Karim El Ahmadi

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Karim El Ahmadi
El Ahmadi with Feyenoord
Personal information
Full name Karim El Ahmadi Aroussi[1]
Date of birth (1985-01-27) 27 January 1985 (age 32)
Place of birth Enschede, Netherlands
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 8
Youth career
UDI Enschede
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2008 Twente 89 (3)
2008–2012 Feyenoord 94 (4)
2011 Al Ahli (loan) 10 (1)
2012–2014 Aston Villa 51 (3)
2014– Feyenoord 102 (9)
National team
2008– Morocco 44 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 November 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 October 2015

Karim El Ahmadi Aroussi (Arabic: كريم الأحمدي; born 27 January 1985) is a Moroccan professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Feyenoord in the Eredivisie. El Ahmadi was born in the Netherlands and played for FC Twente and Feyenoord before moving to the Premier League with Aston Villa in 2012 and subsequently returning to Feyenoord in September 2014.

Early life[edit]

El Ahmadi was born and raised in Enschede, Overijssel, Netherlands. His parents are both Moroccan, making him eligible to represent the Morocco national football team.

Club career[edit]


At the age of 9, El Ahmadi started playing football at local Enschede club UDI. He got noticed quickly by scouts from Twente and was invited to join their academy.

FC Twente[edit]

On 21 March 2004, El Ahmadi made his official debut in Twente's first team in the away match against FC Utrecht (2–0) where he played 90 minutes.[2] El Ahmadi able to get more playing 2 more game against Groningen and RBC Roosendaal but with the return of On the last match of the season in a match against RKC Waalwijk on 9 May 2004, El Ahmadi provided as assist for Kim Christensen to make it 3–2 but RKC Waalwijk scored in the late minutes to make 3–3.

The following season 2004–05, El Ahmadi began coming on as a substitute for the next two games against Ajax and RKC Waalwijk at the start of the season. In a match against Heerenveen on 28 August 2004, El Ahmadi played for 90 minutes and setting up a goal for Blaise Nkufo in a 4–1 victory. On 13 November 2004, El Ahmadi scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 win over N.E.C.. At the end of the season, El Ahmadi played 16 league games, playing mostly on the wing positions. He then quickly became a first team regular.

The following 2005–06 season, El Ahmadi find himself out of the first team and made 8 appearance following an arrival of Kennedy Bakırcıoğlu and Patrick Gerritsen and then the following 2006–07 season, El Ahmadi suffered a knee injury in UEFA Cup match against Ukrainian side Levadia Tallinn in a 1–1 draw.[3] After recovering, El Ahmadi return to the reserve and by mid-November, El Ahmadi played his first match of the season, coming on as a substitute for Wout Brama in a 7–1 win over Groningen. After the match, El Ahmadi began established himself in the starting eleven, playing in the right side of the support. In late-October, El Ahmadi signed a contract with the club, until 2009, with an options to extend until 2011.[4] On 3 February 2007, El Ahmadi scored the first goal in a match with Twente won 2–1 over Excelsior. On 8 April 2007, El Ahmadi scored Twente only goal in the game in a 1–1 draw against Heracles. El Ahmadi played a single game for the club from 13 November 2006 to 29 April 2007. At the end of season 2006–07, the club became fourth which resulted in entering the UEFA Cup.

El Ahmadi attempted tackling on Benoît Assou-Ekotto during a match against Cameroon.

The following 2007–08 season, Twente began suffering after the club sold Kennedy Bakircioglü to Ajax and Sharbel Touma sold to German side Borussia Mönchengladbach. Even worse when Patrick Gerritsen suffered leg injury leading El Ahmadi managed to get more playing time in the starting line-up. In late July, El Ahmadi signed a contract extension which will keep him until 2011.[5] Manager Fred Rutten said on a new contract: "For the club it's fantastic that we can keep players of this kind,". At the end of 2007–08 season, El Ahmadi made 33 appearances primarily playing as a defender. At the end of the season FC Twente qualified for the UEFA Champions League, all thanks to the rapid development from the defensive midfielder.


On 16 April 2008, it was announced that El Ahmadi signed a five-year deal with Dutch club Feyenoord for a transfer fee of €5 million (£4.3 million).[6]

After a groin injury had initially kept him from playing[7] he made his debut on 2 October 2008, coming on as a substitute for Luigi Bruins in the UEFA Cup-match against Kalmar FF, which Feyenoord won 2–1. He made his debut in the starting line-up against NEC, which ended in a 0–2 home defeat on 5 October 2008 before coming off after 58 minutes. On 9 November 2008, El Ahmadi scored his first goal for the club in a 5–2 win over Utrecht. On 22 February 2009, El Ahmadi scored his second goal for the club in a 2–0 win over De Graafschap. Since making his debut, he played regularly in the starting line-up which led to interest from a German team Hamburger SV.[8] In early April El Ahmadi, suffered an ankle injury before making his return in the last game of the season, a 3–2 loss against Roda JC.[9] At the end of the season, he was linked to league rivals PSV Eindhoven[citation needed], however, no offer was made from the club.[10]

In the following 2009–10 season under manager Mario Been, El Ahmadi was deployed in central midfield with the rise of youngsters Leroy Fer and Jonathan de Guzmán. Playing in this position, he played 26 league games. In the quarter final of the KNVB Cup, he scored a brace and set up a goal for captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst in a 3–0 win over PSV Eindhoven on 27 January 2010. Feyenoord would later on reach the final of the KNVB Cup which they lost 6–1 on aggregate to Ajax. At the end of 2009–10 season, El Ahmadi was linked to another German team Schalke 04.[citation needed]

After a loan spell at Al Ahli Club, El Ahmadi returned to feyenoord. Under manager Ronald Koeman he managed to become a regular in the starting line-up as a midfielder forming a partnership with Jordy Clasie and Otman Bakkal. On 11 September 2011, he scored his first goal since 2009 in a 3–1 win over NAC Breda. On 16 October 2011, El Ahmadi scored again this season in a 4–0 win over VVV-Venlo.[11]

Loan to Al Ahli Club[edit]

El Ahmadi clashing with Jan Polák during a match against Czech Republic.

After making 15 league appearance in the 2010–11 season at Feyenoord, El Ahmadi joined an UAE team Al Ahli Club on a six-month loan deal in order for the club to boost funds required to sign a new striker on 25 January 2011.[12] On 4 February 2011, he made his debut for the club in a 0–0 draw against Al Dhafra S.C.C..[13] On 24 March 2011, he scored his first goal in the UAE League with a 2–2 draw against Ittihad Kalba. During his loan El Ahmadi appeared in 10 games and scored one goal. At the end of the season, he stated he wants to play European Football again next season and that the level of competition at Al Ahli was 'too low' compared to the 'weakest teams in the Dutch league'.[14] Chairman of Al Ahli football club, Abdullah Saeed Al Naboudah, said the club wanted to sign El Ahmadi on a permanent basis, however, the two clubs failed to reach an agreement.[15]

Aston Villa[edit]

On 26 June 2012, both the British and Dutch media strongly linked El Ahmadi with a transfer to Aston Villa of England's Premier League.[16] Soon after, new Villa manager Paul Lambert confirmed his interest in the player. On 2 July 2012, El Ahmadi completed his transfer from Feyenoord to Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £2,000,000. This made him Lambert's first signing as Aston Villa manager, and Aston Villa's second signing of the summer (following Australia international Brett Holman's move from AZ). On 14 July 2012 El Ahmadi made his debut in a 2–1 win against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium demonstrating a man of the match performance.[17] On 25 August, he made his home debut and scored a spectacular strike in the 74th minute, in Aston Villa's 3–1 defeat to Everton.[18] Having made a good start despite losing opening two Premier League games of the season, El Ahmadi was voted the club's player of the month of August.[19] Later in the season, El Ahmadi was left out of the squad due to injury and made 24 appearances across all competitions. El Ahmadi started the 2013–14 season in very good form demonstrating solid performances in midfield including a goal in a 3–2 win against Manchester City.[citation needed]In Aston Villa's win against Chelsea, El Ahmadi escaped serious injury after Chelsea midfielder Ramires appeared to stamp on El Ahmadi as he went in to the slide tackle. Ramires was then sent off, he was the second Chelsea player to get sent off that match. Chelsea manager José Mourinho was also sent to the stands for coming onto the pitch in the aftermath of the Ramires incident.

Return to Feyenoord[edit]

On 1 September 2014, El Ahmadi returned to Feyenoord for an undisclosed transfer fee, signing a contract that would keep him at De Kuip until 2017.[20]

International career[edit]

El Ahmadi played for the Dutch national youth teams, but opted to represent Morocco at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.[21]


As of 8 May 2016[22]
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup Europe Total
2003–04 FC Twente Eredivisie 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
2004–05 19 1 2 0 0 0 21 1
2005–06 8 0 1 0 0 0 9 0
2006–07 22 2 2 0 2 0 26 2
2007–08 33 0 1 0 2 0 36 0
2008–09 Feyenoord 22 2 2 0 5 0 29 2
2009–10 26 0 4 2 0 0 30 2
2010–11 15 0 1 0 0 0 16 0
2010–11 Al-Ahli FC UAE League 10 1 0 0 0 0 10 1
2011–12 Feyenoord Eredivisie 20 2 0 0 0 0 20 2
2012–13 Aston Villa Premier League 20 1 3 0 0 0 23 1
2013–14 31 2 3 0 0 0 34 2
2014–15 Feyenoord Eredivisie 29 2 0 0 7 2 38 4
2015–16 32 1 6 0 0 0 38 1
Total Netherlands 244 10 19 2 16 2 279 14
United Arab Emirates 10 1 0 0 0 0 10 1
England 51 3 5 0 0 0 56 3
Career total 305 14 20 2 16 2 341 18

Personal life[edit]

El Ahmadi is a practicing Muslim.[23]




  1. ^ "Barclays Premier League Squad Numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "FC Utrecht 2–0 FC Twente" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "El Ahmadi kontuzjowany" (in Polish). Eredivise.Pl. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Football: El Ahmadi longer at FC Twente" [Voetbal: El Ahmadi langer bij FC Twente] (in Dutch). De Volkskrant. 30 October 2006. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Twente star signs on". Sky Sports. 21 July 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "El Ahmadi to join Feyenoord". Sky Sports. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "El Ahmadi has not yet finished" [El Ahmadi jeszcze nie gotowy] (in Polish). Goal.pl. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Wechselt Karim El Ahmadi zum Hamburger SV?" (in German). Bunedesligafussball. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Hofland, El Ahmadi and Slory fit for Feyenoord" [Hofland, El Ahmadi en Slory fit voor Feyenoord] (in Dutch). Metro International. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "PSV Chase Feyenoord Midfielder Karim El Ahmadi – Report". Goal. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Koeman El Ahmadi let go" [Koeman laat El Ahmadi gaan] (in Dutch). Metro International. 16 October 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  12. ^ van Leeuwen, Gerrit (25 January 2011). "Loan move for El Ahmadi". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  13. ^ "Al Ahli vs. Al Dhafra". Soccerway. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "El Ahmadi wants Euro return". Sky Sports. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "AL AHLI TRIED TO SIGN ASTON VILLA NEW BOY EL AHMADI AFTER LOAN SPELL". Sport360. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Villa clinch El Ahmadi deal". Sky Sports. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Burton Albion 1 Aston Villa 2: Sunday Mercury Big Match Verdict". Birmingham Mail. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Aston Villa 1–3 Everton". BBC Sport. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Free Video: Player of the month El Ahmadi showcases his skills". Aston Villa Official Website. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  20. ^ "Transfer deadline day: Aston Villa's El Ahmadi joins Feyenoord". BBC Sport. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  21. ^ Karim El AhmadiFIFA competition record
  22. ^ "Karim El Ahmadi". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Ronay, Barney (1 September 2012). "Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi predicts quick end to club's shaky start". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 

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