19. “He especially has a head game as rarely I have seen, continues Stopyra. It was not all easy for him, he did not play all the time. At the beginning, he was often in reaction on the field. instead of being in anticipation but gradually he changed his game. ” After two convincing seasons with the reserve, the bac S obtained at 17, Sékou Mara knocked on the door of the pro group and signed his first contract on his 18th birthday.

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He joined the professional group this summer under the orders of Paulo Sousa. “He is an intelligent boy, analyzes Benoît Costil. He is very respectful and hardworking. He had to absorb this new life. He was patient and never panicked. He was supervised by examples for him like Jimmy Briand. With four days remaining, he is clearly showing the tip of his nose. He has been rewarded for his work and his behavior. “


Her mother is journalist Audrey Crespo-Mara

Coveted during his last year of aspiring contract and requested by beautiful European teams, Mara insisted on signing pro in his training club. While he could have been loaned this winter to save playing time, he made the choice to wait and bide his time. “He is not a difficult boy, confirms his father Aliou Mara. He does not ask any questions and is not impatient.” At the club, everyone greets the family environment in which he evolves.

His mother, journalist Audrey Crespo-Mara (companion of Thierry Ardisson), who works on the TF1 channel, and his father, never wanted to overprotect him. “This is what made his strength, continue his relatives. If that had been the case he would have been quickly blacklisted. When we make the differences in the training centers between the players, this is where the concerns arise. ” “There is not one who knew who he was, says Stopyra. He has never put himself forward.”

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Not worried about his future, he wants to win over the Girondins over the long term

Mara was thus able to grow and develop far from her mother’s media career. “We protected him like all parents, continues Aliou Mara. Everything was natural, we did not ask any questions, we just supported him.” With Amadou Traoré, Tom Lacoux, Issouf Cissokho and Dilane Bakwa, Sékou Mara embodies the future of the Girondins de Bordeaux who will have to bet on the youth if the club remains in Ligue 1. Jean-Louis Gasset even had to make them more responsible sooner than expected to restore momentum to a collective affected by poor results.

“We are not worried about the future, Bordeaux is a great club,” concludes his father. While he will celebrate his 19 years this summer, Sékou Mara intends to be part of the project to win back the Girondins, which should be symbolized by the arrival of a buyer. Under contract until 2023, he intends to stay in his training club and impose himself there permanently.



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