Karim El Ahmadi

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Karim El Ahmadi
Iran-Morocco by soccer.ru 14 (cropped) 2.jpg
El Ahmadi with Morocco at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Karim El Ahmadi Aroussi[1]
Date of birth (1985-01-27) 27 January 1985 (age 34)
Place of birth Enschede, Netherlands
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Al-Ittihad
Number 20
Youth career
UDI Enschede
Twente
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2008 Twente 89 (3)
2008–2012 Feyenoord 94 (4)
2011Al Ahli (loan) 10 (1)
2012–2014 Aston Villa 51 (3)
2014–2018 Feyenoord 122 (9)
2018– Al-Ittihad 24 (0)
National team
2008– Morocco 55 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 August 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:49, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Karim El Ahmadi Aroussi (Arabic: كريم الأحمدي; born 27 January 1985) is a Moroccan professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Al-Ittihad. El Ahmadi was born in the Netherlands and played for FC Twente and Feyenoord before moving to the Premier League with Aston Villa in 2012 and subsequently returning to Feyenoord in September 2014.

Early life[edit]

El Ahmadi was born and raised in Enschede, Overijssel, Netherlands. His parents are both Moroccan, making him eligible to acquire the Moroccan citizenship and represent the Morocco national football team.

Club career[edit]

UDI[edit]

At the age of 9, El Ahmadi started playing football at local Enschede club UDI. He got noticed quickly by scouts from Twente and was invited to join their academy.

FC Twente[edit]

On 21 March 2004, El Ahmadi made his official debut in Twente's first team in the away match against FC Utrecht (2–0), where he played 90 minutes.[3] El Ahmadi able to play 2 more games against Groningen and RBC Roosendaal but with the return of On the last match of the season in a match against RKC Waalwijk on 9 May 2004, El Ahmadi provided as assist for Kim Christensen to make it 3–2 but RKC Waalwijk scored in the late minutes to make 3–3.

The following season 2004–05, El Ahmadi began coming on as a substitute for the next two games against Ajax and RKC Waalwijk at the start of the season. In a match against Heerenveen on 28 August 2004, El Ahmadi played for 90 minutes and setting up a goal for Blaise Nkufo in a 4–1 victory. On 13 November 2004, El Ahmadi scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 win over N.E.C.. At the end of the season, El Ahmadi played 16 league games, playing mostly on the wing positions. He then quickly became a first team regular.

The following 2005–06 season, El Ahmadi found himself out of the first team and made 8 appearances following the arrival of Kennedy Bakırcıoğlu and Patrick Gerritsen. In the following 2006–07 season, El Ahmadi suffered a knee injury in a UEFA Cup match against Estonian side Levadia Tallinn in a 1–1 draw.[4] After recovering, El Ahmadi returned to the reserve and by mid-November, El Ahmadi played his first match of the season, coming on as a substitute for Wout Brama in a 7–1 win over Groningen. After the match, El Ahmadi began establishing himself in the starting eleven, playing in the right side of the support. In late-October, El Ahmadi signed a contract with the club, until 2009, with an options to extend until 2011.[5] On 3 February 2007, El Ahmadi scored the first goal in a match with Twente won 2–1 over Excelsior. On 8 April 2007, El Ahmadi scored Twente's only goal in the game in a 1–1 draw against Heracles. El Ahmadi played a single game for the club from 13 November 2006 to 29 April 2007. At the end of season 2006–07, the club finished fourth which resulted in entering the UEFA Cup.

El Ahmadi attempted tackling on Benoît Assou-Ekotto during a match against Cameroon.

The following 2007–08 season, Twente began suffering after the club sold Bakırcıoğlu to Ajax and Sharbel Touma sold to German side Borussia Mönchengladbach. Even worse, Patrick Gerritsen suffered a leg injury, leading El Ahmadi to get more playing time in the starting line-up. In late July, El Ahmadi signed a contract extension which will keep him until 2011.[6] Manager Fred Rutten said on a new contract: "For the club it's fantastic that we can keep players of this kind,". At the end of 2007–08 season, El Ahmadi made 33 appearances, primarily playing as a defender. At the end of the season FC Twente qualified for the UEFA Champions League, all thanks to the rapid development from the defensive midfielder.

Feyenoord[edit]

On 16 April 2008, it was announced that El Ahmadi signed a five-year deal with Dutch club Feyenoord for a transfer fee of €5 million (£4.3 million).[7]

After a groin injury had initially kept him from playing[8] he made his debut on 2 October 2008, coming on as a substitute for Luigi Bruins in the UEFA Cup-match against Kalmar FF, which Feyenoord won 2–1. He made his debut in the starting line-up against NEC before coming off after 58 minutes, and the game ended in a 0–2 home defeat on 5 October 2008. On 9 November 2008, El Ahmadi scored his first goal for the club in a 5–2 win over Utrecht. On 22 February 2009, El Ahmadi scored his second goal for the club in a 2–0 win over De Graafschap. Since making his debut, he played regularly in the starting line-up which led to interest from a German team Hamburger SV.[9] In early April El Ahmadi, suffered an ankle injury before making his return in the last game of the season, a 3–2 loss against Roda JC.[10] At the end of the season, he was linked to league rivals PSV Eindhoven[citation needed], however, no offer was made from the club.[11]

In the following 2009–10 season under manager Mario Been, El Ahmadi was deployed in central midfield with the rise of youngsters Leroy Fer and Jonathan de Guzmán. Playing in this position, he played 26 league games. In the quarter final of the KNVB Cup, he scored a brace and set up a goal for captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst in a 3–0 win over PSV Eindhoven on 27 January 2010. Feyenoord would later on reach the final of the KNVB Cup, which they lost 6–1 on aggregate to Ajax. At the end of 2009–10 season, El Ahmadi was linked to another German team, Schalke 04.[citation needed]

After a loan spell at Al Ahli Club, El Ahmadi returned to feyenoord. Under manager Ronald Koeman he managed to become a regular in the starting line-up as a midfielder forming a partnership with Jordy Clasie and Otman Bakkal. On 11 September 2011, he scored his first goal since 2009 in a 3–1 win over NAC Breda. On 16 October 2011, El Ahmadi scored again this season in a 4–0 win over VVV-Venlo.[12]

Loan to Al Ahli Club[edit]

El Ahmadi clashing with Jan Polák during a match against Czech Republic.

After making 15 league appearance in the 2010–11 season at Feyenoord, El Ahmadi joined an UAE team Al Ahli Club on a six-month loan deal in order for the club to boost funds required to sign a new striker on 25 January 2011.[13] On 4 February 2011, he made his debut for the club in a 0–0 draw against Al Dhafra S.C.C..[14] On 24 March 2011, he scored his first goal in the UAE League with a 2–2 draw against Ittihad Kalba. During his loan El Ahmadi appeared in 10 games and scored one goal. At the end of the season, he stated he wanted to play European Football again next season and that the level of competition at Al Ahli was 'too low' compared to the 'weakest teams in the Dutch league'.[15] The chairman of Al Ahli football club, Abdullah Saeed Al Naboudah, said the club wanted to sign El Ahmadi on a permanent basis, however, the two clubs failed to reach an agreement.[16]

Aston Villa[edit]

On 26 June 2012, both the British and Dutch media strongly linked El Ahmadi with a transfer to Aston Villa of England's Premier League.[17] Soon after, new Villa manager Paul Lambert confirmed his interest in the player. On 2 July 2012, El Ahmadi completed his transfer from Feyenoord to Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £2,000,000. This made him Lambert's first signing as Aston Villa manager, and Aston Villa's second signing of the summer (following Australia international Brett Holman's move from AZ). On 14 July 2012, El Ahmadi made his debut in a 2–1 win against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium, demonstrating a man of the match performance.[18] On 25 August, he made his home debut and scored a spectacular strike in the 74th minute, in Aston Villa's 3–1 defeat to Everton.[19] Having made a good start despite losing opening two Premier League games of the season, El Ahmadi was voted the club's player of the month of August.[20] Later in the season, El Ahmadi was left out of the squad due to injury and made 24 appearances across all competitions. El Ahmadi started the 2013–14 season in very good form, demonstrating solid performances in midfield, including a goal in a 3–2 win against Manchester City.[citation needed]In Aston Villa's win against Chelsea, El Ahmadi escaped serious injury after Chelsea midfielder Ramires appeared to stamp on El Ahmadi. As a result, Ramires was sent off. Chelsea manager José Mourinho was also sent to the stands in the aftermath of the incident.

Return to Feyenoord[edit]

On 1 September 2014, El Ahmadi returned to Feyenoord for an undisclosed transfer fee, signing a contract that would keep him at De Kuip until 2017.[21]

On 22 April 2018 he played as Feyenoord won the 2017–18 KNVB Cup final 3–0 against AZ Alkmaar.[22]

Al-Ittihad[edit]

On 9 July 2018, El Ahmadi signed a two-year contract with Saudi-Arabian side Al-Ittihad.[23]

International career[edit]

El Ahmadi played for the Dutch national youth teams, but opted to represent Morocco at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.[24]

In May 2018 he was named in Morocco’s 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.[25]

Personal life[edit]

El Ahmadi is a practicing Muslim.[26]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 8 May 2017[27]
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup Europe Total
2003–04 FC Twente Eredivisie 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
2004–05 19 1 2 0 0 0 21 1
2005–06 8 0 1 0 0 0 9 0
2006–07 22 2 2 0 2 0 26 2
2007–08 33 0 1 0 2 0 36 0
2008–09 Feyenoord 22 2 2 0 5 0 29 2
2009–10 26 0 4 2 0 0 30 2
2010–11 15 0 1 0 0 0 16 0
2010–11 Al-Ahli FC UAE League 10 1 0 0 0 0 10 1
2011–12 Feyenoord Eredivisie 20 2 0 0 0 0 20 2
2012–13 Aston Villa Premier League 20 1 3 0 0 0 23 1
2013–14 31 2 3 0 0 0 34 2
2014–15 Feyenoord Eredivisie 29 2 0 0 7 2 38 4
2015–16 32 1 6 0 0 0 38 1
2016–17 30 5 3 1 4 0 37 6
Total Netherlands 274 15 22 3 20 2 316 20
United Arab Emirates 10 1 0 0 0 0 10 1
England 51 3 5 0 0 0 56 3
Career total 335 19 23 3 20 2 378 24

International[edit]

Statistics accurate as of match played 25 June 2018.[28]
Morocco
Year Apps Goals
2009 7 1
2010 4 0
2011 2 0
2012 4 0
2013 2 0
2014 3 0
2015 4 0
2016 6 0
2017 10 0
2018 7 0
Total 49 1

Honours[edit]

Feyenoord

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Barclays Premier League Squad Numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  2. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. 18 June 2018. p. 18.
  3. ^ "FC Utrecht 2–0 FC Twente" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  4. ^ "El Ahmadi kontuzjowany" (in Polish). Eredivise.Pl. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Football: El Ahmadi longer at FC Twente" [Voetbal: El Ahmadi langer bij FC Twente] (in Dutch). De Volkskrant. 30 October 2006. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Twente star signs on". Sky Sports. 21 July 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  7. ^ "El Ahmadi to join Feyenoord". Sky Sports. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  8. ^ "El Ahmadi has not yet finished" [El Ahmadi jeszcze nie gotowy] (in Polish). Goal.pl. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Wechselt Karim El Ahmadi zum Hamburger SV?" (in German). Bunedesligafussball. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Hofland, El Ahmadi and Slory fit for Feyenoord" [Hofland, El Ahmadi en Slory fit voor Feyenoord] (in Dutch). Metro International. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  11. ^ "PSV Chase Feyenoord Midfielder Karim El Ahmadi – Report". Goal. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Koeman El Ahmadi let go" [Koeman laat El Ahmadi gaan] (in Dutch). Metro International. 16 October 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  13. ^ van Leeuwen, Gerrit (25 January 2011). "Loan move for El Ahmadi". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Al Ahli vs. Al Dhafra". Soccerway. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  15. ^ "El Ahmadi wants Euro return". Sky Sports. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  16. ^ "AL AHLI TRIED TO SIGN ASTON VILLA NEW BOY EL AHMADI AFTER LOAN SPELL". Sport360. 2 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Villa clinch El Ahmadi deal". Sky Sports. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  18. ^ "Burton Albion 1 Aston Villa 2: Sunday Mercury Big Match Verdict". Birmingham Mail. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Aston Villa 1–3 Everton". BBC Sport. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  20. ^ "Free Video: Player of the month El Ahmadi showcases his skills". Aston Villa Official Website. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Transfer deadline day: Aston Villa's El Ahmadi joins Feyenoord". BBC Sport. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  22. ^ "AZ vs. Feyenoord - 22 April 2018 - Soccerway". int.soccerway.com. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  23. ^ El Ahmadi tekent voor twee jaar bij Al-Ittihad (Dutch). AD. 9 July 2018.
  24. ^ Karim El AhmadiFIFA competition record
  25. ^ "Boufal left out of Morocco squad".
  26. ^ Ronay, Barney (1 September 2012). "Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi predicts quick end to club's shaky start". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  27. ^ "Karim El Ahmadi". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  28. ^ "Karim El Ahmadi". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  29. ^ Feyenoord wint KNVB-beker mede dankzij prachtgoal Van Persie - AD ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch)

External links[edit]