Annecy faces Toulouse FC this Thursday, April 6 in the semi-final of the French Cup. With 5 goals in the competition, Moïse Sahi Dion (21 years old) carries the club of Ligue 2 in the competition. The 21 year old Ivorian is the lethal weapon of the Savoyards.
After FC Nantes qualified for the French Cup final on Wednesday, April 5, Annecy and Toulouse FC are fighting for the second ticket. Second division club, Annecy has in its ranks a key element that could make the difference at any time: Moïse Sahi Dion.
On loan from RC Strasbourg, the young Ivorian striker has scored 5 goals in the competition and is also a favorite of Annecy FC in Ligue 2. He is one of the revelations of the season. At 21 years old, the striker has scored 12 goals in 28 league games this season. Nice statistics for the one who arrived in France in Strasbourg, in January 2021 from the Malian academy, Afrique Football Élite. Very mobile player, the young Sahi Dion gives the turn to his opponents. His 1.75 meters allow him to turn easily around and to link dribbles. Very technical, he always manages to get out even in the most complicated situations. A real headache for the defenders, especially since he gets off the ball a lot. His game is very similar to Lionel Messi's and he is even called the "Malian Messi".
Another aspect of his game that opponents find difficult to control is his ability to play with both feet. The former Elite Football resident is ambidextrous. "One strong foot? That's a question that comes up a lot. People would like to know, but the truth is, I feel comfortable with both feet. If you look at it, penalties I take with my right foot, while free kicks and corners I take with both my right and left feet depending on my intuition. I have no problem with both feet. I can shoot with my right foot and do the same with my left foot," he told the Ligue 2 website last January. With this quality, he does not hesitate to dribble and provoke his opponents. A quality that could make him play on one side, like his idol, Lionel Messi.
From Elite Football to Annecy via Strasbourg
Recruited at the age of 16, the Ivorian will play directly with the first team of the Malian academy. "I joined this academy based in Bamako at 16. As soon as I arrived, I played in the third division. That is to say that I did not play for the academy but for its first team when I was only 16 years old," he revealed in the same interview with the media of the Ligue 2. Very talented young man, the one who is nicknamed the "Malian Messi" climbed the ladder with Afrique Football Élite and climbed to the second division. He then caught the eye of Strasbourg who signed him in 2021. Arriving in France in the middle of winter for a Sahelian is not easy. And Moses Sahi Dion is paying for it.
Maxime Bastian pour le grand pont 🪄, Moïse Sahi Dion à la finition 🌪🤯
— Ligue 2 BKT (@Ligue2BKT) December 27, 2022
"It was really an ordeal! I was completely out of control. I spent two or three weeks in the hard (laughs). As soon as I put my boots on, my feet were cold. When the reserve coach spoke at the beginning of practice, I was cold and shaking. I didn't even want to listen to him, I wanted the training to start right away (laughs)," he says. The 19 year old at the time still rolled up his sleeves to pursue his dream of playing at the highest level. While he began training with the professional group of Strasbourg a few weeks after his arrival, he played his first match in Ligue 1 against Bordeaux (2-3) in April 2021. He scored his first goal as a professional against Paris Saint-Germain (1-4 loss). The Ivorian striker is already sending strong signals.
Injuries at the wrong time
Promised to a great season and with much more playing time, Moses Sehi Dion contracts two injuries before the start of the season. This keeps him away from the fields and mortgages his chances to settle permanently in the Strasbourg team. "I come back to training after the three weeks of recovery and I relapse the next day. This time, it's not an injury, but a tear. It killed me mentally. I had further tests and they revealed a 14-centimeter tear. As a result, I was out of action for more than two and a half months, so I was injured for the first part of the season. Then, by the time I got back in shape and started training again, I lost my place", he says. A difficult season where he will play only 8 games.
Not enough for the young player who is too hungry. So the Elephant decides to go on loan to get some experience and to prove himself. He will choose FC Annecy. "At first, I did not necessarily want to be loaned. I thought I was going to stay in Strasbourg and struggle to make a place for myself to play in Ligue 1. But during the preparation, I felt that I was not going to live a season as I hoped and that I would start again on the same basis (...) I wanted to show people my potential. I also wanted to enjoy myself and get back to feeling good (...) My agents approved my wish and we thought it was good for me to come to Annecy, especially since I wanted to stay in France", he confides.
Today, the former player of the Malian championship is enjoying Annecy. He also has the opportunity to live a new magical experience with this semi-final against Toulouse, this Thursday, April 6 at 18:45. Scorer of the qualification against Marseille in the quarterfinals (2-1), Moise Sahi Dion can still dream.