Alou Diarra is a French international of Malian descent, who was born on July 15, 1981 in Villepinte, France. Diarra began his career at local club CSL Aulnay, where he played for six years before moving to FC Villepinte. Diarra struggled to get any interest in him and at times was forced to contact clubs to receive trials.
In 1997, Diarra signed for Ligue 2 club CS Louhans-Cuiseaux where at first, he played for the reserves, but impressed in his three seasons at the club, even making his professional debut on April 15, 2000 against Toulouse. He left the club after refusing to sign a new contract, and was surprisingly snapped up by German giants Bayern Munich.
Diarra was again placed in the reserves squad, where he put on some impressive performances alongside players like Phillip Lahm, Owen Hargreaves and Bastian Schwiensteiger, but he never played a professional game with the club and his stint with Bayern Munich is largely considered a failure.
Diarra then signed for Liverpool, but again failed to make a single appearance for the club and spent his three seasons on loan at three different French clubs: Le Havre, Bastia and Lens. He impressed at Lens, who signed him permanently in the summer of 2005 and he made 81 appearances overall, scoring four goals and even gaining his first call-up to the French national squad, where was included in the squad for the 2006 World Cup.
He made two appearances, one of them as a substitute in the final against Italy.
He then moved to Olympique Lyon, where he won the Ligue 1 championship, but was not a key player in that triumph, making only 24 appearances, nine of them as a starting player. Diarra left to Bordeaux the following season, where he finally rose to prominence and established himself, as one of the best players in his position in Europe.
He is now a regular and the captain of the French national team. So far, Diarra has made 162 appearances for Bordeaux, scoring 12 goals, and 34 appearances with France.