|Full name||Khalid Boulahrouz|
|Date of birth||28 December 1981|
|Place of birth||Maassluis, Netherlands|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2007–2008||→ Sevilla (loan)||6||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 May 2015
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 December 2013
Khalid Boulahrouz (pronounced [xɑˈlit bulɑˈrus]; born 28 December 1981 in Maassluis) is a Dutch former footballer who played as a defender. His nickname is "The Cannibal" for his ability to "eat up" the opposition. He is noted for his tackling and versatility at the back.
He played top-flight football in the Netherlands, Germany, England, Spain, Portugal and Denmark. A full international from 2004 to 2012, he earned 35 caps and was included in the Dutch squads for two World Cups and two European Championships.
Boulahrouz was born in Maassluis, Netherlands to a family of Moroccan descent. He has eight siblings. As a youngster he went to the youth academies of Ajax and Haarlem. When he was sixteen his father died and he had to take responsibility for his family.
In December 2006, he married Sabia Thele. While Boulahrouz was in Switzerland preparing for the Euro 2008 quarter finals against Russia, his then wife Sabia gave birth to a prematurely born daughter Anissa who died in a Lausanne hospital. He opted to play against Russia a few days later, during which the Dutch team wore black armbands in his daughter's memory. The couple has a second daughter, Amaya (born March 2010) and a son, Daamin (born 30 January 2011). In January 2013 the couple announced their separation.
After a difficult period playing for different clubs, he finally found some stability at Waalwijk, where coach Martin Jol gave him the confidence he had been looking for. He began his professional career in the Dutch Eredivisie for RKC on 9 March 2002, against Heerenveen.
After playing two seasons for RKC he moved to Hamburg to play in the German Bundesliga at the start of the 2004–05 season. While at Hamburg, he earned his nickname "Khalid der Kannibale" ("Khalid the Cannibal") for his ability to eat up the opposition. This is illustrated by the number of cards he received – 16 yellows and three reds in two seasons at the club. He was also part of a defence that conceded the fewest goals in the 2005–06 Bundesliga season: 30 goals in 34 games.
On 18 August 2006, Chelsea agreed a fee with Hamburg to sign Boulahrouz. The fee was thought to be around £8.5 million (€12 million). After Chelsea's opening game of the 2006–07 season, manager José Mourinho confirmed that the club had signed Boulahrouz and the club but was waiting for his international clearance to be finalised, before speaking of the potential roles Boulahrouz will have in the side. Mourinho stated "In a short squad and in a country where you can have only 16 players for a match, it’s important to have cover for many positions. So, for example, now I can have [Khalid] Boulahrouz, Ricardo [Carvalho] and John [Terry] — three options for the centre; I can have Paulo [Ferreira] and Boulahrouz – two options for the right side; I can have Boulahrouz and Wayne Bridge — two options for the left side."
On 21 August 2006, Chelsea completed the signing of Boulahrouz. Six days later, he was handed his Premiership début against Blackburn Rovers. He wore the number 9 shirt, previously occupied by Hernán Crespo – this is an unconventional number for a defender, being traditionally associated with strikers, but was given to him just because it happened to be one of the numbers not currently allocated to a player by Chelsea at the time of signing.
Boulahrouz made a promising start to his Chelsea career, figuring prominently in high-profile games against Liverpool and Barcelona. However, Boulahrouz gradually dropped out of favour. Boulahrouz was out for a lengthy period of time after a knee injury, followed by a shoulder injury while playing in an FA Cup tie against Norwich City.
Boulahrouz eventually dropped out of contention as the season wound down, with John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho as the first-choice defensive pairing. When Carvalho was injured, manager Mourinho paired Terry with Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien.
Boulahrouz joined Spanish club Sevilla on a year-long loan for the 2007–08 season. However, he played just six games for them and was deemed surplus to requirements. He returned to Chelsea in 2008 but was not given a squad number and made no appearances.
On 21 July 2008, Boulahrouz moved to VfB Stuttgart for a fee of around €5 million. He struggled in his first three seasons. Early in the 2011–12 Bundesliga season, however, Khalid became a regular in the starting line-up. The 29-year-old defender had his 100th cap in the top German league on 17 September 2011 at SC Freiburg. Two weeks later, Boulahrouz scored his first goal (only his second in the Bundesliga) for Stuttgart on 30 September 2011. His goal came in the 69th minute of a 2–0 win over 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
In May 2012 VfB Stuttgart announced that his expiring contract would not be extended.
On 7 October 2013, Boulahrouz signed a contract which is due until the summer 2014. The transfer was confirmed after many weeks of negotiating. He made 13 league appearances for Brøndby IF that season. Boulahrouz had quite a lot of injuries during his stay at Brøndby, which was one of the reasons why a new contract was not discussed.
On 14 July 2014 it was officially announced that Boulahrouz had signed a one-year contract with Feyenoord free of transfer. He was on the list of the Rotterdam-based club for many years, but due to financial troubles in the past, Boulahrouz had been reluctant to make that step. Now that Feyenoord defenders Stefan de Vrij and Daryl Janmaat are likely to be transferred after a very successful World Cup 2014 performance, after the confirmed departure of Bruno Martins Indi, Boulahrouz is attracted because of his defending skills and as the mentor of young players. On 11 February 2016, more than half a year after his contract with Feyenoord had expired, Boulahrouz announced his retirement from professional football.
Boulahrouz' displays for RKC caused Marco van Basten to pick him for the Netherlands national football team. He made his international début on 3 September 2004 in a 3–0 win for the Netherlands against Liechtenstein, and was named in the squad for the 2006 World Cup. He managed 34 caps for the national team, as of November 2011.
Boulahrouz was sent off from the Netherlands match against Portugal in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen after a second bookable offence. He was judged to have used an elbow on Portugal's Luís Figo. Before that, he was first booked in the seventh minute after a violent tackle that injured Cristiano Ronaldo, eventually forcing the substitution of the Portuguese player. Referee Valentin Ivanov issued a total of 16 yellow cards and four red cards in this match, a World Cup record.
2010 World Cup
Boulahrouz was included in the preliminary squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. On 27 May 2010, Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk announced that the player would be part of the final squad of 23 participating in the competition. Boulahrouz started in the Netherlands last 2010 World Cup group match on 24 June and helped the Dutch team to a 2–1 win over Cameroon. He also played in the semi-final against Uruguay in place of Gregory van der Wiel.
Goalkeeper and international teammate Edwin van der Sar said of Boulahrouz "He is an important defender, but he is also the man to lift spirits within the squad. He is the sort of guy you need around during long evenings at training camp." Former Dutch centre-back Jaap Stam said that Boulahrouz could become his successor.
- As of 19 April 2015.
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Other||Total|
|2007–08||Sevilla (loan)||La Liga||6||0||1||0||1||0||—||8||0|
|Portugal||League||Taça de Portugal||Europe||Other||Total|
|2012–13||Sporting CP||Primeira Liga||11||0||0||0||3||0||—||14||0|
|2013–14||Brøndby IF||Danish Superliga||13||0||0||0||0||0||—||13||0|
- As of 19 May 2013.
|Dutch national team|
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