Hicham Zerouali

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Hicham Zerouali
Personal information
Full name Hicham Zerouali
Date of birth (1977-01-17)17 January 1977
Place of birth Morocco
Date of death 4 December 2004(2004-12-04) (aged 27)
Place of death Rabat, Morocco
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1999 FUS de Rabat
1999–2002 Aberdeen 37 (11)
2002–2003 Al-Nassr
2003–2004 FAR Rabat
National team
1999–2004 Morocco 17 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Hicham Zerouali (Arabic: هشام زروالي‎; born 17 January 1977 – 4 December 2004), nicknamed 'Zero' or the 'Moroccan Magician', was a Moroccan footballer. He played as a forward for clubs in Morocco, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates. He was a Moroccan international who won 17 caps.

Club career[edit]

Aberdeen[edit]

Zerouali was signed by Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl from FUS de Rabat in 1999. He became the first player in Scotland to wear the shirt number '0' in 2000 (something outlawed the following season by the Scottish Premier League and the Premier League in England)[1] and in one of his more memorable outings scored a hat-trick against Dundee.[2]

In January 2000, Zerouali scored a thirty yard free kick in a fourth round Scottish Cup tie away to St. Mirren to take the tie to a replay. Zerouali then scored in the 2–0 replay win at Pittodrie to help Aberdeen into the next round of the cup. Aberdeen eventually reached the final of that season's Scottish Cup.

In 2000, Zerouali was injured during a match against Motherwell, and subsequently missed out on a place at the Sydney Olympic Games.[3]

A firm fans' favourite at Pittodrie, he was affectionately known as 'Zero' to the supporters. A memorial and tribute was held at Pittodrie after he died, which thousands of fans attended, despite him not playing for the club at the time.

Al-Nassr and FAR Rabat[edit]

After his contract at Aberdeen expired, he then moved to play his football in the United Arab Emirates with the team Al-Nassr for a year,[4] before returning to live in his home country of Morocco in 2003, signing for FAR Rabat, where he won the Coupe du Trône that year.[5]

International career[edit]

Zerouali won 17 caps for the Morocco national football team and scored three goals. He featured for Morocco in the African Nations Cup in Mali in 2002, and scored two goals in a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso. He also played in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship. He was in the international squad a month before his death.[5]

Death[edit]

Zerouali was killed in a car accident in Rabat in December 2004 aged 27.[5] Only the previous Saturday, he had scored two goals in a league game for his club.[5] He is survived by a daughter to his girlfriend in Aberdeen.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacKay, Hamish (26 August 2014). "Mario Balotelli's lucky number, Argentina's alphabetical World Cup and Clint Dempsey's rap name... The strangest squad numbers in sport, and the reasoning behind them". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Zero hat-trick dumps Dundee". BBC Sport website. September 29, 2001. 
  3. ^ "Zero luck for Moroccan". BBC Sport website. August 28, 2000. 
  4. ^ "Zerouali leaves Aberdeen for Al Nasr". BBC Sport website. July 11, 2002. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Zerouali killed in car accident". BBC Sport website. December 6, 2004. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]