Soumalia Coulibaly joined Borussia Dortmund from PSG in 2021. - © Imago
Soumalia Coulibaly joined Borussia Dortmund from PSG in 2021. - © Imago

Who is Soumaila Coulibaly: Borussia Dortmund's young French defender?


Soumaila Coulibaly made his Bundesliga debut on Matchday 28 of the 2022/23 campaign. profiles Borussia Dortmund's teenaged defender...

Data correct as of 20 June 2023

Soumaila Coulibaly

Age: 19 (born 14 October 2023)
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Centre-back
Country: France (two 20 caps)

Key stats

Coulibaly hails from the fertile football turf of the Ile de France, the region around Paris that has turned out top-class players such as Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba, as well as those who have made the Bundesliga their home in recent years such as Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman and Tanguy Nianzou, Bayer Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby and RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku.

After coming through the club in his hometown of Montfermeil - some 15.5 miles to the east of central Paris - Coulibaly joined PSG's youth academy in summer 2019, aged 15. Two years later, the left-footed defender made the switch to Dortmund.

Not helped by a cruciate ligament injury, Coulibaly has been restricted to 25 appearances in Germany's fourth tier with the Dortmund reserves. However, he did get a taste of first-team football, making second-half cameos in the UEFA Champions League against Copenhagen and in the Bundesliga away to VfB Stuttgart.

Plays a bit like: Dayot Upamecano

At 6'3" Coulibaly has an imposing build, but while the teenager will undoubtedly fill out to add muscle to his wiry frame, he also has the footballing ability to make him the complete package, just like Bayern Munich man-mountain and France international, Dayot Upamecano.

Watch: Upamecano's journey to the top

Did you know?

The Dortmund defender is the second Soumaila Coulibaly to play in the Bundesliga. The first, a Malian attacking midfielder of no relation to his French namesake, registered 18 goals and eight assists across 118 top-flight appearances for Freiburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach in the noughties, winning Bundesliga 2 with both clubs.

Coulibaly (r.) played his first half of Bundesliga football in 2022/23. - Imago

What they're saying

"He trains with us regularly. He's been getting better and better and finding consistency in the third tier." - Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic

"Dortmund is a team that places its confidence in youngsters, that's not necessarily the case with PSG." - Coulibaly on signing for BVB