Date of birth2 January 2002
BirthplaceAbidjan, Ivory Coast
Thierno Ballo is an exciting player who joined our Academy in January 2018 from Viktoria Koln in Germany. He is currently on his maiden loan spell in Austria with Rapid Vienna.
An Austrian Under-21 international who can play as a striker or as a number 10, he has good speed and agility, and can create and score goals. He signed a first professional contract at the club in January 2019.
A solid first season in England saw the forward make 23 league appearances and feature for the young Blues in both the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League, while he also reached double figures for goals scored. The first of those 10 strikes came as an early opener against rivals Arsenal in September that set the team on their way to an impressive 3-1 home victory.
Ballo started his second season in English football with Andy Myers' development squad and played the majority of his football at that level for the remainder of the season and scored his first goal against Leicester City in September 2019. In total, the midfielder made 28 appearances for the Academy and scored four goals during the campaign.
In December 2020 after 12 outings, three assists and a solitary goal he was rewarded with a new Chelsea contract which keeps him at the club until June 2022. A strong second half of the season saw Ballo end the term as joint-top development squad scorer with seven goals and four assists.
Ballo has been a regular for Austria's youth sides throughout his career, starting in the Under-15 age group right the way up until the Under-21 level. A hat-trick on his debut against Saudi Arabia at the most senior level of youth international football made for a great start for the 19-year-old. His first competitive appearance for Austria's Under-21s came in a qualifiying game against Estonia for the 2023 European Championships in June 2021.
On deadline day in August 2021, it was announced that Ballo would spend the remainder of 2021/22 on loan in the Austrian top division with Rapid Vienna.