Fodé Ballo-Touré, AC Milan's new full-back, was born on 3 January 1997 in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a small town situated 24km from Paris. The French-born player who plays internationally for Senegal arrives from Monaco, where he spent two and a half years and established himself as a reliable starter on the left-side of defence for one of the best clubs in Ligue 1.
He has plenty of relevant league experience, having spent four seasons as a starter in the French top flight. After his first kicks of a ball in Éragny, Ballo-Touré began his career in the Paris Saint-Germain youth sector: with the capital club’s Academy, Fodé reached the UEFA Youth League Final in 2016, where he lost against Fikayo Tomori's Chelsea. He also scored a goal in the quarter-finals of the competition against Roma. Bringing an end to his Parisian experience in the summer of 2017, Bielsa signed him at Lille, where he crossed paths with the new Rossoneri goalkeeper Mike Maignan. Here he played for a season and a half, almost always as a starter, making 45 appearances. In January 2019, he moved to Monaco, and even in a turbulent season for the French side he quickly took hold of the left-back position, playing 17 of their 18 remaining games that season, with the one he missed coming through suspension. In total, he played 74 games for Monaco (63 of which were in Ligue 1), registering eight assists.
Fodé actually grew up playing as a winger; at 182cm, his agile and lean build make him a quick and effective dribbler, an important part of his game, but also make him difficult to go past in the defensive phase. These are skills that he honed during his time in Paris and that have convinced coaches throughout his career to count on him.
Ballo-Touré's experience also includes time spent in national teams. After a couple of games for the France U16s and U20s (even two games at the youth Euros played in Italy in 2019), last Spring our new signing chose to represent Senegal: with this choice, Fodé put his mother’s wishes first; she is originally from the African nation. His debut for them came on 26 March; he completed the full 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw with the Congo during Africa Cup of Nations qualification: in total, he has played four times for the The Lions of Teranga.
The new Home Authentic Jersey by PUMA for the 2021/22 season is available: buy it now!