Nassim Ben Khalifa

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Nassim Ben Khalifa
SwitzerlandU21 09 Nassim Ben Khalifa 130606 Sve-Sch 3-2 182726 6541.jpg
Khalifa playing for the Switzerland under-21 team
Personal information
Full name Nassim Ben Khalifa
Date of birth (1992-01-13) 13 January 1992 (age 28)
Place of birth Prangins, Switzerland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Winger / Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 13
Youth career
2001–2002 Nyon
2002–2005 Gland
2005–2008 Lausanne-Sport
2008–2010 Grasshopper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2014 VfL Wolfsburg 0 (0)
2010–2014 VfL Wolfsburg II 6 (2)
20111. FC Nürnberg (loan) 1 (0)
20111. FC Nürnberg II (loan) 9 (2)
2011–2012Young Boys (loan) 17 (2)
2012–2014Grasshopper (loan) 57 (11)
2014–2015 Grasshopper 23 (1)
2015–2016 Eskişehirspor 11 (0)
2016KV Mechelen (loan) 7 (0)
2016–2017 Lausanne-Sport 23 (9)
2017–2019 St. Gallen 35 (5)
2019– Grasshopper 13 (6)
National team
2007 Switzerland U15/16 7 (3)
2007–2009 Switzerland U17 25 (10)
2009 Switzerland U18 11 (6)
2010–2013 Switzerland U21 24 (4)
2010– Switzerland 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 01:45, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:29, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Nassim Ben Khalifa (born 13 January 1992) is a Swiss footballer who plays for Grasshopper Club Zürich and the Switzerland national football team.

Club career[edit]


Ben Khalifa started playing football with local team Nyon, Gland and Lausanne-Sport before joining Grasshopper after being recommended by Stéphane Chapuisat and this was the start of his professional career.[1]

Ben Khalifa made his debut with Grasshopper in the Swiss Super League on 7 March 2009, at the age of 17, where he played the last 11 minutes in the game against FC Sion. He scored his first Super League goal in his fourth game, on 19 July 2009, also against Sion. Until he left Grasshopper at the end of the 2009–10 season, Ben Khalifa played a total of 28 league matches and scored eight goals. The club would find themselves in the financial difficulties and would need to sell him.[2] As a result of moving, the sale of Ben Khalifa helps the club solve their financial difficulties.[3]


On 19 February 2010, he signed a four-year contract with VfL Wolfsburg of the German Bundesliga and joined his new club on 1 July 2010.[4][5] He attracted interest from Premier League club Arsenal and Serie A side Inter Milan, but Wolfsburg managed to beat both clubs to sign him.[1] However, he has never played for Wolfsburg in a Bundesliga game.

Ben Khalifa spent the first half of the 2010–11 season, playing in the club's reserve, where he made his debut, in a 4–2 win over Türkiyemspor Berlin on 20 August 2010.[6] Ben Khalifa made six appearance scoring two goals against Magdeburg on 19 September 2010[7] and Oberneuland on 1 October 2010.[8] He later stated about playing in Regionalliga, citing: "This is discussed with the trainer. I want to play with the reserve, than sitting in the Bundesliga in the stands."[9]

After half a season on the bench, Wolfsburg loaned Ben Khalifa out to 1. FC Nürnberg until summer 2012,[10] where he made his Bundesliga debut on 5 March 2011, being brought into the game against FC St. Pauli in the 82nd minute.[11]

German Newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung named Ben Khalifa, along with two other players, as the worst signing since the winter transfer 2010.[12]

Young Boys (Loan Spell)[edit]

After the loan spell with Nürnberg, in July 2011, Ben Khalifa moved to BSC Young Boys on loan for the 2011–12 season[13] The previously year, Ben Khalifa was linked with a loan move to Young Boys, but the club's general manager Dieter Hoeneß made it clear, quoting on Ben Khalifa: "This is not an issue at this time!"[14]

He made his debut for the club, in the third round of Europa League, where he played in both legs, which in the second leg, he made a double assist to send the club through to the next round.[15] In the Europa League play-offs in the second leg, Ben Khalifa was sent off in the 62nd minutes after he was involved in an incident with Quim, as Young Boys drew 2–2 with Braga, but were eliminated due to away goal.[16] While at Young Boys, Ben Khalifa made seventeen appearance and scoring against Neuchâtel Xamax on 21 September 2011 and Thun on 10 December 2011.


On 23 June 2012, Ben Khalifa signed a two-year loan deal with his first professional club Grasshopper for the 2012–13 season.[17] He made his debut since coming back two years ago, as Grasshopper lose 2–0 to Sion, in the opening game of the season[18] and on 28 July 2014, he scored his first goal for the club, in a 2–2 draw against Basel.[19] He would later score six goals in thirty-three appearance and helped the club win the Swiss Cup after beating Basel on penalty-shootout, ending a ten-year drought.[20]

In his second year to his loan spell at Grasshopper, Ben Khalifa scored in the qualification round second leg of Europa League, in a 1–0 win over Fiorentina, but remained out due to Fiorentina's away goal.[21] After scoring three goals in twenty appearance, Ben Khalifa scored twice, as Grasshopper thrash St. Gallen 5–1 on 17 February 2014.[22] Towards the end of the 2013–14 season, Ben Khalifa tore his ACL during a 4–2 win over Sion and will be out for six months, as well as, missing the rest of the 2013–14 season and the start of the 2014–15 season.[23] He would finish his second year to his loan spell at Grasshopper, where he made twenty-four appearance and scored five times.

On 5 May 2014, Ben Khalifa joined Grasshopper on a three-year contract.[24]


In January 2015, Grasshopper manager Michael Skibbe ended his contract with Grasshopper and went on to manage Turkish club Eskişehirspor, with Ben Khalifa following him there.[25] After a brief loan spell at Belgian club KV Mechelen, Ben Khalifa resigned from Eskişehirspor in July 2016.[25]


He then came back to Switzerland, and on 21 October 2016, he signed with Lausanne-Sport,[26] where he had already played as a youth. He scored his first goal for them during his fourth appearance, a 1–2 loss against Young Boys.[27][28]

Return to Grasshopper[edit]

On 5 July 2019 it was confirmed by Grasshopper Club Zürich, that Ben Khalifa had returned to the club on a 1-year contract with an option for one further year.[29]

International career[edit]

Ben Khalifa has played for Swiss youth squads at various levels from U-15 to U-18. He has participated at the U-17 European Championships in 2008 in Turkey and in 2009 in Germany as well as at the Under-17 World Cup in 2009 in Nigeria, where he was awarded the "Silver Ball" trophy for the second best player of the tournament.[30]

At the age of only 18, he made his debut for the Swiss U-21 squad on 26 May 2010 against Turkey.[31]

For the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa he was on Switzerland's reserve list (30 players), but did not make it into the final 23-man squad. His first appearance for the Swiss national team was on 11 August 2010 against Austria.

Personal life[edit]

Ben Khalifa is of Tunisian origin. His native languages are Arabic and French, and he learned English and German at school.[32]


Switzerland U-17



  1. ^ a b "Hoeness brings super-talent Ben Khalifa to Wolfsburg". Bild. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Wolfsburg lead Inter Milan & Arsenal in the race for Nassim Ben Khalifa". IM Scouting. 16 February 2010. Archived from the original on 19 February 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. ^ "Sale of Ben Khalifa is supposed to save GC" [Verkauf von Ben Khalifa soll GC retten] (in German). 20 Minuten. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  4. ^ "VfL verpflichtet Schweizer Sturmtalent Nassim Ben Khalifa" (in German). VfL Wolfsburg. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  5. ^ "On the ball in first afternoon session". VfL Wolfsburg. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  6. ^ "VfL II with professional Khalifa in Berlin" [VfL II mit Profi Khalifa in Berlin] (in German). WAZ Sport. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  7. ^ "2:1! Köstner-Eleven is now second" [Köstner-Elf ist jetzt Zweiter] (in German). WAZ Sport. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Wolze and Ben Khalifa defeat to FC Ailton" [Wolze und Ben Khalifa besiegen den FC Ailton] (in German). WAZ Sport. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  9. ^ "I regret nothing" [Ben Khalifa:"Ich bereue nichts"] (in German). 5 October 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Khalifa-Ausleihe perfekt" [Khalifa Loan complete] (in German). DFL. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  11. ^ "Eigler's big day - St. Pauli chance" [Eiglers großer Tag - St. Pauli chancenlos] (in German). 5 March 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  12. ^ "VfL: Worst buyers" [VfL: Schlechtester Einkäufer] (in German). Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Ben Khalifa takes chance to shine with Young Boys". official site. UEFA. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  14. ^ "When should ran Ben Khalifa in Wolfsburg?" [Treffer für die SchweizWann darf Ben Khalifa in Wolfsburg ran?] (in German). Bild. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Young Boys win in Westerlo" [Young Boys siegen in Westerlo] (in German). 20 Minuten. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  16. ^ "YB drops out after draw against Braga" [Nach Skandal-Rot für Ben KhalifaYB scheidet nach Remis gegen Braga aus] (in German). 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Off to Zurich". official site. VfL Wolfsburg. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  18. ^ "GRASSHOPPER VS. SION 0 - 2". Soccerway. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  19. ^ "GC with draw against Basel" [GC mit Remis gegen Basel] (in German). 28 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Grasshoppers win Swiss Cup, end 10-year trophy drought". Reuters. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  21. ^ "GC says goodbye with a win" [GC verabschiedet sich mit einem Sieg] (in German). 20 Minuten. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  22. ^ "" [Uneinigkeit über Nushis Schuld oder Unschuld] (in German). 20 Minuten. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. External link in |title= (help)
  23. ^ "Ben Khalifa out with torn ACL - Bürki breaks rib!" [Doppelschock für GCBen Khalifa mit Kreuzbandriss out – Bürki bricht Rippe!] (in German). 17 March 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  24. ^ "NASSIM BEN KHALIFA DEFINITELY THE GC" [Nassim Ben Khalifa definitiv beim GC] (in German). Grasshopper Official Website. 5 May 2014. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  25. ^ a b "Nassim Ben Khalifa: "Hatem Ben Arfa est un exemple pour moi, un espoir"" (in French). 28 July 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  26. ^ "Nassim Ben Khalifa officiellement qualifié avec le FC Lausanne-Sport" (in French). Lausanne-Sport official website. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  30. ^ "Awards galore in Abuja". Archived from the original on 20 November 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  31. ^ "Sich selber geschlagen" (in German). 27 May 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  32. ^ "Newcomer Ben Khalifa: scorer, not a tourist" [Neuzugang Ben Khalifa: Torjäger, kein Tourist] (in German). 16 June 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  33. ^ a b "Awards galore in Abuja". FIFA. 15 November 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2014.

External links[edit]