Adama Traore | Life in Australia

“After only a few months of living here, I knew this was where I wanted to call home after my career.”

On Friday night the Club will celebrate its annual U-NITE Multicultural Round, where both A-League Women’s and A-League Men’s matches will be accompanied by a series of events and activities celebrating the cultural diversity in Australian football.

Victory will host its annual Citizenship Ceremony where conferees from different countries will become Australian citizens.

One such player who knows first-hand what it’s like to call Australia home is defender Adama Traore.

The Ivory Coast-born Australian became an Aussie citizen in 2014 after falling in love with the country.

“It was a proud moment for me,” he explained.

“Australia has felt like home ever since my first few years in the Gold Coast.”

Traore began his football career at Ivorian club Ecole de Football Yéo Martial, making 69 appearances for the club.

LENS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 15: Adama Traore of The Ivory Coast stands for the national anthem prior to the International Friendly match between France and Ivory Coast held at Stade Felix Bollaert Deleis on November 15, 2016 in Lens, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Growing up in the Ivory Coast, Traore explained that all he wanted to do as a kid was play football.

“Football is the main sport in Ivory Coast, and as a kid after school, you just want to play with your friend in the street,” he said.

“And that was it. That was the happiest moment for us.

“Today, I can sit back and say, ‘I made it.'”

Looking to pursue a career at the international level, the Ivorian moved to Australia to join Gold Coast United for the 2009/10 A-League season.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: Adam Traore of Gold Coast United gets to the ball ahead of Adrian Leijer of the Victory during the round 13 A-League match between the Melbourne Victory and Gold Coast United at Etihad Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“It was a really difficult move at first,” he said.

“But people here (in Australia) made it very easy for me to adapt to this culture.

“I played there for three seasons and it was a pretty good experience for me to come into a different country, learn a different language and different culture.

“After two or three months, I felt like this was the country I wanted to live in when I ended my career.

“The Australian people made it pretty easy for me to adapt. And here I am, 15 years later, I’m Australian and I’m happy to be here.”

Adama has since played 217 matches in the A-League, 98 of those with Victory.

Traore made the move to Melbourne for the 2012/13 season after the Clive Palmer-backed Gold Coast United were forced to revoke their license.

Reflecting on his time in the A-League, the defender believes that it’s one of the best in the world for international players to come and play.

“For me, I think it’s one of the best leagues in the world at making it easy for players to come. It doesn’t matter where you come from, your background or your religion, they make it easy for you to come and play here,” he explained.

“You can talk to anybody in this league. When foreigners come in, they’re welcomed straight away.

“The diversity is what makes the league and this country great.”

Next Match:
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Date: Friday 26 January
Time: ALW 5:00pm (AEDT) | ALM 7:45pm (AEDT)
Location: AAMI Park