|Date of birth||12 September 1980|
|Place of birth||Freetown, Sierra Leone|
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|2001–2002||→ Hamburger SV II (loan)||6||(1)|
|2001–2003||→ Hamburger SV (loan)||23||(2)|
|2007–2009||1. FC Köln||46||(7)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 November 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Roda Antar (Arabic: رضا عنتر; born 12 September 1980 in Freetown) is a Sierra Leone-born Lebanese professional footballer who currently plays for Jiangsu Sainty in the Chinese Super League and the Lebanon national football team, captaining the squad since 2005.
Antar started his career with Tadamon Sour, progressing through their youth system to the first-team squad where he made his debut at the age of 17 in the Lebanese Premier League during the 1998–99 season. He finished his career with the club having scored 13 league goals. In July 2001, he was loaned to Germany's Hamburger SV for two seasons, where he scored two goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances, as well as one goal in six Regionalliga Nord appearances in his second season for Hamburger SV II, the club's reserve-team. In August 2003, Antar was brought to SC Freiburg by the club's first-team coach Volker Finke. After a serious injury, Antar eventually debuted in the 2003–04 season on 6 December in a 4–2 win against VfL Bochum, where Antar scored a hat-trick, and was subsequently referred to as a "Football God" by Freiburg supporters. He finished the season having scored seven goals in 17 league appearances. Prior to the start of the 2004–05 season, Freiburg had signed Antar's international team-mate Youssef Mohamad. Antar scored two goals in 23 league appearances as Freiburg were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga. He remained there until July 2007, when both Antar and Mohamad were transferred to fellow 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln.
Antar debuted for Köln in a 2–0 away win against FC St. Pauli on 10 August 2007, and scored his first goal, a bicycle kick, in a 2–1 home victory against SV Wehen Wiesbaden on 23 March 2008, the goal was voted as goal of the month. In the second last game of the 2007–08 season, Antar helped Köln gain promotion back into the Bundesliga for the 2008–09 season, scoring a double in the decisive 2–0 home victory against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on 11 May. Antar finished the season having scored seven goals in 31 league appearances, as Köln finished in third position of the 2007–08 2. Bundesliga table with 60 points. During February of the 2008–09 season, Antar left Köln after disagreements with club sporting director Michael Meier and manager Christoph Daum subject to Antar's commitment to the first-team where which they had spoken with Antar and his adviser. Antar had made 15 league appearances before his exit. On 16 March 2009, he transferred to Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng Taishan for a transfer fee of £630.000, where he competed in the 2010 AFC Champions League the following year.
Antar has represented Lebanon at the 1998 Arab Nations Cup, the 2000 WAFF Championship, the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, the 2002 Arab Nations Cup and also at the 2012 WAFF Championship. He also participated in the qualifiers for the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Antar is the joint leading goal scorer of the Lebanon national team's history, alongside Wartan Ghazarian, with 19 goals.
- 1 Career
- 2 International career
- 3 Honours
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Antar, along with his older brother Faisal Antar, started his career with Lebanese Premier League side Tadamon Sour. He debuted in the 1998–99 season, scoring his first goal in April in the 27th minute of a 3–1 home win against Safa. Antar scored his first goal of the 1999–00 season in round 4 in a 2–2 draw against Hekmeh FC in October. He scored four league goals for the season, as Tadaman Sour went onto claim a runners-up position in the Lebanese Federation Cup. Antar scored his first goals for the 2000–01 season, a brace, in a 4–1 away win against Al-Ansar on 10 January. Antar finished the 2000–01 season having scored six league goals.
Loan to Hamburger SV
Due to Antar's performances during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 2001, Lebanon's national team coach, Theo Bücker, had assisted him in a transfer to Bundesliga outfit Hamburger SV, on loan from Lebanese Premier League club Tadamon Sour. Antar made his first appearance in the 2001–02 Bundesliga season in a 1–1 away draw against TSV 1860 München on 11 August, where Antar was substituted onto the field for Erik Meijer in the 86th minute. Antar scored his first goal in the Bundesliga in a 3–1 home win against 1. FC Nürnberg on 2 March.
During his two-year stay with the club, Hamburg would claim the 2003 German League Cup, however, after failing to establish himself with the north German side (after he played in the Regionalliga Nord for Hamburg's reserve side for the 2002–03 season), he opted for a free-transfer to SC Freiburg.
Antar was brought to Freiburg by its first-team coach Volker Finke for the 2003–04 season. After a serious injury Antar eventually debuted in December 2003 when he scored a hat-trick in a 4–2 win against VfL Bochum. He was consequently referred to as a "Football God" by Freiburg supporters. During his time at Freiburg Youssef Mohamad, who was Roda's international team mate, was transferred to the club.
1. FC Köln
In 2007, both Antar and Mohamad were transferred to 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln for the 2007–08 season. He debuted for Köln in a 2–0 away win against FC St. Pauli on 10 August. Antar scored his first goal for Köln, a bicycle kick, in a 2–1 home victory against SV Wehen Wiesbaden on 23 March, the goal was voted as goal of the month. On 4 May 2008, Antar scored Köln's second goal in their 3–1 home victory against 1899 Hoffenheim. In the 79th minute of the match, Antar was deliberately kicked in the face by Hoffenheim midfielder Carlos Eduardo Marques, as confirmed by TV pictures. The referee, Peter Gagelmann, did not see the incident occur, however, the German FA made subsequent investigations before bringing in a charge which resulted in issuing Marques with a multi-game suspension which restricted him from playing in any competitive fixtures for the duration of the 2007–08 season. In the second last game of the 2007–08 season, Antar helped Köln gain promotion back into the Bundesliga, scoring a double in the decisive 2–0 home victory against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on 11 May. Antar finished the season having scored seven goals in 31 league appearances, Köln finished in third spot of the table on 60 points and were promoted to the Bundesliga for the 2008–09 Bundesliga season.
In February 2009, he left Köln after disagreements with club sporting director Michael Meier and manager Christoph Daum. The issue was subject to Antar's commitment to the first-team where which they had spoken to Antar and his adviser. The club's board of directions offered him support and individual training sessions as they felt obliged to fulfill the contractual agreement which initially ran until 30 June 2009, but no contact to him could be made after he did not turn up to the club s training sessions. Antar's agent stated that he had offers from Japan, Russia and China.
Shandong Luneng Taishan
On 16 March 2009 Antar signed to China's Shandong Luneng Taishan for a transfer fee of £630.000 (€700.000). During 2010 Antar featured in the 2010 AFC Champions League where which Shandong were eliminated in the group stage.
On 30 November 2012, it was reported that Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan were observing Antar as his contract with Shandong Luneng was soon to expire and his contract was not re-newed. However, he later re-newed his contract with Shandong Luneng which kept him at the club until December 2013.
In December 2013, Antar stated that he had agreed terms with Jiangsu Sainty and would leave Shandong Luneng on 31 December 2013 in order to become part of Jiangsu Sainty's squad in January 2014. Wearing the number #6 jersey, Antar debuted for Jiangsu Sainty in round 1 of the 2014 Chinese Super League in a 1–0 home victory against Guizhou Renhe on 8 March, playing a full 90-minutes of the match.
Antar was called up to the Lebanon national team aged 18 where he made two appearances at the 1998 Arab Nations Cup. He scored his first goal in a 2–0 victory at the 2000 WAFF Championship against Kyrgyzstan on 25 May 2000. He then scored two more goals for Lebanon that same year in friendlies against Kuwait (25 June) and Oman (8 August). In 2001, Antar scored six times for Lebanon, reaching nine international goals, where he scored once in a 3–0 friendly victory against Philippines and five more goals during the qualifiers for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Antar scored his first hat-trick for the national team during the 2002 Arab Nations Cup in a 4–2 victory against Yemen on 24 December 2002. His hat-trick brought him to a total of 12 national team goals. On 25 March 2013, Antar announced his retirement from international football citing that the constance long distance traveling had left him physically tired and exhausted. In late October 2013, Antar announced his return to the national team. During Lebanon's last 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification match against Thailand national football team on 5 March 2014, Antar scored Lebanon's fifth goal in their 5–2 away victory, the goal brought his tally to 19 national team goals making him the joint leading goal scorer, with Wartan Ghazarian, of the Lebanon national team.
2000 AFC Asian Cup
Antar was selected by coach Josip Skoblar for Lebanon's 23-man squad for the 2000 Asian Cup campaign, where Antar was handed the number #20 shirt. Both Antar and his brother, Faislan had been selected for Lebanon, and Antar was also one of five under-21 players selected in the squad. Antar played in Lebanon's first group-stage match, a 4–0 loss against Iran on 12 October. Antar was substituted off of the field for Moussa Hojeij in the 65th minute. Antar then featured for Lebanon's 2–2 draw against Iraq on 15 October, when he was substituted onto the field for Michael Reda in the 47th minute. Antar then played in Lebanon's 1–1 draw against Thailand on 18 October, when he was again substituted onto the field for Jamal Taha in the 63rd minute. Lebanon were eliminated from the tournament having obtained two points, finished in bottom place of Group A.
2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
Under German coach Theo Bücker, Antar played a vital role for Lebanon during the first round qualifiers for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, scoring five goals in five appearances. In Lebanon's opening match, he played a full 90-minutes in their 6–0 victory against Pakistan on 13 May 2001. Antar then scored a double in Lebanon's 4–0 win against Sri Lanka on 15 May 2001. Two days later, Antar scored for Lebanon in the 9th minute giving them a 1–0 lead against Thailand on 17 May 2001. Thailand scored two goals before half-time to eventually win the match 2–1. On 26 May 2001, Antar scored another double in Lebanon's 8–1 victory against Pakistan. On 30 May 2001, Antar played a full 90-minutes of Lebanon's 2–2 draw against Thailand. The result meant that Lebanon finished in second position of their respective group, with 13 points, but failed to advance to the second round of qualifiers.
2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
Antar was named captain in 2004 for the second round qualifiers for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, scoring three goals in four appearances. He missed Lebanon's first match against South Korea, a 2–0 loss on 18 February 2004, due to a visa problem. On 31 March 2004, Antar played in his first match of the qualification campaign, a 2–0 away victory against Vietnam, where Antar scored Lebanon's first goal of the match in the 83rd minute. On 9 June 2004, Antar scored in Lebanon's 3–0 home win against Maldives. Antar again scored for Lebanon in their 5–2 away victory against Maldives in Malé on 8 September 2004. On 13 October 2004, Antar played a full 90-minutes of Lebanon's 1–1 home draw against South Korea. The result meant that Lebanon could not proceed to the next round of qualifiers, Lebanon eventually drew 0–0 with Vietnam in Beirut on 17 November 2004 in their last qualification match and finished in second place of their respective qualification group with 11 points.
2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
Antar featured in two 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches for Lebanon. They were drawn in a first round play-off against India, where Antar scored in Lebanon's 4–0 first-leg victory on 8 October 2007. Following a 2–2 draw in the second leg on 30 October 2007, Lebanon advanced to the next round of qualifiers. Antar then played a full 90-minutes of Lebanon's third round qualifier against Uzbekistan, a 1–0 home defeat on 6 February 2008. Lebanon had obtained no points out of their six group stage matches and finished in bottom place of their respective group.
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
After one year of absence due to international retirement, Antar came out of retirement to play under former coach, Theo Bücker, for the AFC Third Round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. Having missed Lebanon's opening group-stage match against South Korea in Goyang due to a visa problem, Antar was named captain by Bücker for his first appearance, where he helped Lebanon to a 3–1 home victory against the United Arab Emirates on 6 September 2011. Antar had assisted Akram Moghrabi in scoring Lebanon's second goal and scored the third goal himself with a header in the 83rd minute. Antar was then awarded the man of the match. During Lebanon's third group-stage match on 11 October 2011, Lebanon had drawn 2–2 with Kuwait in front of approximately 32,000 fans in Beirut. It had been the first time since 2005 that the Lebanese Football Federation had allowed spectators inside stadiums, having previously barred fans from entering the stadiums due to bad behaviour. Bad behaviour from the fans, mostly related to playing with fireworks, was again the case against Kuwait as it forced Japanese referee Masaaki Toma into stopping the game on numerous occasions. Masaaki was forced to stop the game twice after a supporter shined a laser pen at the Kuwaiti goalkeeper. The halt in play that accumulated to around 10 minutes broke up Lebanon's rhythm where the Lebanese players looked tired after their break and momentum was lost. Masaaki called in his assistants to suspend play as the stadium's announcer. Antar remonstrated with the fans in order to calm them down and then the game recommenced six minutes later before coming to another halt again. On 15 November 2011, Lebanon defeated South Korea 2–1 in Beirut. Lebanon took the lead after 4 minutes when Antar's shot was blocked and then turned in by Ali Al Saadi. Their second goal came after 30 minutes of the first half when Abbas Ali Atwi converted a penalty shot. Antar inspired Lebanon to a spirited and historic victory, recording Lebanon's first ever win over South Korea, and had been instrumental in Lebanon's last four qualifiers as they obtained ten points to share their group's top spot with the South Korea. The 2–1 result sent both teams to the fourth round of the qualifiers. It was after this win that Lebanon striker Mahmoud El Ali hailed the performance of Antar and how much his presence had helped Lebanon. Antar had received his second yellow card of the third round against South Korea and therefore did not take part in Lebanon's 4–2 away loss against the UAE on 29 February 2012.
During Lebanon's fourth group-stage match of the fourth round on 11 September 2012, Antar scored in the 27th minute of the match to give Lebanon a 1–0 victory against Iran. Antar scored in the 27th minute from a header off a Mohamad Haidar free-kick, upon his return to the team, having missed the opening three games due to injury.The spirited victory not only marked Lebanon's first-ever win against Iran, but also brought the Iranians' 13-match unbeaten qualifying record to an end. In October 2011, it was reported that Antar praised the Lebanon national team for their results and stated that it was the best national team in their history. He also indicated that his captaincy role was more of a job as opposed to a responsibility and that it was his duty to do his job well and try to win matches alongside his team-mates.
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