A Rifian Footballer joins Chelsea

Khalid Boulahrouz

Khalid Boulahrouz (born December 28, 1981, in Maassluis, Netherlands) is an Amazigh footballer from Rif ( Morocco) , who plays for the Netherlands national team, has recently joined Chelsea. His nickname is “Khalid the Cannibal” for his ability to “eat up” his opposition. When he was young he had a lot of problems, such as being sent away from the youth teams of Ajax and Haarlem. When he was sixteen his father passed away and he had to take responsibility for his family.

In his youth Boulahrouz played consecutively for Excelsior Maassluis, DSOV, Ajax, HFC Haarlem and AZ Alkmaar.
After a difficult period playing for different clubs, he finally found some stability at RKC Waalwijk, where coach Martin Jol gave him the confidence he had been looking for. He began his professional career in the Dutch Eredivisie for RKC on March 9, 2002, against SC Heerenveen.

After playing 2 seasons for RKC he moved to Hamburger SV to play in the German Bundesliga at the start of the 2004/05 season. While at HSV he earned his nickname “Khalid der Kannibale” (“Khalid the Cannibal”) for his ability to eat up the opposition.

On August 18 2006, Chelsea agreed a fee with Hamburg to sign Boulahrouz. The fee is thought to be around £8,500,000 (€12,000,000). After Chelsea’s opening game of the 2006/07 season, manager José Mourinho confirmed that the club had signed Boulahrouz and the club is only waiting for his international clearance to be finalised, before speaking of the potential roles Boulahrouz will have in the side. Mourinho stated “In a short squad and in a country where you can have only 16 players for a match, it s important to have cover for many positions. So, for example, now I can have Boulahrouz, Ricardo and John — three options for the centre; I can have Paulo and Boulahrouz — two options for the right side; I can have Boulahrouz and Wayne Bridge — two options for the left side..” His arrival at Chelsea seemingly ends William Gallas’ career at Stamford Bridge. On August 21, 2006 Chelsea completed the signing of Boulahrouz.

After moving to Hamburger SV his impressive displays made Marco van Basten pick him for the Netherlands national football team. He made his international debut on the 3rd September 2004 in a 3:0 win for the Netherlands against Liechtenstein, and was named to the squad for the 2006 World Cup. He has managed 15 caps for the national side, as of August 2006.

Boulahrouz was sent off from the Netherlands match against Portugal in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen after a second bookable offence. He was adjudged to have used an elbow on Portugal’s Luàs Figo.

Source: Wikipedia

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