Born on November 12, 1998, in Paris to a family originally from Benin, Jules Kounde began his football journey at small clubs in the outskirts of Bordeaux, Southwest France. At the age of 14, he joined the youth ranks of the professional team, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, after passing a trial. Kounde made his first-team debut at the age of 19 in a Coupe de France game against Granville and gradually earned a regular starting position.
In 2019, the La Liga club Sevilla noticed the defender’s talent and signed him. Kounde quickly became a crucial member of Julen Lopetegui’s team and contributed to their Europa League triumph in 2020. He also represented France in the Euro 2020 tournament, where they reached the Round of 16, and played an important role in their UEFA Nations League victory over Spain in October 2021.
In the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar, Kounde played an instrumental role in France’s run to the final, where they faced eventual champions Argentina, and he played the full 120 minutes. The French centre-back, who can also play as a full-back, is known for his speed, interception abilities, and comfort on the ball. He is a tough defender to beat one-on-one and is comfortable defending high up the pitch, relying on his pace to recover.