French defensive midfielder who is widely known for his time playing for Real Madrid between 2008 and 2012. In July 2015, he was signed to Ligue 1 club Marseille, where he continued dominant play.
He endured a string of setbacks as a youth footballer due to his diminutive height and weight. After earning a spot playing for Le Havre, he drew the attention of Chelsea FC scouts, where he signed in 2005.
At the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season, he was named to the Ligue 1 Team of the Season. He was named to the French national team as midfielder for the Euro 2016 tournament after a five year hiatus from international play.
One of his cousins, Asta Diakite, was killed during the Paris terrorist attack of November 2015.
He played alongside Hugo Lloris, the French national team's captain, during the 2016 Euro tournament.