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 22 April 2016.
He has been a full international for Morocco since 2008.
Club career and personal life
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.
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 in a 2–1 home win. El Zhar was moved from the number 42 shirt to the number 31 shirt for the start of the 2008–09 campaign.
El Zhar contributed a 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.
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. for the upcoming season and was handed the number 7 shirt on his arrival. El Zhar 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.
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 would sign a contract to keep him at the Estadi Ciutat de València for two years. 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. On 26 October 2013, he netted twice in a 4–0 home win over RCD Espanyol.
On 26 August 2015, he rescinded his contract with the Granotes.
Hours after rescinding with Levante, El Zhar signed a two-year deal with UD Las Palmas, newly-promoted to the top tier. He made his debut on 30 August, a late substitute as his new team hosted a goalless draw with his previous employer. 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.
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.
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. 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.
- 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.
- Murray, Keir (23 August 2012). "Motherwell 0–2 Levante". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- Summerscales, Robert (26 October 2013). "Result: Nabil El Zhar stars as Levante thrash Espanyol". Sports Mole. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "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. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "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. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- 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.
- "Sanabria vale por tres" [Sanabria worth three] (in Spanish). Marca. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "FIFA World Youth Championship – Fourteen nuggets in Netherlands". FIFA. Archived from the original on 4 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-05.
- "Football : Maroc - Belgique 4-1" (in French). Bladi. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "Le Maroc bat le Rwanda 2-0" [Morocco beat Rwanda 2–0] (in French). Bladi. 21 June 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2016.