Eljero Elia

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Eljero Elia
Elia at practice with Hamburg in 2009.
Personal information
Full name Eljero George Rinaldo Elia[1]
Date of birth (1987-02-13) 13 February 1987 (age 29)
Place of birth Voorburg, Netherlands
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Number 11
Youth career
1996–2000 ADO Den Haag
2000–2002 Ajax
2002–2004 ADO Den Haag
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 ADO Den Haag 59 (6)
2007–2009 Twente 64 (11)
2009–2011 Hamburger SV 52 (7)
2011–2012 Juventus 4 (0)
2012–2015 Werder Bremen 66 (4)
2015 Southampton (loan) 16 (2)
2015– Feyenoord 31 (11)
National team
2006–2008 Netherlands U21 7 (1)
2009 Netherlands B 1 (0)
2009–2012 Netherlands 28 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 August 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 November 2012

Eljero George Rinaldo Elia (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛldʒəroː ˈeːlijaː]) (born 13 February 1987) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a winger for Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie.

He turned professional at ADO Den Haag and then played for FC Twente before moving abroad to represent Hamburg, Juventus and Werder Bremen. In 2015, he came back to his home country, to play for Feyenoord Rotterdam.

Elia scored on his debut for the Dutch national team in September 2009 and was part of the Dutch squad which reached the final at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Club career[edit]

ADO Den Haag[edit]

Before excelling in the ADO Den Haag youth team at the age of nine, Elia played for many amateur clubs. He made his professional debut in 2004 against Groningen when he was just 17 years old. In that season, he played four matches and scored one goal (his first professional goal) for Den Haag against AZ. From then on, Elia established himself in the first team at ADO Den Haag.

After some conflicts between Elia and Den Haag's new coach, Lex Schoenmaker, FC Twente signed the exciting young player.[3]

Elia with Twente in 2008


Besides FC Twente, Ajax were also keen to sign the player. However, had Elia chosen Ajax, he would have first been loaned back to ADO Den Haag where he would not have the chance to play due to conflicts with the coach. Furthermore, ADO Den Haag were relegated and Elia did not want to play in the Eerste Divisie.[citation needed]

Elia made his FC Twente debut in a 2–2 draw against Utrecht on 26 August 2007. He scored his first goal in a 2–1 win over Heracles Almelo on 8 February 2008 and scored another in a 2–1 win over Ajax the following month. In his first season at the club, Elia made 30 appearances and scored twice in the League qualifying round.

Under new manager Steve McClaren, Elia improved and went on a goalscoring run with eleven goals. Elia made his Champions League debut in the third qualifying round against Arsenal, where FC Twente lost in both legs. Despite the club's elimination, the club progressed to the UEFA Cup group stage. Elia scored his first European goal in a 3–2 loss against Manchester City on 6 November 2008. However, FC Twente lost in the third round knock-out stage against Marseille. In the KNVB Cup, FC Twente progressed to the final against Heerenveen. In the final, Elia scored the club's first goal in the match. However, they on penalties after Youssouf Hersi missed a penalty. Elia was named the Dutch Football Talent of the Year in 2009 and this added to his burgeoning reputation in Europe.[4] In the January transfer window, Ajax and PSV were linked with a move to sign Elia. Ajax had their bid rejected twice by the club in effort to sign Elia.[5] Elia ended speculation by signing a new contract at Twente, keeping him until 2013.[6] Two months after signing a new contract, Elia announced his intention to leave the club at the end of the season.[7]

Hamburger SV[edit]

Elia pictured taken on 25 July 2012.

On 5 July 2009, Elia joined Hamburg on a five-year contract[8] that cost €8.5 million. On 8 August 2009, he made his debut as a substitute in the first match of the season against Freiburg. He scored his first league debut goal in a 4–2 win over Wolfsburg on 23 August 2009. Five months later, Elia scored a brace and set up a goal in a 4–0 win over Nuremberg. Elia scored his first Europa League goal in a 4–2 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv on 1 October 2009. In 1–1 draw at Mainz on 28 November 2009, Elia suffered an ankle injury in the 15th minute. He missed the rest of the season following an ankle surgery, which manager Bruno Labbadia described as a 'bitter blow'[9] During his first season in March 2010, Elia had a severe infection due to a poorly applied tattoo, which meant he felt uncomfortable in his shirt. As a result, Hamburg's neighbours Werder Bremen have since banned their players from getting tattoos.[10] In his debut season, Elia made 24 appearances and scored five goals. At the end of the season, Elia was linked with several clubs such as Juventus, but insisted he knew nothing about a move and wanted to stay at Hamburg for another season.[11]

In his second season, Elia was rotated and played less frequently, which led him to consider leaving the club if he did not regain his starting position.[12] In his third season, Elia made four appearances before moving to Juventus. While at Hamburg, Elia was fined by the club after he stated that the club's team style didn't suit him and claimed the club didn't look after him while on the sideline.[13]


On 31 August 2011, Juventus confirmed the signing of Elia from Hamburg on a four-year contract for a fee of €9 million.[14] Elia made his Juventus debut on 25 September 2011 in a 1–1 draw against Catania. However, Elia found it hard to make an impact in the black and white shirt and featured only four times in the whole season. Despite Juventus winning the League title without losing a game, Elia announced he wanted to leave Juventus in order to revive his career elsewhere.[15] The following month, on 11 June 2012, Elia handed in a transfer request which was granted by Juventus.[16]

Werder Bremen[edit]

On 9 July 2012, Werder Bremen confirmed the signing of Elia from Juventus on a four-year contract for a fee of €5.5 million.[17] After moving to Werder Bremen, Elia said he hoped that he could resurrect his form and aimed to earn an international call-up.[18] He appeared in his first game for Werder Bremen in a 2–1 loss in the opening game of the season against Borussia Dortmund. After making seven appearances with no goals, Elia admitted he found it difficult to adapt to the club's playing style.[19] Despite this, he made twenty-one appearances for the club that season. He and his team-mate Marko Arnautović were suspended after the pair were caught speeding in two separate incidents.[20]

In the 2013–14 season, Elia started strongly when he scored two goals and his first for Bremen against Nuremberg in a 3-3 draw on 29 September 2013.[21] He then scored two goals in two matches against Mainz on 24 November 2013, when Bremen lost 3–2,[22] and in a 4–4 draw against Hoffenheim on 30 November 2013.[23] The 2013–14 season was an improvement for Elia, as he made 33 appearances and scored four times. His improvement led the club to decide against selling him.[24]

In the 2014-15 season, Elia made a good start in the opening game of the season, where he provided an assist for Franco Di Santo, in a 2-2 draw against Hertha BSC.[25] However, Elia's season was interrupted when he missed a game due to gastrointestinal virus[26] before causing controversy on social media when he tweeted the words “Ready for War” ahead of the Nordderby.[13] In December 2014, manager Viktor Skrypnyk decided to drop Elia from the first team matchday squad.[27]

Upon returning to his parent club from Southampton in summer 2015, Werder exempted Elia from regular first-team training to find a new club and also considered placing him into the club's reserve.[28][29]

Southampton (loan)[edit]

On 23 December 2014, Southampton announced that Elia would join them on loan from 3 January 2015 for the remainder of the season, with an option to make the loan permanent at the end of the season.[30]

On 11 January 2015, Elia made his Premier League debut for Southampton in a 1–0 win away to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Elia was replaced by substitute Dušan Tadić after 63 minutes, who went on to score the winning goal.[31] He scored his first Premier League goals with a brace in a 2–1 victory at Newcastle United on 17 January 2015.[32] After making thirteen appearance and scoring two times, Elia was keen to stay at the club permanently,[33] with Werder Bremen's chief director claiming Southampton wanted to sign him.[34]


"I think Elia runs twenty meters within a second. Once he is firmly in the game, you can't stop him. You can kick him down, but at a certain moment you already got enough cards, then you can't do that either."

Bram van Polen commends Elia for his performance in the 2–0 loss of PEC Zwolle against Feyenoord on 27 September 2015.[35]

On 6 August 2015, Elia signed a two year-deal with Dutch side Feyenoord under the management of former Arsenal player Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.[36] He made his debut for the club on 30 August in a 3–1 loss to rivals PSV.[37] In 2016, Elia, playing as a starting regular for the Rotterdam based outfit won the KNVB Cup this being the 12th time in the club's history that the've been successful at the tournament.

On 7 March 2016, he was brought in for questioning and arrested for his alleged involvement in a brawl in the city centre the week before.[38]

International career[edit]

Elia first appeared for the Netherlands U19 team in 2005, a year after his debut as a professional. He developed rapidly and at the beginning of 2006, he was selected for the Netherlands under-21 team. He was selected by coach Bert van Marwijk for the senior team's friendly encounter with England.[39]

On 6 September 2009, Elia made his début for the Netherlands against Japan in a friendly match.[40] He came on at half-time replacing Arjen Robben. His first match for the Oranje went very well, and he produced two assists in a 3–0 victory.[41] In his second match, on 9 September 2009, Elia scored the only goal to win a match against Scotland.[42] He scored his second international goal in a 6–1 friendly win over Hungary with a solo effort after coming on as a substitute.

Elia with the Dutch national team in 2010

2010 World Cup[edit]

On 27 May 2010, the Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk announced that Elia would be part of the final squad of 23 participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[43] In the first match, he set up their second goal in a 2–0 win over Denmark, with his shot hitting the post and Dirk Kuyt tapping it in. In Durban, during the Netherlands' second match of the group stage, Elia came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute, after the Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima fumbled a powerful effort by Wesley Sneijder into the back of the net to give the Dutch a 1–0 lead after 53 minutes.[44] In the 66th minute of the Netherlands' final group stage match against Cameroon, Elia came on as a substitute for Kuyt.

In the final, Elia was a 71st-minute substitute for Kuyt, as Netherlands finished runners-up to Spain.[45]

International goals[edit]

Updated to games played 27 March 2015.[46]
Eljero Elia: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 9 September 2009 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland  Scotland 1–0 1–0 2010 World Cup qualification
2 5 June 2010 Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Hungary 5–1 6–1 Friendly

Personal life[edit]

Elia's first name is an homage to his sister's favourite jazz singer, Al Jarreau.[47] As a child, he idolised Romario.[47]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 7 August 2016.[48]
Club Season League Cup[49] Continental[50] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
ADO Den Haag 2004–05 4 1 0 0 4 1
2005–06 30 2 0 0 30 2
2006–07 25 3 1 0 26 3
Total 59 6 1 0 60 6
Twente 2007–08 30 2 0 0 6 0 36 2
2008–09 34 9 5 4 8 1 47 14
Total 64 11 5 4 14 1 83 16
Hamburger SV 2009–10 24 5 1 0 10 1 35 6
2010–11 24 2 1 0 25 2
2011–12 4 0 1 0 5 0
Total 52 7 3 0 10 1 65 8
Juventus 2011–12 4 0 1 0 5 0
Total 4 0 1 0 5 0
Werder Bremen 2012–13 24 0 1 1 25 1
2013–14 33 4 0 0 33 4
2014–15 9 0 1 0 10 0
Total 66 4 2 1 68 5
Southampton (loan) 2014–15 16 2 1 0 17 2
Total 16 2 1 0 17 2
Feyenoord 2015–16 29 8 5 0 34 8
2016–17 2 3 0 0 2 3
Total 31 11 5 0 36 11
Career total 292 41 18 5 24 2 330 48







  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Premier League Player Profile Eljero Elia". Premier League. Barclays Premier League. 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Twente rondt transfer Elia af" [Twente completes transfer Elijah off] (in Dutch). AD.nl. 29 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Elia is Netherlands' brightest young thing". UEFA. 12 May 2009. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Twente shun Elia offer]]". Sky Sports. 21 December 2008. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "New deal on cards for Elia". ESPN Star. Retrieved 14 November 2012. [dead link]
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  8. ^ "Perfekt – HSV verpflichtet Elia!" (in German). Deutsche Fussball Liga. 5 July 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
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  10. ^ Hall, Allan (12 July 2011). "Auf Wiedersehen, tat! German football club bans its players from getting any more tattoos". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
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  12. ^ "Elia weighs up Hamburg future". Sky Sports. 14 February 2011. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Speeding, club fines and offensive tweets... Could Southampton new boy Eljero Elia be the next Mario Balotelli for all the wrong reasons?". Daily Mail. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Juve complete Elia deal". Sky Sports. 31 August 2011. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Eljero Elia: I want to leave Juventus". Goal.com. 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Juventus grant Elia permission to find new club". Goal.com. 11 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "Juventus confirm Elia exit". ESPN Soccernet. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Elia hoping for Bremen boost". Sky Sports. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Eljero Elia admits to struggling at Werder Bremen". Sky Sports. 16 October 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Bremen ban duo for speeding". The Sun. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
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  23. ^ "Eight goals, three penalties and a goalkeeper substitution" [Acht Tore, drei Elfmeter und ein Torwartwechsel] (in German). Kicker Official Website. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Transfer News: Werder Bremen's Aaron Hunt yet to find new club". Sky Sports. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "SCHIEBER BRACE NOT ENOUGH FOR BERLIN". Bundesliga Official Website. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "Dutt: "Das wird richtige Knochenarbeit"" (in German). Kicker.de. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "Skripnik streicht Elia aus Kader" (in German). Kicker.de. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "Fußball Di Santo will bleiben - Elia und Obraniak freigestellt" (in German). N24.de. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  29. ^ "Elia & Obraniak zur U23?" (in German). Bild.de. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  30. ^ "Saints to sign Elia on loan". Southampton FC. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  31. ^ "Saints beat Man Utd to move third". BBC Sport. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  32. ^ "Eljero Elia double sees Southampton past Newcastle". PA Sport. ESPN.com. 17 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  33. ^ "Eljero Elia announces desire to stay at Southampton on permanent basis". Daily Mail. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "Southampton want permanent deal for Eljero Elia - Werder chief". ESPN. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  35. ^ "Once Elia is firmly in the game, nobody can stop him". Voetbal International. 27 September 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  36. ^ http://www.fr12.nl/nieuws/32802-feyenoord-betaalt-niets-voor-elia-nulltarif%21.html
  37. ^ "Elia teleurgesteld na debuut voor Feyenoord" (in Dutch). NU. 30 August 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  38. ^ Bell, Michael (7 March 2016). "Eljero Elia to spend the night in Jail cell". Football Oranje. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
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  41. ^ "Geflatteerde 3–0 zege van Oranje op Japan" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 5 September 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  42. ^ "Elia opnieuw goudhaantje Oranje" (in Dutch). voetbalzone.nl. 9 September 2009. Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
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  44. ^ "Netherlands v Japan live "Play-by-Play"". FIFA. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  45. ^ "Iniesta puts Spain on top of the world (Netherlands 0 Spain 1". FIFA. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  46. ^ "Eljero Elia: Football Stats". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  47. ^ a b "Eljero Elia". Four Four Two. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  48. ^ "Eljero Elia". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  49. ^ Includes KNVB Cup and DFB-Pokal
  50. ^ Includes UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA Super Cup

External links[edit]