clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arouna Koné and the PSV prayer room

The Toffees' striker was the reason for an alteration to the home changing room in Eindhoven.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

When you think of PSV Eindhoven, what names do you think of?

Perhaps greats like Ronald Koeman, for example, or the then-young Brazilian duo of Romario and Ronaldo. Maybe it’s more recent heroes, such as Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Phillip Cocu, Mark van Bommel and Memphis Depay.

But there’s another player – Arouna Koné – who has also had a lasting impression on the Dutch club.

It’s not strictly down to his decent scoring record for Eindhoven, where he posted a respectable return of 23 goals in 64 games, nor is it that he was part of a side that won two Eredivise titles in his two-and-a-half seasons at the club.

However, the reigning Dutch champions actually had a prayer room installed for the Ivory Coast international in the home changing room at Philips Stadion.

Arouna Kone PSV Wall Image

Arouna Koné celebrates with his teammates after Phillip Cocu scores in a 5-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem on the last day of the 2006-07 league campaign. PSV won the Eredivise title on goal difference, and this picture is displayed on the wall outside the press room at Philips Stadion.

Koné is a devout Muslim, following in the footsteps of his father, and the religion states that Muslims must pray at five set times of day.

When he joined the Dutch club, there was no set facility in the ground for players and staff to observe their daily prayers. So based on the suggestion of his teammates, PSV installed a prayer room.

The room, with its east-facing wall decorated with the shining Sun and adorned with the quote "Where there is light, there is hope," is still there for the use of current players, and can be seen on the PSV Eindhoven stadium tour.

PSV Home Dressing Room

Inside PSV's home dressing room. On the right is the prayer room built for Koné, while the room on the left hand side is where the players get changed.

Koné eventually left Eindhoven for Sevilla in a €12 million deal. But he didn’t manage to stick there and was loaned out to Hannover and later to Levante, who went on to make the move permanent, though the club were reportedly keen to sell him immediately for a profit.

He wound up at Wigan Athletic where he was a member of their 2013 FA Cup-winning side, before following manager Roberto Martínez to Everton later that year.