Lyon’s second most expensive signing when he joined in June 2007 following a sensational season with Lille, the explosive winger from Gagnoa struggled to justify his price tag at the home of the then six-time French champions. Despite the arrival of his former mentor Claude Puel from Lille the following summer, the erstwhile Africa Sports icon continued to find life difficult battling to earn recognition as the team’s primary attacking outlet. Lyon ended the 2008/09 season deposed by Bordeaux, and Keita packed his bags for current employers Galatasaray, where he is much appreciated by the club's demanding fans.
Selected by the Elephants for the first time in June 2000, he left Africa Sports for Etoile Sportive du Sahel the same year. After a season in Tunisia, he signed for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, again spending only one year before opting for a three-year stint with Al-Sadd, the team owned by the Prince of Qatar. Of his time in the UAE, he has said: “I went there for the adventure. It was an opportunity and an experience. I played alongside great players such as Frank Leboeuf, Gabriel Batistuta and Romario. They gave me advice as if they were my big brothers. I wanted to play in Europe but I wasn’t ready yet.”
Involved in the qualifiers as Côte d'Ivoire failed to book a place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup™, he was the team’s outstanding player at the 2002 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. He was also present at Germany 2006, taking the field against Serbia and Argentina.
Used less by Vahid Halilhodzic than his predecessor Henri Michel, who was a big admirer of Keita’s speed, penetration and exquisite dribbling skills, the 28-year-old appeared in only three qualifiers for South Africa 2010. He nonetheless scored a goal and remains one of the team’s most popular players in his homeland, along with Didier Drogba and Aruna Dindane.