Nabil El Zhar
El Zhar playing for Liverpool in 2009
|Full name||Nabil El Zhar|
|Date of birth||27 August 1986|
|Place of birth||Alès, France|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|2010–2011||→ PAOK (loan)||24||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 March 2015.
He has been a full international for Morocco since 2008.
Club career and personal life
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. He scored his first goal, from the penalty spot, in a reserve 'mini-derby' against Everton on 10 October 2006.
He made his first Liverpool start in a League Cup tie against Cardiff on 31 October 2007, in which he scored his first goal for the club. El Zhar was moved from the number 42 shirt to the number 31 shirt for the start of the 2008–09 campaign.
El Zhar became part of the regular first-team squad in the 2008–09 season appearing in a 1–0 win against Sunderland and making his first assist on 18 October 2008, coming on for Andrea Dossena with Liverpool 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 Liverpool against Middlesbrough in which Liverpool lost 2–0. In this season El Zhar was affected by injuries restricting him to just a handful of outings as a substitute, usually coming off the bench to stretch opposition defences in the closing stages of a game.
On 11 July 2009, he signed a new contract extension to his current Liverpool contract that would have kept him at Anfield until 2012.
On 31 August 2010, El Zhar completed a loan switch to Greek side P.A.O.K. F.C. and was handed the number 7 shirt on his arrival. The deal expired on 3 June 2011. El Zhar made his debut for the club on 16 September in a 1–1 UEFA Europa League group game against Club Brugge. He subsequently played in PAOK's last 5 group games;the 1–0 win against Dinamo Zagreb, the 1–0 defeat to Villarreal, the 1–0 win against Villareal, the 1–1 draw with FC Bruges and the 1–0 win against Dinamo Zagreb. He later returned to Liverpool. El Zhar was popular among the fans of PAOK, however the deal was never made permanent.
On 18 August 2011, Liverpool announced that El Zhar had been released from his contract and that he was expected to complete a move to Spanish side Levante UD where he will sign a contract that will keep him at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia for 2 years.
Although born in Alès, 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.
- Profile Nabil El Zhar. Liverpool F.C. Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
- "Liverpool 2–1 Cardiff". BBC. 31 October 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- Rice, Jimmy (6 August 2008). "TRIO HANDED FIRST-TEAM SQUAD NUMBERS". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- "EL ZHAR SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION". Liverpoolfc.tv. 11 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "Zhar to leave Reds". Liverpool F.C. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "EL LEVANTE FICHA A EL ZHAR POR DOS TEMPORADAS". as.com. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "FIFA World Youth Championship – Fourteen nuggets in Netherlands". FIFA. Archived from the original on 4 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-05.
- Levante official profile (Spanish)
- Liverpool F.C. profile
- Nabil El Zhar career statistics at Soccerbase
- Nabil El Zhar at National-Football-Teams.com
- LFChistory.net player profile
- ESPN Profile
- Nabil El Zhar – FIFA competition record