Karim El Ahmadi

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Karim El Ahmadi
Karim El Ahmadi 2009.jpg
El Ahmadi playing for Morocco in 2009
Personal information
Full name Karim El Ahmadi Aroussi[1]
Date of birth (1985-01-27) 27 January 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth Enschede, Netherlands
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Feyenoord
Number 8
Youth career
UDI Enschede
Twente
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2008 Twente 89 (3)
2008–2012 Feyenoord 94 (4)
2011 Al Ahli (loan) 10 (1)
2012–2014 Aston Villa 51 (3)
2014– Feyenoord 12 (1)
National team
2008– Morocco 20 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:49, 15 December 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 November 2011

Karim El Ahmadi Aroussi (Arabic: كريم الأحمدي; born 27 January 1985) is a professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Feyenoord in the Eredivisie and the Morocco national team. 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.

Early life[edit]

El Ahmadi was born and raised in Enschede, Overijssel, Netherlands. His parents are both Moroccan, making him eligible to 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 get more playing 2 more game 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 find himself out of the first team and made 8 appearance following an arrival of Kennedy Bakircioglü and Patrick Gerritsen and then the following 2006–07 season, El Ahmadi suffered an knee injury in UEFA Cup match against Ukrainian side Levadia Tallinn in a 1–1 draw.[4] After recovering, El Ahmadi return 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 established 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 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 became fourth, resulting 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 Kennedy Bakircioglü to Ajax and Sharbel Touma sold to German side Borussia Mönchengladbach. Even worse when Patrick Gerritsen suffered leg injury leading El Ahmadi managed 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 appearance although playing primarily as a defender. At the end of the season, FC Twente qualified for the UEFA Champions League in the season, all thanks to the rapid development from the defensive midfielder.

Feyenoord[edit]

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

El Ahmadi was struck with an injury, delaying his debut in the shirt of Feyenoord after suffered a groin injury.[8] He made his debut as a substitute for Luigi Bruins in the UEFA Cup-match against Kalmar FF, which Feyenoord won 2–1 on 2 October 2008. He made his debut in the starting line-up against NEC, which ended in a 0–2 home defeat on 5 October 2008 before coming off on a 58 minutes. 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, El Ahmadi start to play regularly in the starting line-up which led interests from German side Hamburger SV.[9] Soon in early-April, El Ahmadi, again, suffered an ankle injury and luckily made his return on the last game of the season, against Roda JC, which Feyernood lose 3-2.[10] At the end of the season, El Ahmadi was linked to join Dutch side PSV Eindhoven[citation needed] but no offer was made from the club.[11]

The following 2009–10 season under manager Mario Been, El Ahmadi began to play in central midfield position with the rise of youngsters Leroy Fer and Jonathan de Guzmán. Playing in the central midfield position, El Ahmadi made 26 league games, without scoring a single goal. In the quarter final of KNVB Cup, El Ahmadi scored a brace and setting up a goal for captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst in a 3–0 win over PSV Eindhoven on 27 January 2010. Feyernood would later on reach the final of KNVB Cup but lose 6–1 on aggregate to Ajax. At the end of 2009–10 season, El Ahmadi was linked with German side Schalke 04.[citation needed]

After a loan spell at Al Ahli Club, El Ahmadi return to the club. Under manager Ronald Koeman, El Ahmadi managed to get a regular place in the starting line-up in the midfield position to form a very strong midfield with Jordy Clasie and Otman Bakkal. On 11 September 2011, El Ahmadi 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 against Jan Polák during a match against Czech Republic.

After making 15 league appearance this season at Feyernoord without scoring, El Ahmadi joined a UAE side Al Ahli Club on a six-month loan deal in order for the club to boost funds needed to sign a new striker on 25 January.[13] On 4 February 2011, El Ahmadi made his debut for the club in a 0–0 draw against Al Dhafra S.C.C..[14] On 24 March 2011, El Ahmadi scored his first goal in UAE League ina 2–2 draw against Ittihad Kalba. After his loan move, El Ahmadi made 10 appearance and scored 1. El Ahmadi told Ad that he want to play European Football next season and insisting the level of competition at Al Ahli is 'too low' and is compared to 'weakest teams in the Dutch league'.[15] Chairman of Al Ahli football club, Abdullah Saeed Al Naboudah, says the club want to sign El Ahmadi on a permanent basis but 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 in the region £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 putting in 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 soon left out of the squad, due to injury and made 24 appearance in all competitions. El Ahmadi started the 2013-14 season in very good form putting in 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 he went in to the slide tackle. Ramires was then sent off, he was the second Chelsea player to get sent off that match. Chelsea manager José Mourinho was also sent to the stands for coming onto the pitch in the aftermath of the Ramires incident.

Return to Feyenoord[edit]

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

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.[21]

Statistics[edit]

As of 18 December 2014[22]
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 Eredivisie 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 12 1 0 0 5 2 17 3
Total Netherlands 200 8 13 2 14 2 211 12
United Arab Emirates 10 1 0 0 0 0 10 1
England 51 3 5 0 0 0 56 3
Career total 261 12 14 2 14 2 267 16

Personal life[edit]

El Ahmadi is a practicing Muslim.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Barclays Premier League Squad Numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Karim El Ahmadi". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  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. ^ "Loan move for El Ahmadi". Sky Sports. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  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. 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 "Free Video: Player of the month El Ahmadi showcases his skills"]. Aston Villa Official Website. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  21. ^ Karim El AhmadiFIFA competition record
  22. ^ "Karim El Ahmadi". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  23. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]