Nadir Belhadj

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Nadir Belhadj
Nadir Belhadj 2011.jpg
Belhadj playing for Al Sadd in 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1982-06-18) 18 June 1982 (age 38)
Place of birth Saint-Claude, France
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s) Left back
Club information
Current team
Number 39
Youth career
0000–1997 Jura Sud Foot
1997–1998 Besançon RC
1998–2002 Lens
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2002 Lens 0 (0)
2002–2003Gueugnon (loan) 28 (1)
2003–2004 Gueugnon 36 (1)
2004–2006 Sedan 65 (3)
2006–2008 Lyon 9 (0)
2006–2007Sedan (loan) 37 (2)
2008–2009 Lens 19 (0)
2008–2009Portsmouth (loan) 16 (2)
2009–2010 Portsmouth 32 (3)
2010–2016 Al-Sadd 137 (19)
2016–2017 Sedan 19 (2)
2017– Al-Sailiya 39 (1)
National team
2000 France U18 2 (0)
2004–2012 Algeria 55 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:44, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Nadir Belhadj (Arabic: نذير بلحاج‎, born 18 June 1982) is an Algerian professional football player who plays for Qatari Club Al-Sailiya as a left wingback or as a left winger. He is well known for his pace and stamina.

An Algerian international, Belhadj was a former French youth international having played for the French Under-18's for a couple of games in 2000. Belhadj was among the first footballers to profit from the 2004 change in FIFA eligibility rules as he had played as a French youth international. After his switch of national allegiance to Algeria, he was called up to an unofficial friendly on 30 March 2004 against Belgian club R.A.A. Louviéroise. He made his senior international debut in a friendly against China on 28 April 2004.[1] He featured for Algeria at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, reaching the semi-finals, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On 4 May 2012, he announced his international retirement, ending his career with 54 caps and 4 goals.

Belhadj played a vital role for Qatari club Al Sadd in the 2011 Asian Champions League final, by beating South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4–2 in a penalty shoot-out. Belhadj scored the decisive penalty after the game had finished 2–2 in regulation time, holding his nerve to beat Kim Min-Sik.[2] This was the first win for a Qatari club since the AFC Champions League started in 2003, and ended five consecutive triumphs for South Korea and Japan.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Belhadj was born in Saint-Claude to Algerian parents, both from Oran. He started playing with Jura Sud Foot until 1997. He played after with Racing Besançon.[4]

Club career[edit]


A left back who can also operate as a winger, Belhadj began his career at Ligue 1 club Lens, where he failed to make the first-team. He joined Ligue 2 FC Gueugnon on loan in 2002 and after making 26 league appearances signed permanently in 2003. Belhadj played 36 more Ligue 2 games for Gueugnon before moving to CS Sedan in 2004. Making more than thirty appearances in each of his two full seasons with Sedan in Ligue 2, gaining promotion in the second.

In January 2007 Belhadj was bought by French champions Olympique Lyonnais for €3.24 million and signed a lucrative four and a half-year deal.[5] He was loaned back to CS Sedan until the end of the season and joined Lyon again in the summer of 2007. He made just 9 appearances for the club, being blocked at the left-back position by World Cup champion Fabio Grosso, and left the club in January. On 7 January 2008, it was confirmed that Belhadj had signed a three and a half-year deal with his former club Lens for a fee of €3.6 million.


On 1 September 2008, it was announced that Portsmouth had signed Belhadj on a season-long loan with an option to make the deal permanent.[6][7] He made his Portsmouth debut on 13 September coming on as a substitute against Middlesbrough at Fratton Park where Portsmouth went from a goal down to come back and win 2–1, with Belhadj playing a key role on the left with Armand Traoré. He also started in Portsmouth's first ever European match, a 2–0 win over Vitória de Guimarães and set Jermain Defoe up with a cross.[8] He also scored a long range goal against Sunderland away from home in a 2–1 win, which was the first win for new manager Tony Adams.[9]

Belhadj played a part in Portsmouth's 2–2 draw against Milan in the UEFA Cup. On 30 December, Belhadj signed a four and a half-year deal with Pompey, costing €4.5 million paid to Lens,[10] keeping him at the club until 2013. He officially became a Portsmouth player on 1 January 2009 when the winter transfer window opened. On 27 January 2009, Belhadj was sent off for the first time for Portsmouth when he picked up 2 yellow cards in the 1–0 defeat against Aston Villa.[11]

Although he has not always kept a first team place, his recall to face Liverpool on 20 December 2009 was an inspired move by Avram Grant as Belhadj was able to keep former Pompey favourite Glen Johnson under control. Belhadj scored the first goal in the game.[12] A highlight of the 2009–10 season for Belhadj was a goal against local rivals Southampton in the FA Cup on 13 February 2010.[13] Belhadj's last appearance for Portsmouth was as a substitute in the 2010 FA Cup final.

Al Sadd[edit]

During the 2011 summer transfer market several clubs showed interest, such as Celtic, Wigan and Wolves with Al Sadd rejecting all proposals as they viewed Belhadj as an important member of the team.[14] He helped guide his team to the 2011 AFC Champions League title, defeating Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the final where he scored the game winning penalty in the shootout.[15]

In January 2013, Belhadj was invited by Lekhwiya to play in a friendly against Paris Saint-Germain.[16]

International career[edit]

Belhadj playing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Belhadj began his international career in 2000 by representing France at the Under-18 level, making just two appearances for the team.[17][18]

On 30 March 2004, Belhadj made his unofficial debut for the Algerian national team in a 0–0 friendly against Belgian club R.A.A. Louviéroise.[19] On 28 April 2004, he made his official debut for the team in a friendly against China.[20][21] On 5 June 2007, Belhadj got his first international goal in a friendly 4–3 loss to Argentina.[22] He scored two goals in that game beating goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri twice from free kicks.

During the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations he was sent off in the semi-final against Egypt with a straight card, and received a two match competitive international suspension, ruling him out of the match against Tanzania in the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifying stages.

Since the 2010 World Cup and signing with Al-Saad in the Qatar Stars League, Nadir has seen his place at left back for the national side slip away to revelation Djamel Mesbah, ever since his calamitous appearance against the Central African Republic.[citation needed]

On 4 May 2012, Belhadj announced his international retirement.[23]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Algeria's goal tally first. "Score" column indicates the score after the player's goal.
Goal # Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 5 June 2007 Camp Nou, Barcelona (Spain)  Argentina 2–1 3–4 Friendly match
2 5 June 2007 Camp Nou, Barcelona (Spain)  Argentina 3–4 3–4 Friendly match
3 20 November 2007 Stade Robert Diochon, Rouen (France)  Mali 3–2 3–2 Friendly match
4 11 October 2009 Stade Mustapha Tchaker, Blida (Algeria)  Rwanda 2–1 3–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
Correct as of 9 March 2017[24]




Runner-up of Coupe de France 2005
Winner of the Ligue 1 2006–07
Winner of the 2007 Trophée des Champions
Runner-up of the Coupe de la Ligue 2008
Runner-up of the FA Cup 2010
Winner of the 2010 Qatari Stars Cup
Winner of the 2011 AFC Champions League
Winner of the 2012–13 Qatar Stars League
Winner of the 2014 Emir of Qatar Cup
Winner of the 2015 Emir of Qatar Cup
Winner of the 2014 Sheikh Jassem Cup
Runner-up of the 2012 Qatar Crown Prince Cup
Runner-up of the 2012 Emir of Qatar Cup
Runner-up of the 2013 Qatar Crown Prince Cup
Runner-up of the 2013 Emir of Qatar Cup
Third place at the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup


  1. ^ La Fiche de Nadir BELHADJ Archived 16 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine; DZFoot.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 December 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "African trio in Asian Champs win". BBC News. 5 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Nadir Belhadj un arrière-gauche en or". L'Expression. Saïd Mekki. 22 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Algeria's Belhadj moves to Lyon". BBC News. 10 January 2007.
  6. ^ "Pompey land Lens defender". Sky Sports. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  7. ^ "Belhadj makes Pompey loan switch". BBC News. 1 September 2008.
  8. ^ Hughes, Ian (18 September 2008). "Portsmouth 2–0 Guimaraes". BBC News. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  9. ^ Lyon, Sam (8 November 2008). "Sunderland 1–2 Portsmouth". BBC News. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Fletcher, Paul (27 January 2009). "Portsmouth 0–1 Aston Villa". BBC News. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  12. ^ Sanghera, Mandeep (19 December 2009). "Portsmouth 2 – 0 Liverpool". BBC News. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  13. ^ McNulty, Phil (13 February 2010). "Southampton 1 – 4 Portsmouth". BBC News. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Jeonbuk Motors vs. Al Sadd - Football Match Report - November 5, 2011 - ESPN". Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  16. ^ Walid Z. (1 January 2013). "Belhadj invité par Lekhwiya pour affronter le Paris SG" (in French). DZFoot. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  17. ^ "FFF : sélections, football, fiche, espoirs, féminines, masculines, UEFA, FIFA". Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  18. ^ "FFF : sélections, football, fiche, espoirs, féminines, masculines, UEFA, FIFA". Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  19. ^ "La Louvière 0–0 Algérie | Football algérien". Archived from the original on 4 June 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Algérie 0–1 Chine | Football algérien". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  21. ^ "Algeria name friendly squad". BBC News. 13 April 2004.
  22. ^ "Algérie 3–4 Argentine | Football algérien". Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  23. ^ Toufik O. (4 May 2012). "Nadir Belhadj officialise sa retraite internationale". DZFoot. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  24. ^ "Nadir Belhadj - International Appearances". Retrieved 9 January 2018.

External links[edit]