Atlético Ottawa adds former Ligue 1, La Liga midfielder Abdou Sissoko

Atlético Ottawa announced another major addition to their 2022 roster on Thursday, revealing that French-born Malian midfielder Abdoul Wahid Sissoko has signed for the club on a one-year contract with an option for another year.

Sissoko, a 31-year-old defensive midfielder, comes to the CPL after a lengthy career spent playing at some of the highest levels of football in the world. He began his professional career in 2008 with then-Ligue 2 side Troyes in France, spending several years there before moving to Serie A club Udinese.

He went on loan from the Italian first division club several times, including to Ligue 1 outfit Brest, for whom he played 47 times in the French top flight. Sissoko also spent a year on loan in Spain with La Liga club Granada in the 2014-15 season, when he made 11 appearances — including starts against both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid.

In 2016, Sissoko moved to Turkey to join top-flight side Akhisarspor, where he went on to make 107 appearances, helping the club win their first professional trophy with the 2018 Turkish Cup (scoring a goal in the final against Fenerbahçe). The win qualified the club for the group stage of the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League, where Sissoko started all six matches against Krasnodar, Standard Liège, and Sevilla.

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Most recently, Sissoko was at Kuwait SC, where he played under new Atlético Ottawa coach Carlos González.

At the international level, Sissoko has been eligible to represent both France and Mali; he played four games for the French U-20 side in 2011 but accepted a call-up to the Malian senior team later — though he never appeared for the side.

“Ottawa is an ambitious sports project and has a team with a lot of talent that aspires to play at the top of the league, with a coach who has a philosophy of play and a vision of soccer that I like very much, so I did not hesitate when the opportunity arose,” explained Sissoko. “I like a challenge and I am confident that we can do some good things this season, maybe even win the Canadian Premier League title for Atlético Ottawa.”

Atlético Ottawa CEO Fernando López added: “We’re excited to welcome Abdou to the family. He can shape the game on both sides of the ball, starting attacks or imposing a calming defensive presence. He is a player who can have an immediate impact with the club and we look forward to seeing him in action.”

Sissoko is the 20th player signed to Atlético Ottawa’s 2022 roster, and the 12th newcomer to González’s side, which is currently in training in Madrid, Spain. The team will kick off its third CPL season on April 9 at TD Place against Cavalry FC (3 pm ET, on OneSoccer).

Abdou Sissoko.
Abdou Sissoko.