Adel Sellimi

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Adel Sellimi
Personal information
Full name Adel Sellimi
Date of birth (1972-11-16) 16 November 1972 (age 41)
Place of birth Tunis, Tunisia
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1982–1990 Club Africain
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–1996 Club Africain 144 (61)
1996–1998 FC Nantes Atlantique 40 (2)
1998–1999 Real Jaén 48 (32)
1999–2002 SC Freiburg 108 (27)
2002–2004 Club Africain 51 (29)
National team
1992–2002 Tunisia 71 (20)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 February 2008 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 April 2007

Adel Sellimi (Arabic: عادل السليمي‎) was born on 16 November 1972 in the Bab Jedid district of Tunis. As a child, he drew inspiration from the 1978 World Cup team who became the first African nation to win a World Cup match. At the age of 10, he joined his first club, Club Africain of Tunis, and he stayed there for the next 14 years, picking up two Tunisian league titles and one Tunisia Cup along the way.

His quick pace, strength on the ball and creativity earned him a call-up to the national team, and he earned his first cap in September 1993, during a match against Germany. Following a promising performance he carved out a virtually permanent place for himself in the country's national team for the next eleven years.

Tunisians grew to appreciate his discretion in life outside football as a modest and determined professional. On the pitch, he singularly distinguished himself at international level during the 1996 African Cup of Nations finals in South Africa as one of the best players of the tournament. Sellimi became a household name throughout the country, a skillful and talented bright spark who carried the team to the final of the tournament for the second time in their history. Sellimi struck twice in the semi-final against Zambia, and was widely considered one of the best players in the tournament.

This movement into the limelight earned the player a transfer to French Ligue 1 side FC Nantes Atlantique,[1] following another impressive showing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.[2] But his move to France marked the start of a long barren period. Although the Nantes fans dubbed him "The Lung" on account of the distance he clocked up during matches, he never really settled in at his new club. He hit just two goals in 30 appearances in his first season, and failed to achieve the kind of success he had enjoyed back home in Tunisia. After another disappointing season in 1997/98, Sellimi left Nantes for Spanish second division side Real Jaén. It was here that he got some first-class matches under his belt, and finally found form. This surge in form earned him a call-up to the 1998 World Cup squad, where he put in steady performances against England and Romania.

Bundesliga side Freiburg took a gamble on Sellimi[3] and partnered the player with other Tunisian internationals, anchorman Zoubeir Baya and fellow striker Mehdi Benslimane. But here too he took a long time finding his true form, and many at Freiburg considered him a mistaken purchase during his first year. However, he proved his detractors wrong in the best possible way in the 1999/2000 season. Sellimi just could not stop scoring goals and even headed the Bundesliga's goalscoring list going into the winter break.

A disappointing 2001 lead to Sellimi missing out on the 2002 African Cup of Nations in Mali and a number of international friendlies after a fall-out with former national coach Henri Michel. But the Frenchman's replacement with Ammar Souayah coupled with the national team's goal drought brought about his recall. The 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan turned out to be Adel Sellimi's swansong in premier football competitions, and he retired from international football shortly after the tournament at the age of 31. He returned to Club Africain shortly afterwards, and is now Head Coach of Jendouba Sport in Tunisia, recently gaining promotion to Ligue 1.

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 11 October 1992 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Benin
5 – 1
5 – 1
1994 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
2. 20 August 1993 Stade Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland  Switzerland
1 – 0
1 – 2
Friendly
3. 26 July 1994 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Tanzania
1 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
4. 26 July 1994 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Tanzania
2 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
5. 15 July 1995 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Senegal
3 – 0
4 – 0
1996 African Cup of Nations qualification
6. 31 January 1996 Kings Park Stadium, Durban, South Africa  Zambia
1 – 0
4 – 2
1996 African Cup of Nations
7. 31 January 1996 Kings Park Stadium, Durban, South Africa  Zambia
4 – 1
4 – 2
1996 African Cup of Nations
8. 2 June 1996 Stade Régional Nyamirambo, Kigali, Rwanda  Rwanda
1 – 0
3 – 1
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
9. 2 June 1996 Stade Régional Nyamirambo, Kigali, Rwanda  Rwanda
2 – 0
3 – 1
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
10. 16 June 1996 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Rwanda
2 – 0
2 – 0
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
11. 27 April 1997 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Liberia
1 – 0
2 – 0
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
12. 25 February 1998 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Russia
1 – 2
2 – 3
Friendly
13. 19 May 1998 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Kenya
2 – 0
2 – 0
Friendly
14. 3 June 1998 Parc des Sports, Avignon, France  Iceland
1 – 0
3 – 1
Friendly
15. 3 June 1998 Parc des Sports, Avignon, France  Iceland
3 – 0
3 – 1
Friendly
16. 24 January 1999 Stade 5 Juillet 1962, Alger, Algeria  Algeria
1 – 0
1 – 0
2000 African Cup of Nations qualification
17. 10 April 1999 National Stadium, Kampala, Uganda  Uganda
2 – 0
2 – 0
2000 African Cup of Nations qualification
18. 23 January 2000 National Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria  Nigeria
2 – 4
2 – 4
2000 African Cup of Nations
19. 10 May 2002 Stade El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia  Saudi Arabia
1 – 0
2 – 1
Friendly
20. 20 May 2002 Iwate Athletic Stadium, Morioka, Japan  Malaysia
4 – 1
4 – 3
Friendly

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adel Sellimi French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
  2. ^ "Adel Sellimi Biography and Statistics". Sports Reference. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Adel Sellimi" (in German). Fussball Daten. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 

External links[edit]