Nabil Fekir

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Nabil Fekir
Fekir 2018 (cropped)2.jpg
Fekir training with France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Nabil Fekir[1]
Date of birth (1993-07-18) 18 July 1993 (age 26)[2]
Place of birth Lyon, France
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Playing position Attacking midfielder / Forward
Club information
Current team
Betis
Number 8
Youth career
2000–2001 AC Villeurbanne
2001–2003 FC Vaulx-en-Velin
2003–2005 SC Caluire
2005–2007 Lyon
2007–2010 FC Vaulx-en-Velin
2010–2011 Saint-Priest
2011–2013 Lyon
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2013 Lyon B 63 (13)
2013–2019 Lyon 144 (54)
2019– Betis 11 (3)
National team
2014 France U21 1 (0)
2015– France 23 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 October 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 October 2019

Nabil Fekir (born 18 July 1993) is a French professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or a forward for Real Betis and the France national team.

An academy graduate of Lyon, he was promoted to the senior squad in July 2013. Fekir became a first-team regular in his second season, when he was named the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year. He made 192 appearances for Les Gones, scoring 69 goals and also gaining team captaincy in 2017.

Fekir made his debut for France in March 2015 and was chosen in their squad that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Youth[edit]

Fekir joined the youth academy of Olympique Lyonnais at the age of 12, and two years later he was released for not being strong enough. He rejoined Vaulx-en-Velin and continued his youth career at Saint-Priest, where he was tracked by scouts from across France. At one point Lyon's local rivals AS Saint-Étienne were very keen to sign Fekir, but he held out for Lyon to sign him again in 2011. He said "I wanted to show [Lyon] that they made a mistake".[3]

Lyon[edit]

Fekir in training with Lyon in 2017.

Fekir was included in the Lyon first team squad for the first time on 30 July 2013, remaining as an unused substitute in 1–0 home win over Grasshopper in the Champions League third qualifying round first leg.[4] He finally made his Lyon first team debut on 28 August 2013, replacing Yassine Benzia at half time in a 2–0 Champions League play-off round second leg away loss to Real Sociedad, which saw the club eliminated from the tournament after a 4–0 aggregate defeat.[5] Three days later he made his Ligue 1 debut, playing the entire match in 2–1 away defeat to Evian TG.[6] On 27 April 2014, against Bastia in a 4–1 Ligue 1 home win, he scored his first competitive goal (in the 23rd minute) for Lyon's first team and assisted one goal each for Bakary Koné and Alexandre Lacazette.[7][8] Fekir made a total of 17 appearances in all competitions in his first season (2013–14) with Lyon's first team, scoring one goal.

During the 2014–15 season, he featured regularly for the first team and by 19 March 2015 he had scored 11 goals and assisted 7 in 25 2014–15 season Ligue 1 games, earning him his first international call up.[9] On 17 May 2015, he was named as the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year and earned a spot in the Team of the Year.[10] He finished the 2014-15 Ligue 1 season with 13 goals and 9 assists.[3]

On 29 August 2015, Fekir scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 Ligue 1 away win at Caen.[11] He missed most of the 2015–16 season with torn knee ligaments.[3]

On 23 February 2017, Fekir scored a hat-trick and assisted Mouctar Diakhaby's 89th-minute goal) in the 2016-17 Europa League round of 32 second-leg 7–1 home win over AZ Alkmaar to be on the scoresheet of a UEFA Europa League or UEFA Champions League match for the first time in his career, by 23 February he had scored 10 goals and provided 10 assists in all competitions for the 2016–17 season.[12]

In early August 2017, following the transfer of Maxime Gonalons to AS Roma a month earlier, Fekir was named captain of the club.[13] On 5 November, he scored two goals in a 5–0 away Ligue 1 victory over fierce rivals AS Saint-Etienne. After Fekir scored his second goal in the 84th minute, he took off his shirt and brandished his name and number to the Saint-Étienne supporters, who threw objects and spilled onto the field, outraged by the gesture. Referee Clément Turpin led the players away from the field and riot police ran onto the field to restore order. The match was stopped for 40 minutes before the two teams could play out its final five minutes in a virtually empty Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.[14][15]

In 2017–18, Fekir was part of a prolific forward line alongside Memphis Depay and Mariano; he contributed 18 goals, the Dutchman contributing 19, with the Spaniard totalling 18 for the team.[16]

In June 2018, Liverpool negotiated with Lyon for the transfer of Fekir, offering a maximum €60 million[17] but were not successful.[18]

Betis[edit]

On 22 July 2019, Fekir signed a four-year contract with Spanish club Real Betis for an initial fee of €19.75 million and €10 million in add-ons.[19] Lyon will receive 20% of any future sale of the player and as part of the deal, Fekir's younger brother Yassin also transferred between the two clubs.[20] He made his La Liga debut for Los Verdiblancos on 18 August, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 defeat against Real Valladolid,[21] and scored his first goal a week later to open a 5–2 loss at FC Barcelona.[22]

International career[edit]

Fekir made just one appearance for the France national youth football team. He earned one cap at the under-21 level by coming on as a substitute (in the 75th minute) for Corentin Tolisso in the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification play-offs second-leg away match against Sweden on 15 October 2014; France lost the match 4-1 and 4-3 on aggregate and hence did not qualify for the final phase of the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic.[23][24]

Fekir was named in his ancestral Algeria's squad for friendlies against Oman and Qatar in March 2015. However, he withdrew to take part in the French squad for friendlies against Brazil and Denmark.[9] He made his France senior team debut on 26 March 2015 against the former at the Stade de France, replacing Antoine Griezmann for the final 16 minutes of a 3–1 defeat.[25] He scored his first goal for the France senior team on 7 June 2015, in a 3–4 home friendly defeat to Belgium.[26] On 4 September 2015, he made his first start for the France senior team in a 1–0 away friendly win over Portugal during which he ruptured three ligaments in his right knee, putting him out of action for an estimated six months.[3][27]

On 25 August 2016, Fekir was called back up to the senior squad for the first time since his injury for a friendly against Italy and a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Belarus.[28] He had to withdraw from the squad three days later, however, due to an injury.[29] On 7 October, he made his competitive debut for France as an 83rd-minute substitute for Antoine Griezmann in the 2018 World Cup qualifying 4–1 win over Bulgaria at the Stade de France.[23]

He was selected in the 23-man French national squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[30] He played the last nine minutes of the final, a 4–2 win over Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium, in place of Olivier Giroud.[31]

Style of play[edit]

Upon calling him for the France senior squad in March 2015, manager Didier Deschamps said that "Fekir is a player with great potential. I consider that he can bring us something different. He plays in a different role to the others. He can score and set up others to score well."[9]

Personal life[edit]

Fekir is the older brother of the French footballer, Yassin Fekir, who also made his professional debut at Lyon and transferred with him to Betis.[32] They are both of Algerian descent.[33]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 12 October 2019[23]
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe1 Other2 Total
League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Lyon 2013–14 Ligue 1 11 1 0 0 2 0 4 0 17 1
2014–15 Ligue 1 34 13 2 2 1 0 2 0 39 15
2015–16 Ligue 1 9 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 4
2016–17 Ligue 1 32 9 2 1 1 0 13 4 1 0 49 14
2017–18 Ligue 1 30 18 2 2 0 0 8 3 40 23
2018–19 Ligue 1 29 9 3 0 1 0 6 3 39 12
Total 145 54 9 5 5 0 33 10 1 0 193 69
Betis 2019–20 La Liga 11 3 0 0 6 2
Career total 151 56 9 5 5 0 33 10 1 0 199 71

1Includes UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League appearances.

2Includes Trophée des Champions appearances.

International[edit]

As of matches played on 10 October 2019[34]
French national team
Year Apps Goals
2015 5 1
2016 2 0
2017 3 0
2018 10 1
2019 3 0
Total 23 2

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list France's goal tally first.[34]
Goal Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 June 2015 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France 3  Belgium 2–4 3–4 Friendly
2. 28 May 2018 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France 11  Republic of Ireland 2–0 2–0

Honours[edit]

France

Individual

Orders

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Décret du 31 décembre 2018 portant promotion et nomination" [Decree of 31 December 2018 on promotion and appointment]. Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French). 2019 (0001). 1 January 2019. PRER1835394D. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b "FIFA World Cup Russia 2018: List of players: France" (PDF). FIFA. 15 July 2018. p. 11. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Is Nabil Fekir ready to become the heir to Zinedine Zidane's France throne?". ESPN. 12 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Lyon edge in front against Grasshoppers". UEFA. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  5. ^ "La Real oust Lyon and return to Europe's elite". UEFA. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Narrow win for Evian". Sky Sports. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Lyon keep up pressure". Sky Sports. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Olympique Lyonnais vs. Bastia 4 - 1". Soccerway.
  9. ^ a b c Holyman, Ian (19 March 2015). "Nabil Fekir and Kurt Zouma named in France squad for friendlies". ESPN. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Trophées UNFP: Nabil Fékir élu meilleur espoir de la saison". L'Equipe.
  11. ^ "Nabil Fekir's hat-trick helps Lyon to win 4-0 at Caen". Eurosport. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Lyon rejoint les 8es de finale de Ligue Europa après un festival". L'Équipe. 23 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Lyon : le retour du grand Fekir ?". Le Figaro (in French). 11 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Lyon's Nabil Fekir doesn't regret celebration that sparked pitch invasion". ESPN. 7 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Nabil Fekir sparks fan pitch invasion with Lionel Messi-style celebration after scoring in Lyon's 5-0 Ligue 1 win". Fox Sports. 6 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Ligue 1 : le classement des buteurs de la saison 2017-2018" [Ligue 1: top scorers of the 2017-2018 season] (in French). Europe 1. 19 May 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  17. ^ McNulty, Phil (8 June 2018). "Nabil Fekir: Liverpool close to deal for Lyon and France attacker". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Nabil Fekir: Liverpool target staying at Lyon, say Ligue 1 club". BBC Sport. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Nabil Fekir, nuevo jugador del Real Betis" [Nabil Fekir, new Real Betis player] (in Spanish). Real Betis. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Nabil, Yassin Fekir complete move to Real Betis". Olympique Lyonnais. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  21. ^ "El Betis entra con mala pata a la Liga" [Betis badly enters the League]. Marca (in Spanish). 18 August 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis: Antoine Griezmann hits two to seal first La Liga win". 25 August 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  23. ^ a b c Nabil Fekir at Soccerway
  24. ^ "Sweden U21 vs. France U21 4 - 1".
  25. ^ Emons, Michael (26 March 2015). "France 1-3 Brazil". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Impressive Belgium beat France". UEFA. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  27. ^ Huguenin, Michael (4 September 2015). "Fekir ruptures knee ligaments". Goal.com. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  28. ^ "Corchia, Kurzawa et Sidibé appelés pour affronter l'Italie et la Biélorussie, pas Evra". Le Figaro. 25 August 2016.
  29. ^ "Fekir, Lacazette et Cabaye forfait, Gameiro, Dembélé et Kondogbia appelés". Le Figaro. 28 August 2016.
  30. ^ Benson, Michael (17 May 2018). "World Cup 2018: Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City stars included in France's squad for finals". Talksport. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  31. ^ McNulty, Phil (15 July 2018). "France 4–2 Croatia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Family ties: Fekir brothers become OL's 10th sibling duo". Olympique Lyonnais.
  33. ^ "Nabil Fekir initially chose Algeria over France call-up".
  34. ^ a b "Nabil Fekir". European Football. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  35. ^ McNulty, Phil (15 July 2018). "France 4–2 Croatia". BBC. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  36. ^ "Trophées UNFP : Nabil Fekir élu meilleur espoir de Ligue 1". RTL. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  37. ^ "Le palmarès complet des Trophées UNFP". France Football (in French). 13 May 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Nabil Fekir et Umut Bozok, joueurs du mois d'Octobre !". UNFP. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.

External links[edit]