Eljero Elia

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Eljero Elia
Elia at practice with Hamburg in 2009.
Personal information
Full name Eljero George Rinaldo Elia[1]
Date of birth (1987-02-13) 13 February 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth Voorburg, Netherlands
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
(on loan from Werder Bremen)
Number TBC
Youth career
1996–2000 ADO Den Haag
2000–2002 Ajax
2002–2004 ADO Den Haag
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 ADO Den Haag 56 (8)
2007–2009 Twente 62 (14)
2009–2011 Hamburger SV 47 (9)
2011–2012 Juventus 4 (0)
2012– Werder Bremen 66 (4)
2015– Southampton (loan) 0 (0)
National team
2005–2007 Netherlands U21 7 (1)
2009 Netherlands B 1 (0)
2009– Netherlands 27 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 December 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2012

Eljero George Rinaldo Elia (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛldʒəroː ˈeːlijaː]) (born 13 February 1987 in Voorburg) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a winger for English club Southampton, on loan from German club Werder Bremen.

He turned professional at ADO Den Haag and then played for FC Twente before moving abroad to represent Hamburger SV, Juventus and Werder Bremen.

Elia scored on his debut for the Dutch national team in September 2009 and was part of the Dutch squad which reached the final at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Club career[edit]

ADO Den Haag[edit]

Before excelling in the ADO Den Haag youth team at age of nine, Elia played for many amateur clubs. He made his professional debut in 2004 against Groningen when he was just 17 years old. In that season, he played four matches and scored one goal (which is his first professional goal) for Den Haag in a match against AZ. From that on at ADO Den Haag, Elia would established himself in the first team.

But things went wrong when Den Haag picked their new coach, Lex Schoenmaker. After some conflicts with Elia, FC Twente moved in to sign the exciting young player.[2]

Elia with Twente in 2008


Not only FC Twente were interested in Elia's signature but also Ajax were keen to sign him but if he chose Ajax, he would first be loaned back to ADO Den Haag, and Elia did not have a chance of playing there. ADO Den Haag were also relegated, and he did not want to play in the Eerste Divisie. Elia made his FC Twente debut in a 2–2 draw against Utrecht on 26 August 2007. Elia scored his first goal in a 2–1 win over Heracles Almelo on 8 February 2008 and scored another in a 2–1 win over Ajax the following month. In his first season at the club, Elia made 30 appearance and scored twice as the League qualifying round.

Under new manager Steve McClaren, Elia made more improvement in the first team and began a goalscoring form with eleven. Elia made his Champions League debut in the third round against Arsenal, where Twente lose on both legs. Despite the clubs elimination, the club would progress to the UEFA Cup Group stage. Elia scored his first European goal in a 3–2 loss against Manchester City on 6 November 2008. However, Twente would lose in the third round knockout stage against Marseille. In the KNVB Cup, the club would progress to the final against Heerenveen. In the final, Elia scored the club's first goal in the match. However, the club would lose on penalties after Youssouf Hersi missed the penalty, costing the club winning the KNVB Cup. When he played for FC Twente, he was recognised as one of the Eredivisie's best players, and named Dutch Football Talent of the Year in 2009 which added to his already growing reputation in Europe.[3] In the January transfer window, Ajax and PSV were linked with a move to sign Elia. Ajax had their bid rejected twice by the club in effort to sign Elia.[4] Elia ended speculation by signing a new contract at Twente, keeping him until 2013.[5] Two months after signing a new contract, Elia announces his intention to leave the club at the end of the season.[6]

Hamburger SV[edit]

Elia pictured taken in 25 July 2012.

On 5 July 2009, after media speculation Elia joined Hamburger SV on a five-year contract.[7] that cost €8.5 million. On 8 August 2009, Elia made his debut as a substitute in the first match of the season against Freiburg and scored his first league debut goal in a 4–2 win over Wolfsburg on 23 August 2009. Five month later, Elia scored a brace and setting up a goal in a 4–0 over Nuremberg. Elia scored his first Europa League goal in a 4–2 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv on 1 October 2009. In 1–1 draw at 1. FSV Mainz 05 on 28 November 2009, Elia suffered an ankle in an early 15th minutes. Because of his ankle injury, Elia would miss the rest of the season, following an surgery, which manager Bruno Labbadia described as a 'bitter blow'[8] During his first season in March 2010, Elia had a severe infection due to a poorly applied tattoo, which meant he felt uncomfortable in his shirt. As a result, Hamburg's neighbours Werder Bremen have since banned their players from getting tattoos.[9] In his debut season, Elia made 24 appearance and scored five. At the end of the season, Elia once was linked with several clubs like Juventus, but Elia insisted he knew nothing about a move and wanted to stay Hamburg for another season.[10]

In his second season, Elia was part of the squad rotation. His second season was difficult as he played less frequently, which led Elia to consider leaving the club if he didn't manage to regain his starting position[11] In his third season, Elia made four appearances before his move to Juventus.


On 31 August 2011, Juventus confirmed the signing of Elia from Hamburg on a four-year contract for a fee of €9 million.[12] Elia made his Juventus debut on 25 September 2011 in a 1–1 draw against Catania. However, he found it hard to make an impact in the black and white shirt and only featured four times in the whole season. Despite Juventus winning the League title without losing a single game, Elia announced he wanted to leave Juventus in order to revive his career elsewhere.[13] The following month on 11 June 2012, Elia handed in a transfer request which was granted by Juventus.[14]

Werder Bremen[edit]

On 9 July 2012, Werder Bremen confirmed the signing of Eljero Elia from Juventus on a four-year contract for a fee of €5.5 million and the transfer could increase by another €2 million, depending on what Werder and Elia achieve in his first season.[15] After moving to Werder Bremen, Elia said he hoped he would resurrect his form and aimed to earn an international call-up.[16] Elia appeared in his first game for Werder Bremen in a 2–1 loss in the opening game of the season against Borussia Dortmund. After making seven appearance with no goals, Elia admitted he found it difficult to adapt to the club's playing style.[17] Despite this, Elia would make twenty-one appearances for the club that season. Elia, along with team-mate Marko Arnautović, were suspended for the remainder of the season after the pair were caught speeding in two separate incidents.[18]

In the 2013–14 season, Elia started strong when he scored two goals and his first for Bremen against Nuremberg in a 33 draw on 29 September 2013.[19] Elia then scored two goals in two matches against Mainz on 24 November 2013, which Bremen lost 3–2[20] and another on 30 November 2013, in a 4–4 draw against Hoffenheim.[21] The 2013–14 season was an improvement for Elia, as he was an ever-present player in the squad, making 33 appearance and scoring four times.


On 23 December 2014 Southampton announced that Elia would join them on loan from 3 January 2015 for the remainder of the season from Bundesliga strugglers Werder Bremen with an option to make the loan permanent at the end of the season.[22]

International career[edit]

Elia first appeared for the Netherlands U19 team in 2005, a year after his debut as a professional. He developed rapidly, and in the beginning of 2006, he was selected for Netherlands under-21 team. He was selected by coach Bert van Marwijk for the senior team's friendly encounter with England.[23]

On 6 September 2009, Elia had his debut for the Netherlands against Japan in a friendly match.[24] He came on at half-time replacing Arjen Robben. His first match for the Oranje went very well, with Elia producing two assists in the 3–0 victory.[25] In just his second match, Elia scored the only goal to win a match against Scotland on 9 September 2009.[26] Elia scored his second international goal in a 6–1 friendly win over Hungary with a solo effort after coming on as a substitute.

Elia with the Dutch national team in 2010

2010 World Cup[edit]

Elia was included in the preliminary squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[27] On 27 May 2010, the Netherlands' manager Bert van Marwijk announced that the player would be part of the final squad of 23 participating in the competition.[28]

He assisted their second goal in a 2–0 win over Denmark, with his shot hitting the post and Dirk Kuyt tapping it in. In Durban, during the Netherlands' second match of the group stage, Elia came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute, after the Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima fumbled a powerful effort by Wesley Sneijder into the back of the net to give the Dutch a 1–0 lead after 53 minutes of play.[29]

In the 66th minute of the Netherlands' final group stage match, against Cameroon, he came on as a substitute for Dirk Kuyt.

International goals[edit]

Eljero Elia: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 9 September 2009 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland  Scotland 1–0 1–0 2010 World Cup qualification
2 5 June 2010 Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Hungary 5–1 6–1 Friendly

Clothing brand business[edit]

Eljero Elia is co-founder of the luxury clothing brand called BALR. Together with fellow Dutch professional footballer Demy De Zeeuw, the two Holland internationals created this brand, worn by many professional footballers across the globe.[citation needed]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 20 December 2014.[30]
Club Season League Cup[31] Continental[32] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Den Haag 2004–05 4 1 0 0 0 0 4 1
2005–06 30 2 0 0 0 0 30 2
2006–07 25 3 0 0 0 0 25 3
Den Haag 59 6 0 0 0 0 59 6
Twente 2007–08 30 2 0 0 0 0 30 2
2008–09 34 9 3 3 6 1 43 13
Twente 64 11 3 3 6 1 73 15
Hamburg 2009–10 24 5 1 0 8 1 33 6
2010–11 24 2 1 0 0 0 25 2
Hamburg 52 7 3 0 8 1 63 8
Juventus 2011–12 4 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
Juventus 4 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
Werder Bremen 2012–13 24 0 1 0 0 0 25 0
2013–14 33 4 0 0 0 0 33 4
2014–15 9 0 1 0 0 0 10 0
Werder Bremen 66 4 2 0 0 0 68 4
Career totals 245 26 9 3 14 2 270 31




  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Twente rondt transfer Elia af" [Twente completes transfer Elijah off] (in Dutch). AD.nl. 29 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Elia is Netherlands' brightest young thing". UEFA. 12 May 2009. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Twente shun Elia offer]]". Sky Sports. 21 December 2008. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "New deal on cards for Elia". ESPN Star. Retrieved 14 November 2012. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Elia ready for move". Sky Sports. 24 March 2009. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Perfekt – HSV verpflichtet Elia!" (in German). Deutsche Fussball Liga. 5 July 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Elia likely to miss rest of season". UEFA. 19 March 2010. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Hall, Allan (12 July 2011). "Auf Wiedersehen, tat! German football club bans its players from getting any more tattoos". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Elia eyes Hamburg stay". Sky Sports. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Elia weighs up Hamburg future". Sky Sports. 14 February 2011. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Juve complete Elia deal". Sky Sports. 31 August 2011. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "Eljero Elia: I want to leave Juventus". Goal.com. 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Juventus grant Elia permission to find new club". Goal.com. 11 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Juventus confirm Elia exit". ESPN Soccernet. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Elia hoping for Bremen boost". Sky Sports. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Eljero Elia admits to struggling at Werder Bremen". Sky Sports. 16 October 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Bremen ban duo for speeding". The Sun. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Live Match". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "comeback comes too late: Werder loses against Mainz" [Zwei Mielitz-PatzerAufholjagd kommt zu spät: Werder verliert gegen Mainz] (in German). Bild. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Eight goals, three penalties and a goalkeeper substitution" [Acht Tore, drei Elfmeter und ein Torwartwechsel] (in German). Kicker Official Website. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Saints to sign Elia on loan". Southampton FC. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "Bert van Marwijk announces Holland squad for England". Goal.com. 29 July 2009. Archived from the original on 1 August 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  24. ^ "Netherlands beat Japan 3–0 in friendly". USA Today. 5 September 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  25. ^ "Geflatteerde 3–0 zege van Oranje op Japan" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 5 September 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  26. ^ "Elia opnieuw goudhaantje Oranje" (in Dutch). voetbalzone.nl. 9 September 2009. Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "Van Marwijk trims Dutch squad to 27". AFP. Google News. 15 May 2010. Archived from the original on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  28. ^ "Holland coach Bert van Marwijk finalises World Cup squad". The Guardian (London). Press Association. 27 May 2010. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  29. ^ "Netherlands v Japan live "Play-by-Play"". FIFA. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  30. ^ "Eljero Elia". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Archived from the original on 30 December 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  31. ^ Includes KNVB Cup and DFB-Pokal
  32. ^ Includes UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA Super Cup

External links[edit]