Journalist tracks down infamous Southampton legend

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The Premier League tale of Ali Dia is shorter than a half of football on the field, and seemingly countless hours of debate off the pitch.

Since his one-match appearance for Southampton in 1996, Dia’s name has sometimes been sung around St. Mary’s, and his including accusations that someone pretending to be George Weah convinced Graeme Souness to give him a one-month deal.

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The Bleacher Report’s Kelly Naqi, through a truly commendable journalistic work ethic, tracked down Dia (as well as his family and friends).

We’ll let the must-read story tell itself, but here’s a terrific bite from the elusive Dia himself. The player was said to have trained one day and make the team the next, and he claims different:

“I trained against the first team, on the reserve team, for two weeks,” Dia insists. “[Southampton] knew my abilities. There was a final game before the Leeds game—11 on 11—and I scored two or three goals. I was on fire. I earned the spot to be there.”

An incredible tale. Journalism lives!

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