Imad Khalili

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Imad Khalili
Imad Khalili.jpg
Imad Khalili playing for IFK Norrköping in 2012
Personal information
Date of birth (1987-04-03) 3 April 1987 (age 30)
Place of birth Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 7
Youth career
1993–2005 Högaborgs BK
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Helsingborgs IF 23 (1)
2006 Randers FC (loan) 3 (0)
2007 Bunkeflo IF (loan) 19 (5)
2008–2013 IFK Norrköping 101 (29)
2013–2014 Helsingborgs IF 10 (8)
2014 Al-Shabab (loan) 6 (2)
2014–2015 Shanghai Dongya 9 (2)
2015 Baniyas 8 (2)
2015– Hammarby 31 (1)
National team
2002–2003 Sweden U17 17 (4)
2004–2006 Sweden U19 11 (2)
2007 Sweden U21 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 June 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 January 2017

Imad Khalili (Arabic: عماد خليلي‎‎; born 3 April 1987) is a SwedishPalestinian footballer who plays for Hammarby in Allsvenskan as a forward.



At age five, Khalili began playing football at the local club Högaborgs BK. He made his senior debut for the side in 2002, aged 16, and attracted interest from several big clubs around Europe. He had a trial with the Scottish club Celtic FC but chose not to move abroad, on the advice of the Swedish international Henrik Larsson, who also had started his career at Högaborg.[1]

Tired of the interest surrounding him, Khalili took a one and half-year break from playing football between the summer of 2003 and the beginning of 2005. He ultimately signed a three year-deal with Helsingborgs IF in Allsvenskan.[1] However, he had a hard time establishing himself at the club, enjoying loan spells at both Randers FC in the Danish Superliga and Bunkeflo IF in Superettan during the upcoming seasons.

In December 2007 he joined IFK Norrköping on a permanent deal. The club had just won a promotion to Allsvenskan.[2] The team struggled in the league play during the season of 2008 resulting in an immediate relegation to the second tier. Khalili would however establish himself as a key member of the squad during the following seasons, enjoying another promotion to Allsvenskan in 2010.

Top scorer[edit]

Between 2011 and 2013 he played as a regular in Allsvenskan for the club from the county of Östergötland, making 37 appearances whilst scoring 13 goals in the top tier. During the midseason of 2013 he attracted interest from his former club Helsingborgs IF, who completed the transfer of Khalili in August the same year.[3]

He continued his impressive scoring form during the 2013 season at his new club, eventually being crowned as the top scorer of Allsvenskan with 15 goals in total.[4]

Years abroad[edit]

Before the 2014 season, he attracted interest from abroad, signing a loan deal with Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia.[5] He enjoyed a successful stint at the club, scoring a spectacular soloist strike in a 2-1 win against Al-Nassr in March 2014.[6]

He signed for Shanghai Dongya in the Chinese Super League during the summer of 2014 on a permanent deal. Khalili went on to make 9 appearances for the side, scoring twice, before being deemed surplus to requirements due to the international players policy in the league. He was subsequently released from his contract on 1 February 2015.[7]

Soon after, he signed a short time-contract with Baniyas, returning to his birth country United Arab Emirates.[8] He featured in 8 games for the club during the spring, scoring twice, before leaving on a free in May 2015.[9]

Return to Sweden[edit]

On 7 July 2015, he signed a four and half-year contract with the Stockholm-based club Hammarby IF in Allsvenskan.[10] There he reunited with his former manager at IFK Norrköping, Mats Jingblad – now the sporting director of Hammarby.

During the second half of 2015 and throughout the whole 2016 season, Khalili failed to impress then manager Nanne Bergstrand, subsequently only being used as a substitute player. He scored his first competitive goal for the club on 17 July 2016, in a 3-3 draw against Falkenbergs FF on home turf.[11]

International career[edit]

Imad Khalili won several caps for the Swedish under-17's, under-19's and under-21's in his younger days.[12]

In 2014, he accepted an offer to play internationally for Palestine, but withdrew from the squad due to an injury.[13] He is still eligible to play for either Palestine, UAE or Sweden at senior level.


Khalili was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where his parents had moved from Lebanon. His family's ancestry is however Palestinian. At a young age, the family settled in the town of Helsingborg in southern Sweden.[1]

He is the cousin of fellow professional footballer Abdul Khalili, who was part of the Sweden under-21 squad which won the 2015 European Championship.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Imad redo ta nästa steg i karriären". Helsingborgs Dagblad. 4 December 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Imad Khalili till Norrköping". Sydsvenskan. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Imad Khalili återvänder till HIF". Helsingborgs IF. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Allsvenska skyttekungar & publiksnitt 1924/25-". SVFF. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Khalili: "Ett äventyr jag inte vill missa"". Sydsvenskan. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Imad Khalili makes an impression for Saudis". The National. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Imad Khalili köps ut från kontraktet". Fotbollskåne. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "بني ياس يضم الفلسطيني عماد خليلي". 16 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Imad Khalili på väg mot nya äventyr". Helsingborgs Dagblad. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "Officiellt: Magyar och Khalili klara för Hammarby". Fotbollskanalen. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "3-3 efter mardrömsöppning mot Falkenberg". Hammarby Fotboll. 17 July 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "Landslagsdatabasen:Imad Khalili". SVFF. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Svensk division ett-talang kan debutera för Palestinas A-landslag: "Väldigt stort"". Fotbollskanalen. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

  • Profile at Swedish FA (in Swedish)