Diadie Samassékou’s inclusion in Red Bull Salzburg’s Austrian Classico triumph over Rapid Vienna yesterday saw the Malian make his centurion appearance for the club, three years after he packed his bags and left Real Bamako in his native Mali for Austria.
His time in the country has seen him make a combined 126 appearances for Liefering and Salzburg, in which he has assisted four and scored once – a penalty in the pouring rain as he helped his side secure a 3-0 win over Shkëndija in this season’s Champions League third qualification round.
In an interview for the club’s website, Samassékou reflected on his time at Red Bull Salzburg and Liefering, discussing his development, the most memorable moments, and so forth.
Diadie, welcome to the 100 club. How does it feel to have played in 100 competitive matches for us?
“The milestone of contesting 100 competitive matches for this club is something very special, of course, and I am very happy to have done this. I never would have thought I would reach this mark, which made the match against SK Rapid Vienna yesterday a very special one for me, of course.”
Which of these 100 matches are you definitely going to remember, and why?
“I think last year’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Lazio was one I will remember for a long time. The match last Thursday against RB Leipzig was also a very special one for me. I really enjoyed playing in it, and it was fantastic to see and play against some old acquaintances.”
Is there a particular person, who has been a major influence on your time here in Salzburg? A coach, member of the support staff or team-mate?
“There isn’t just one special person who has been a major influence on my time here – there were a lot of people from all areas. From the support staff, of course there is Musti [integration manager] and my two coaches Oscar Garcia and Marco Rose. From the players, in my first year there was Dayot Upamecano and now, of course, Doudou Haidara. The sporting director, Christoph Freund, who has always supported me, has also influenced me here in Salzburg.”
If you compare yourself against the Diadie Samassékou, who came from FC Liefering in 2016 – how much would you say you have developed personally and in terms of your football?
“I think that I have developed in all regards in this time. At FC Liefering I developed well, but now it is the next step. I have more experience now due to the many Austrian and European matches and can play more intelligently now, which helps me perform even better.”