Khalfan Ibrahim

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Khalfan Ibrahim
Khalfan Ibrahim2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Khalfan Ibrahim Khalfan Al Khalfan
Date of birth (1988-02-18) 18 February 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Doha, Qatar
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Al Sadd
Number 10
Youth career
1998–2004 Al Arabi
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004– Al Sadd 156 (60)
National team
2003–2005 Qatar U–17 8 (9)
2005 Qatar U–20 2 (2)
2006 Qatar U–23 7 (3)
2006– Qatar 54 (17)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 April 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 October 2013

Khalfan Ibrahim Khalfan Al Khalfan (Arabic: خلفان إبراهيم خلفان‎; born on 18 February 1988 in Doha) is a Qatari footballer who plays as a Winger for Al Sadd and the Qatar national team. He was named the Asian Player of the Year in 2006,[1] becoming the first Qatari to win the title. He played for Al Arabi at youth level before moving to Al Sadd in 2004 on a professional contract.

His father, Ibrahim Khalfan Al Khalfan, is a former footballer who played for Al Arabi and the Qatar national team.

He is sometimes dubbed as the "Maradona of Qatar" and is nicknamed "Khalfaninho" by his supporters in reference to Ronaldinho.[2]

Club career[edit]

Al Sadd[edit]

Early career[edit]

Khalfan started out with Al-Arabi (his father's club) and was signed by Al-Sadd in September 2004. He got into Al Sadd's first team at the age of 17 in March 2005 and scored against Al-Shamal on his debut. In his next match against Al Rayyan, he was named Man of the Match. 2005–06 was a significantly improved season for him when he scored goals in the Qatar League, Crown Prince Cup and Asian Champions League, which brought him into the spotlight. His performance in 2006–07 played a part in achieving the Asian Player of The Year title. He scored 5 goals in Al Sadd's start to the league campaign and then was a crucial member of the Asian Games gold medal winning Qatar team. However, in an Olympic qualifying match against Bahrain in February 2007, he got himself injured and was laid-off for more than one year, missing most of Al Sadd's record-breaking season in which they garnered 4 titles. He wasn't able to play in the 2007–08 league season as Al-Gharafa overtook Al-Sadd for the title. He returned for the revamped 2008–09 season which has been his best so far. He scored 8 goals in Al-Sadd's first 6 games, nearing Gabriel Batistuta's record of scoring in 8 consecutive Qatar League games.

ACL and CWC[edit]

Khalfan won the 2011 AFC Champions League with Al Sadd. Khalfan delivered an inspired performance against Suwon in the semi-final second leg to keep the club's hopes alive. He featured in the final against Jeonbuk which was won 4–2 on penalties. He assisted Keita by providing an accurate cross which Keita volleyed into the net, as well as forcing a Jeonbuk defender to head the ball into his own net on the earlier goal. The Koreans scored a late equalizer to make it 2–2, causing the game to go to extra-time and eventually penalties. His performance in the AFC Champions League earned him offers from other clubs, including a contract from Saudi club Al Nassr, however it was announced by the Al Sadd management that they would only take offers from the club in the summer transfer window, as they needed Khalfan to play in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.[3][4]

Al Sadd's Asian triumph took them to Japan for the Club World Cup where Khalfan featured and scored against the African champions Esperance in their first match. Abdul Kader Keita's shot from a tight angle was only parried to the far post by Moez Ben Cherifia. Khalfan then reacted the fastest to nod home on the goal-line. The match, which proved to be an ill-tempered affair, was won 2–1. It was capped off with Esperance fans throwing projectiles onto the field and attempting to get past the security barricade.[5]

During this time, Khalfan accumulated 2 red cards in a row within 2 games in the Qatar Stars League, both in the 89th minute for physical altercations with other players. Al Sadd lost both of the matches in which he was red carded. However, he did not receive any red cards in international competitions.

Season 2011–12[edit]

Khalfan finished the 2011/12 QSL season as the top league scorer for Al Sadd, with 7 goals.[6]

He scored a goal in the 2012 Qatar Crown Prince Cup in a 4–2 win over Lekhwiya before getting involved in an altercation with Lekhwiya midfielder Nam Tae-Hee after the match for unsportsmanlike behavior.[7] He went on to score Al Sadd's only goal against Al Rayyan in the final, being named Man of the Match.[8]

Season 2012–13[edit]

Khalfan Ibrahim had a solid start to the season, playing a critical role of an attacking trio (with Mamadou Niang and Raúl González). They led Al Sadd from a win to another in their first league games, trying to get the club back as Al Sadd had only won 2 domestic competitions and the ACL in the last 5 years after the 2006–07 season in which they won all domestic competitions.

After the first 4 games of QSL, Khalfan (with Niang and Raúl) shared the second place on the top scorer table with 3 goals each. Khalfan scored his first hat-trick this season on Al Sailiya game on 22 October, where his team won 4–1 and he was assisted twice by Niang and once by Raúl, recording the second hat-trick scored in the league this season.

Khalfan in 2011 in a QSL match

On 26 April 2013, in a Crown Prince Cup match against Al Rayyan, he scored an impressive solo goal as he dribbled 60 meters past the entire opposition defense to score a long-range goal. Some news agencies considered it a 'carbon copy' of Diego Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup,[9] and also reminiscent of Lionel Messi's 'Maradona goal' in 2007.[10] It was touted as a contender for the best goal of 2013[11] and has been described as arguably the best goal by all Qatari players in history.[12] His teammate, Raúl, stated he was the best player of the season, comparing him to Diego Maradona.[13]

On 19 May, he was named as the QFA Player of the Year, beating off competition from teammate Raúl Gonzalez.[14]

Season 2013–14[edit]

Khalfan scored his first goal of the 2013-14 season against Al-Ahli on 20 September.

Süper Lig club Beşiktaş were rumored to be interested in signing Khalfan in the off season to replace Hugo Almeida.[15]

Club career statistics[edit]

Statistics accurate as of 11 April 2014[16][17]

Club Season League League Cup1 League Cup2 Asia3 Other4 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Al-Sadd 2004–05 QSL 10 1 0 0 - - - - 0 0 10 1
2005–06 12 1 4 1 - - 3 1 0 0 19 3
2006–07 16 5 5 0 - - 4 1 2 0 27 6
2007–08 6 2 3 0 - - - - 0 0 9 2
2008–09 21 15 1 0 - - - - 3 0 25 15
2009–10 9 2 3 0 0 0 6 1 2 0 20 3
2010–11 18 3 2 1 2 0 11 1 7 1 40 6
2011–12 17 7 4 3 2 2 - - 3 0 26 12
2012–13 21 10 5 2 0 0 - - 5 1 31 13
2013–14 26 14 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 30 15
Total 156 60 27 7 4 2 28 5 22 2 237 76
Career total 156 60 27 7 4 2 28 5 22 2 237 76

1Includes Emir of Qatar Cup and Qatar Crown Prince Cup.

2Includes Qatari Stars Cup.

3Includes AFC Champions League.

4Includes FIFA Club World Cup and Sheikh Jassem Cup.


International career[edit]

Khalfan during a national team training session in Doha

Youth teams[edit]

Khalfan first played for Qatar's youth teams, scoring 6 goals in the under-17 Gulf Cup held in 2003, helping Qatar finish runners-up in the process. Qatar finished runner-up and Khalfan finished second in the scorers list with 6 goals. He was part of the Qatar squad which played at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru, scoring one goal in the match against the mighty Netherlands. He and his young teammates battled their more illustrious opponents to a 2–2 stalemate at halftime but eventually lost out 3–5. It was a performance which caught the eye and contributed greatly to his Asian Player of the Year title. In the same year he played in the West Asian Games. Qatar's campaign was unsuccessful despite Khalfan scoring two goals. In all the above tournaments he played with a number of his teammates who along with him were to become the backbone of Al-Sadd and the senior national team.

Senior team[edit]

After his stellar performances at the youth level, he and his teammates broke into the Annabi's senior team. Their first major triumph was the Asian Games title won in front of home fans, with Khalfan scoring 2 goals. He scored two superb goals against Bangladesh in their Asian Cup 2007 qualifying match. He then took part in his first Gulf Cup, where Qatar couldn't defend their title despite Khalfan scoring one goal against Bahrain. In 2008 he played a prominent part in Qatar's World Cup qualifying campaign scoring against Asia's No 1 side-Australia.

Khalfan took part in Qatar's 2014 World Cup Qualifications which were held from 2011. In a match versus Indonesia, which would be Indonesia's last hopes of qualifying for the World Cup, Khalfan scored an amazing goal from a long way out after dribbling past the defenders. Qatar proved to be too much for Indonesia, eventually winning the game 3–2 in a tightly clinched match.[18] Khalfan also got a brace in the home match against Indonesia in a 4–0 win, thus officially eliminating them from qualifying, and in the process, making him the top scorer for Qatar in the 2014 WCQ.[19]

Brazilian legend Zico commented on Khalfan's performance against Indonesia, stating "I saw that (2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match) between Indonesia and Qatar on television, and I saw this wonderful player. He has speed and great dribbling skills. He has the features of a Brazilian player. I am confident that Qatar can produce talented players like Khalfan Ibrahim".[20]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Qatar's goal tally first.

Honours[edit]

Individual[edit]

  • Asian Player of the Year: 2006
  • Best Player U-21 – Qatar: 2006
  • Best Arab Player: 2007
  • Player of the Year : 2013 (Qatar Stars League)

Club[edit]

Al Sadd[edit]

Notable matches[edit]

  • Qatar vs. Bangladesh (Asian Cup 2007 Qualifiers) – First International match, scored twice.
  • Al-Sadd vs Al-Rayyan – Scored two breath taking goals in a league match in 2007.
  • Qatar vs. Indonesia (World Cup 2014 Qualifiers) – 3–2 win, scored once and assisted twice.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Qatari teenager Ibrahim named Asian Player of the Year". China Daily. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Korea Clinches Dramatic Victory in WC Qualifier Against Qatar". chosun.com. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  3. ^ لفان و المطوع داخل اهتمامات النصر (Arabic)
  4. ^ القطري خلفان: لا أعرف مدى جدية عرض النصر وحلم الاحتراف مؤجل (Arabic)
  5. ^ Match Report: Esperance 1–2 Al Sadd – Goal.com
  6. ^ Khalfan is the top scorer for Al Sadd
  7. ^ تفاصيل "هوشه" خلفان ونام (Arabic)
  8. ^ خلفان أفضل لاعب في نهائي كأس ولي العهد (Arabic)
  9. ^ ""La gran Maradona" hizo este jugador en la liga de Qatar" (in Spanish). cronica.com.py. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Al Sadd gain revenge over Al Rayyan". gulf-times.com. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "VIDEO: AL SADD STAR OUTSTRIPS BALE & NEYMAR WITH SOLO STUNNER". sport360.com. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Gem of a goal by inspiring Khalfan". Doha Stadium Plus. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "I am thinking only in 1001". al-saddclub.com. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Sadd's Khalfan, Raul, Amotta shine at QFA awards gala". gulf-times.com. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Almeida yerine Katar’ın Maradonası!" (in Turkish). spor1903. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  16. ^ QSL.com.qa – Khalfan Ibrahim
  17. ^ QSL 2013-14 Stats
  18. ^ FIFA – Qatar snatch win over Indonesia
  19. ^ Khalfan double lifts Qatar past Indonesia
  20. ^ QSL – Qatar has quality players, says Brazilian great Zico

External links[edit]