Hamari Traoré, Rennes
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One to watch: Hamari Traoré, Rennes' Captain Fantastic who downed PSG

One to watch: Hamari Traoré, Rennes' Captain Fantastic who downed PSG

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Publish on 01/16 at 18:33 - S. TELFORD

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Hamari Traoré got the only goal of the game as Stade Rennais FC beat Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, but what else is there to know about the Rouge et Noir captain?

Traoré struck the only goal of the game on 65 minutes at Rennes' Roazhon Park, drifting in from the right-hand side to finish Adrien Truffert's low cross off with his weaker left foot.

 

The Mali international has been one of Ligue 1 Uber Eats' best right-backs at least since swapping Stade de Reims for Rennes in 2017, but he has largely, if undeservedly, gone under the radar.

 

Ligue1.com sheds some light on an underappreciated star…

 

Back story:

 

Born in Bamako, Mali's capital, on 27 January 1992, Traoré trained at former France international Jean-Marc Guillou's local academy before making the switch to Paris in 2012 - Paris FC that is.

 

While he made 15 Championnat National appearances with the French capital club playing in PSG's shadow, he never got out of the third tier with them, and it was Lierse who gave him his European top-flight debut in 2013, the Belgian outfit having signed him that summer.

 

Two years later, at the age of 23, he was finally given his chance in Ligue 1 Uber Eats when Reims took a gamble on his talent. The Champagne club didn't always play sparkling football, and they were relegated in 2016, but that didn't stop Traoré from earning his first international caps, nor Rennes from acquiring him a year later.

 

Since making the move Traoré has gone from strength to strength. Sunday wasn't the first time he has got the better of PSG, having starred as Rennes beat them to the Coupe de France in 2019. Since then he has enjoyed a 10-assist season in 2021/22 and passed the 200 game mark with the Rouge et Noir.


Style of play:

 

Traoré is a huge asset to his side on both sides of the ball. His turn of pace and reading of the game help him snuff out opposition attacks quickly - but he is also adept at getting forward down the right flank and has averaged more than two shot-creating actions per 90 minutes over the last year in Ligue 1 Uber Eats.

 

Current campaign:

 

Traoré has been Rennes' first-choice right-back uninterrupted since he arrived in Brittany, and that hasn't change this season, the 30-year-old Rennes' second-most used player after young Belgian centre-back Arthur Theate.

 

So prolific last term, Traoré has been more focused on his defensive duties this term but grabbed his first assist of the campaign - for Martin Terrier - as Rennes beat Stade Brestois 29 3-1 in Round 5. The PSG goal was his first of the season.

 

Watch: Highlights of Rennes' 1-0 win over PSG



What they said:

 

"I'm very proud to be honoured by our fans. I want to thank the RCK [Roazhon Celtic Kop], which has always been behind us, in the good times and the bad. I'm very proud to have made 200 appearances for this club. I arrived as a youngster and today I'm a man."

 

- Traoré on making 200 Rennes appearances, against AS Saint-Étienne in April.

 

"I'm someone who always fights. I never cheat. Even when things are difficult I try and give the best of myself. 'Soldier' suits me as a nickname. The most important thing is to be there for the team."

 

- Traoré on his style of play.

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