Nabil El Zhar

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Nabil El Zhar
El Zhar.JPG
El Zhar playing for Liverpool in 2009
Personal information
Full name Nabil El Zhar[1]
Date of birth (1986-08-27) 27 August 1986 (age 33)[2]
Place of birth Alès, France
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Winger[2]
Club information
Current team
Al Ahli
Number 10
Youth career
1996–1999 Alès
1999–2004 Nîmes
2004–2006 Saint-Étienne
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2011 Liverpool 21 (0)
2010–2011PAOK (loan) 24 (2)
2011–2015 Levante 94 (7)
2015–2017 Las Palmas 32 (4)
2017–2019 Leganés 61 (6)
2019- Al Ahli 0 (0)
National team
2004–2008 Morocco U21 8 (1)
2008–2014 Morocco 10 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:30, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 March 2014

Nabil El Zhar (Arabic: نبيل الزهر‎; born 27 August 1986) is a professional footballer who plays as a right winger for Qatari club Al Ahli.

He finished his formation at Liverpool, playing sparingly for the club and more consistently on loan at PAOK in 2010–11. He then moved to Spain, spending four La Liga seasons at Levante.

El Zhar earned 10 international caps for Morocco from 2008 to 2014.

Club career[edit]


Born in Alès, Gard,[2] El Zhar began his football career with OAC Alès, a local youth team. From there he moved to Nîmes Olympique, then switched again to AS Saint-Étienne.


He signed for Liverpool in October 2006 and made his debut for their reserve team against Newcastle in a reserves match on 3 October 2006.[3]

El Zhar made his first team debut on 29 November 2006 in goalless draw against Portsmouth at Anfield, replacing Luis García after 72 minutes. He went on to make two more appearances in the 2006–07 season.[3]

He made his first Liverpool start in a League Cup tie against Cardiff City on 31 October 2007, in which he scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 home win.[4] El Zhar was moved from the number 42 shirt to the number 31 shirt for the start of the 2008–09 campaign.[5]

El Zhar contributed a first assist on 18 October 2008, coming on for Andrea Dossena with his team 1–2 down against Wigan Athletic. He set up Albert Riera for the equaliser and the game finished 3–2 to Liverpool. On 27 February 2009, he made his first league start for the Reds against Middlesbrough in a 2–0 loss.

On 11 July 2009, he signed a new contract extension to his current Liverpool contract that would have kept him at Anfield until 2012.[6]

Loan to PAOK[edit]

On 31 August 2010, El Zhar completed a loan switch to Greek side PAOK FC for the upcoming season and was handed the number 7 shirt on his arrival. He made his debut for the club on 16 September in a 1–1 UEFA Europa League group game against Club Brugge, and featured in all five other matches in the group, as the team lost in the last 32 to PFC CSKA Moscow.

El Zhar played 24 matches as the club from Thessaloniki came fourth in the league, scoring in a 2–2 away draw with Atromitos F.C. and a 2–1 victory over Panathinaikos F.C. at the Toumba Stadium.


On 18 August 2011, Liverpool announced that El Zhar had been released from his contract[7] and that he was expected to complete a move to Spanish side Levante UD where he would sign a contract to keep him at the Estadi Ciutat de València for two years.[8] He made his La Liga debut ten days later, coming on as a substitute for Pedro López in a 1–1 away draw against Getafe CF. He made 22 appearances across the campaign for the team from Valencia, as they came sixth and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

El Zhar scored his first goal in the main category of Spanish football on 19 August 2012, netting the first in a 1–1 home draw against Atlético Madrid. Four days later, he came off the bench at Fir Park in a European play-off, and scored the conclusive goal in a 2–0 win over Motherwell.[9] On 26 October 2013, he netted twice in a 4–0 home win over RCD Espanyol.[10]

On 26 August 2015, he rescinded his contract with the Granotes.[11]

Las Palmas[edit]

Hours after rescinding with Levante, El Zhar signed a two-year deal with UD Las Palmas, newly promoted to the top tier.[12] He made his debut on 30 August, a late substitute as his new team hosted a goalless draw with his previous employer.[13] On 6 December, he recorded his first goal for the team from the Canary Islands, equalising in a 3–1 loss at Sporting de Gijón.[14]


On 31 January 2017, El Zhar signed a one-and-a-half-year contract at CD Leganés, halfway through their debut top-flight season.[15]

Al Ahli[edit]

On 30 May 2019, El Zhar agreed to join Qatari club Al Ahli SC.[16]

International career[edit]

Although born in France, El Zhar chose to play internationally for the country of his parents, Morocco. However, he did represent France at youth level. El Zhar played in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, and Morocco got to the semi-finals, where they were defeated 3–0 by Nigeria. Morocco ended the tournament in fourth place after a 2–1 loss to Brazil.[17]

On 26 March 2008, made his full international debut for Morocco against Belgium at the Stade Roi Baudouin; he came on at half time in place of Youssouf Hadji and scored in a 4–1 victory.[18] That 21 June, he scored his first competitive goal for the Lions of the Atlas, concluding a 2–0 win over Rwanda in qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[19]


  1. ^ "Acta del Partido celebrado el 29 de noviembre de 2014, en Barcelona" [Minutes of the Match held on 29 November 2014, in Barcelona] (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Nabil El Zhar". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b Profile Nabil El Zhar Archived 7 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Liverpool F.C. Retrieved on 5 February 2009.
  4. ^ "Liverpool 2–1 Cardiff". BBC. 31 October 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  5. ^ Rice, Jimmy (6 August 2008). "TRIO HANDED FIRST-TEAM SQUAD NUMBERS". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  6. ^ "EL ZHAR SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION". 11 July 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Zhar to leave Reds". Liverpool F.C. 18 August 2011. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  8. ^ "EL LEVANTE FICHA A EL ZHAR POR DOS TEMPORADAS". 18 August 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  9. ^ Murray, Keir (23 August 2012). "Motherwell 0–2 Levante". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ Summerscales, Robert (26 October 2013). "Result: Nabil El Zhar stars as Levante thrash Espanyol". Sports Mole. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Nabil El Zhar deja de ser jugador del Levante UD" [Nabil El Zhar leaves Levante UD] (in Spanish). Levante's official wbesite. 26 August 2015. Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  12. ^ "La UD Las Palmas ficha al delantero internacional marroquí Nabil El Zhar" [Las Palmas signs Moroccan international footballer Nabil El Zhar] (in Spanish). Las Palmas' official website. 26 August 2015. Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  13. ^ Ballesteros, Cristian (31 August 2015). "Las Palmas no puede romper el cerrojo" [Las Palmas can not break the lock] (in Spanish). Marca. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Sanabria vale por tres" [Sanabria worth three] (in Spanish). Marca. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  15. ^ "El Zhar ficha por el Leganés" [El Zhar signs for Leganés] (in Spanish). Marca. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  16. ^ "El Zhar ficha por el Al-Ahli de Qatar tras dejar el Leganés" (in Spanish). AS. 30 May 2019.
  17. ^ "FIFA World Youth Championship – Fourteen nuggets in Netherlands". FIFA. Archived from the original on 4 September 2006. Retrieved 5 October 2006.
  18. ^ "Football : Maroc - Belgique 4-1" (in French). Bladi. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Le Maroc bat le Rwanda 2-0" [Morocco beat Rwanda 2–0] (in French). Bladi. 21 June 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2016.

External links[edit]