Lacen with Algeria in 2014
|Full name||Medhi Gregory Giuseppe Lacen|
|Date of birth||15 March 1984|
|Place of birth||Paris, France|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 June 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 March 2015
After starting out at Laval, he spent most of his professional career in Spain, representing Alavés, Racing de Santander and Getafe and amassing La Liga totals of 254 games and seven goals over the course of nine seasons.
Born in Paris, France, to an Algerian father and an Italian mother, Lacen started his professional career with modest Stade Lavallois and ASOA Valence. For the 2005–06 season he moved to Spain, joining Deportivo Alavés which would eventually be relegated; he made his La Liga debut on 15 October 2005, in a 1–1 home draw against Villarreal CF.
After two second division campaigns as an undisputed starter for the Basques, Lacen moved to Racing de Santander on 15 August 2008, on a three-year contract. He competed throughout the campaign for first-choice status with Peter Luccin, also newly signed.
In 2009–10, as Racing finished in 16th position, Lacen became an automatic first-choice (Luccin returned to Real Zaragoza from his loan). He scored three goals, including in a 3–2 home win over Xerez CD on 13 December 2009.
In late February 2011, with his link to the Cantabrians expiring in June, Lacen signed a pre-contract with fellow top level side Getafe CF. The move was made official on 25 May, with the player agreeing to a four-year deal with the Madrid outskirts club.
Although French-born, Lacen had the possibility of representing Algeria through his fathers' origins. In 2006, he was called up by Jean-Michel Cavalli to the national side for a friendly against Gabon, but did not play because of an administrative problem.
On 12 December 2009, the president of the Algerian FA, Mohamed Raouraoua, announced that Lacen would be called up to the Algerian squad for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. However, five days later, head coach Rabah Saâdane announced that the player would not participate in the continental competition because of his wife's pregnancy.
In June 2010, Lacen was selected to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, playing all the games. During the tournament, he partnered Hassan Yebda (another defensive midfielder) as the national team failed to score a goal, earning one point.
- "List of players" (PDF). FIFA.com. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Mehdi Lacen rejoindra l’équipe nationale (Mehdi Lacen will join the national team); TSA, 11 December 2009 (in French)
- El Alavés y Villareal consiguen en empate que no les sirve (1–1) (Alavés and Villareal get draw that does not suit (1–1)); Diario Siglo XXI, 16 October 2005 (in Spanish)
- Lacen leaves Alavés for Racing; UEFA.com, 15 August 2008
- "Racing battle back for valuable win". ESPN Soccernet. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Mehdi Lacen devrait rejoindre Getafe (Mehdi Lacen should join Getafe); DZFoot, 26 February 2011 (in French)
- Lacen, "J'ai signé pour 4 ans à Getafe" (Lacen, "I've signed with Getafe for four years"); DZFoot, 25 May 2011 (in French)
- Walid Z. (16 April 2012). "Joli premier but pour Lacen avec Getafe" [Nice first goal for Lacen with Getafe] (in French). DZFoot. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Mehdi Lacen sélectionné (Mehdi Lacen called); DZFoot, 3 August 2006 (in French)
- Raouraoua annonce l'arrivée de Lacen et Ziaya (Raouraoua announces arrivals of Lacen and Ziaya); DZFoot, 12 December 2009 (in French)
- Sâadane explique ses choix et ses objectifs (Sâadane explains his picks and goals); DZFoot (in French)
- Lacen convoqué pour Algérie-Serbie (amical) (Lacen selected for Algeria-Serbia (friendly))); DZFoot, 12 February 2010 (in French)
- Amical Algérie-Serbie: La composition algérienne (Algeria-Serbia friendly: Algeria's lineup); DZFoot, 3 March 2010 (in French)
- Michael Lacen, au nom du frère (Michael Lacen, in the name of the brother); Le Parisien, 12 December 2009 (in French)