Dec 16, 1975
|Age||44 years old|
Rennes were at rock-bottom at Christmas 1997. Stade Rennais had paid for a failed recruitment programme in attack the previous Summer. Bedrossian, Hobsch, Jinani were all as mediocre as each other, and Hobsch and Jinani soon left the club. To compensate, Kaba Diawara arrived on loan to help Stade Rennais during the winter transfer window. Without being prolific, the French/Guinean striker at least gave his team, who were bottom of the table, a second wind. His arrival coincided with a run of 6 matches without defeat, including the historic 1-0 win at Marseille. His closing down of opponents, his play with his back to goal, and his runs into space gave the team, who had been suffering until then, the oxygen it needed to survive. On 9th May 1998, he became a hero for the region in scoring the winning goal against Toulouse in a 1-0 victory. Silvestre sent over a long cross from the left, and Diawara jumped higher than Tchimbakala to nod home the goal which meant that Rennes avoided relegation. With his job well done, he returned to Bordeaux in June 1998.