Karim Konate: "That was an immense experience!"

AFCON winner and clinical goalscorer in interview

Just over three weeks ago, Karim Konate and the Ivorian national team were able to lift the AFCON trophy in their own country. He has wasted no time since his return to Salzburg before banging in the goals for our Red Bulls again to go back to the top of the ADMIRAL Bundesliga goalscorers' list!

We sat down with the 19-year-old striker for an interview and spoke about his eventful recent experiences.

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Karim Konate interview

In 2015 (...) I was still a small boy on the street with the rest of the fans.

How can you describe the days following the African Cup of Nations win? Did you realise straight away just what you had achieved?

"I didn't really realise it until the parade on the day following the final. That was something really special, and I really understood there what a fantastic thing we had achieved for our country.

There were millions of people there, and it was just incredible. We couldn't even get started and had to wait in the team hotel until the security staff had cleared the route.

I can still remember really well in 2015, when Ivory Coast last won the AFCON, I was still a small child with the other fans on the street. Now to be up there as one of the players - who used to be my heroes - was an immense experience!"


As soon as I sat on the plane heading back to Salzburg, the win was history.

How was it for you to return to Salzburg after your great success?

"There was huge excitement after the tournament win, but as soon as I sat on the plane heading back to Salzburg, the win was history, and I put all my focus back on my aims with the team here. We are determined to be champions again this year and to win the cup too. We need the maximum level of concentration every single week for that."


You have two goals in two substitute appearances - how was it for you to return to action after missing the winter preparation period?

"I wasn't there for our winter preparation period, but I was certainly keeping busy. I also had preparations with the national team for the African Cup of Nations, and then there was the tournament itself - so I was at a good level of fitness! Our team was generally in good form when I came back. We had a convincing win against LASK in the cup quarter-final, and the team played very well in the 1-1 draw against Sturm Graz. That made it easier for me to find my way back into things."


Oumar Diakite and I have been friends since childhood, and we grew up together.

After you scored against Klagenfurt, you ran to the stands and celebrated with Oumar Diakite, one of our former players. How did that come about?

"Oumar Diakite and I have been really close friends since childhood, and we grew up together. He plays for Stade Reims in Ligue 1 at the moment, and they gave him two days off after their last match. He called me to suggest that he visits and comes to our match. That really pleased me, of course, and the fact that we won and I scored made it even better."

What do you expect looking ahead at the coming weeks?

"We are finishing the regular season with an important match against LASK, and we want to keep the league lead going into the start of the championship round. I find it a shame, of course, that I can't play on Saturday because of suspension, but after that I will give my all for us to achieve our aims!"

This Saturday, 9 March, our Red Bulls are to go on the hunt for more points at 17:00 CET at LASK. All the info on away travel can be found here:

to the away info

We summarised which teams are battling for a spot in the championship group in the final match of the regular season: 

to the ArticlE