From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 07/14
Date of birth:
26 December 1989
Place of birth:
1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Red Star Paris:
86x apps / 9x goals
136x apps / 20x goals
→ Almería (loan):
10x apps / 2x goals
2x apps / 0x goals
3x apps / 0x goals
22x apps / 6x goals
* (appearances, national team caps and goals correct as of 27 June 2014
Sofiane Feghouli, is a French-born Algerian footballer who plays for Valencia CF in La Liga and the Algeria national team.
He primarily plays as a right winger but can also play as an attacking midfielder and is more noted for creating goals than scoring them.
A former French youth international, Feghouli changed his allegiance and now represents Algeria in international competition.
Sofiane Feghouli began his career with Grenoble, after French team Paris Saint-Germain declined to sign him after a trial.
For the latter portion of the 2006/07 season, he was promoted to the first-team squad and given the number 33 shirt.
He made his highly anticipated debut, at the age of 17, for the club on 27 April 2007 in a Ligue 2 match against Reims, appearing as a substitute. Grenoble won the match 1:0.
He made two more appearances that season, including his first start on the final match day of the season against Montpellier. Montpellier won the match 1:0 with Sofiane playing 56 minutes before being subbed out.
Following the season, he signed his first professional contract with Grenoble, keeping him with the side until 2010.
The following season, he was handed the first-team number 8 and, despite being 17 years of age, was given a more important role in the squad.
Despite having the pressure of being labeled the "new Zidane", his contribution to the squad was successful, appearing in 26 matches and scoring 3 goals, helping Grenoble achieve promotion to Ligue 1.
His first career goal was against the club he made his debut against, Reims in a 4:3 victory.
Feghouli returned for the 2009-10 season, making his debut on 29 August in an 0:1 defeat to Rhône-Alpes rivals Saint-Étienne.
After appearing in five more matches, it was discovered by Grenoble officials that Feghouli had torn the meniscus in his right knee.
The knee was successfully operated on in October. Following the surgery, Grenoble officials, most notably CEO Pierre Wantiez, were extremely critical of the player.
Wantiez questioned Feghouli's long delay in returning to the team and the player's motives regarding a transfer as Feghouli would be out of contract in the summer and was already talking to several clubs, most notably Spanish club Valencia.
Wantiez attributed Feghouli's recent moves to "bad advice" from the player's agent.
His performances for Valencia in 2012 earned him two Algerian player of the year awards, Le Buteur's Algerian Ballon d'Or and the DZFoot d'Or.
Sofiane was eligible for both Algeria and France.
Sofiane had stated his preference was to play for France and appeared on several France youth squads.
On 12 November 2008, national team manager Raymond Domenech shortlisted the player for his pre-selection squad ahead of a friendly against Uruguay.
Despite this, Algeria national team manager Rabah Saadane contacted Sofiane by telephone in an attempt to get the player to play for Algeria in the team's 19 November friendly against Mali.
Team captain Yazid Mansouri also contacted the player .
However, on 25 May 2011, it was reported that, whilst on loan at Almeria, Feghouli met with the President of the Algerian Football Federation Mohamed Raouraoua.
Feghouli gave his accord to play for Algeria and was offered to come to the training camp being held in Spain for the match against Morocco.
He however was unable to attend the gathering, but was touched by the gesture, agreeing to be available for the Tanzania match instead.
On 23 October 2011, the Algerian Football Federation announced that FIFA had officially accepted Feghouli's request to switch allegiances from France to Algeria, and that he was eligible to represent Algeria in international competition as of that date.
Two days later, on 25 October, Feghouli was called up Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodžić for a pair of friendlies against Tunisia and Cameroon in November.
On 29 February 2012, Feghouli made his debut for the Algerian national team in a 2:1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win against Gambia, scoring the winning goal.
During qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he scored three goals in seven appearance for Les Fennecs.
In the team's opening match of the 2014 World Cup, a 2:1 defeat to Belgium in Belo Horizonte, Feghouli scored with a penalty kick – Algeria's first World Cup goal in 28 years.