For those who didn’t already know this great soccer player, learn more about his story and career path that led him to host sports programs on television.
His debut in the Paris suburbs
Hassoun Camara, born 3 February 1984 in Noisy-le-Sec, is a French footballer of Senegalese origin who plays as a right-back or centre-back.
He started playing football relatively late and only joined a club at 11. He joined the youth teams of his hometown club, Olympique Noisy-le-Sec Banlieue 93. At 18, he joined the first team and made his debut in the CFA, the fourth division. In January 2006, Noisy-le-Sec reached the round of 32 of the French Cup and met AJ Auxerre, a Ligue 1 club. Following this match and thanks to a good season, he attracted the interest of various professional clubs such as Stade Rennais, Glasgow Rangers, Celtic Glasgow, Le Mans UC and Olympique de Marseille, with whom he decided to sign his first professional contract.
“My parents helped me to develop my soccer. We didn’t have great means… They immigrated from Senegal just to give us a better future.”
Olympique de Marseille
He became a professional at 22 and left a small suburban club relegated to CFA 2 to join Olympique de Marseille. A year and a half later, he asked to be transferred to Sporting Club de Bastia in Ligue 2.
Sporting Club de Bastia
At Bastia he became a regular in the French Ligue 2. He stayed in Corsica for three seasons, but when Faruk Hadžibegić took over as coach, he was left out of the group. Without serious offers, he returned to train at Noisy-le-Sec. Despite some contacts in Greece and Cyprus, the best opportunity came from Canada.
“I’ve had successes and difficult times with soccer. Just before the Impact, I was unemployed.”
Montreal Impact (Montreal Football Club)
After a trial in January 2011, Hassoun Camara signed for one season with the Montreal Impact, a Canadian club from the USL, the second North American division. From that moment on, his goal is to follow the Impact into Major League Soccer, as the team is guaranteed to become the 19th franchise in the league in 2012.
His first season in Montreal was a great success. He was named to the USL All-Star team in central defence and won the Montreal Impact’s best player of the season award. On October 11, 2011, following the post-season camp, the Impact confirmed Camara’s signing for the following season, the club’s first in MLS. He thus becomes the second player confirmed for the club’s inaugural season in North America’s top division, to the delight of all soccer fans in Quebec.
His move to Major League Soccer has meant a change of position. He played as a right-back with the Montreal team. He became an essential part of the team by establishing himself in this position. He played his 100th professional match on 11 May 2013 against Real Salt Lake.
On 29 May 2013, he won his first North American trophy, the Canadian Championship. He even scored the winning goal in the final’s second leg against the Vancouver Whitecaps. On 4 June 2014, the Montreal Impact retained the Canadian Championship against Toronto FC. Camara played the entirety of the final two games and thus won his second trophy.
He played his 100th game in all competitions for the Montreal Impact on June 11, 2014, when they hosted D.C. United.
Hassoun Camara announced his retirement on 28 November 2017 to diversify and implement his other post-career projects.