Mustapha Hadji

Mustapha Hadji
Mustapha Hadji
ⵎⵙⵜⵇⴼⵇ ⵃⵊⵉ مصطفى حجي
Personal information
Date of birth November 16, 1971 (1971-11-16) (age 39)
Place of birth Ifrane, Souss-Massa-Draâ, Morocco
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 Nancy 134 (31)
1996–1997 Sporting CP 27 (3)
1997–1999 Deportivo 31 (2)
1999–2001 Coventry City 62 (12)
2001–2004 Aston Villa 35 (2)
2004 Espanyol 16 (1)
2004–2005 Al Ain 15 (5)
2005–2007 1. FC Saarbrücken 54 (10)
2007–2010 Fola Esch 44 (25)
National team
1993–2004 Morocco 63 (13)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of July 1, 2009.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of January 24, 2010

Mustapha Hadji (born 16 November 1971) in Ifrane, Souss-Massa-Draâ, Morocco is a former Moroccan footballer.


Early life

Hadji was born in Ifrane, Morocco. He immigrated with his family to France.

Club career

Mustapha Hadji began playing football there. He signed his first contract with AS Nancy where he spent his first season as a youth player before joining the senior squad in his second year with the club.

After playing 5 seasons for AS Nancy, Hadji joined Sporting and then Deportivo, but it was with Coventry City where he became well known, especially in Britain. After an impressive 1998 FIFA World Cup, where Hadji scoring a memorable goal against Norway, he became much sought after, especially after being named African Footballer of the Year in 1998. He was signed a year later by Gordon Strachan for Coventry.

Hadji was a goal-scoring attacking midfielder with great pace and skillful runs. At Coventry, he was joined by Moroccan international, Youssef Chippo, sparking a brief trend for City fans to wear fezzes to games in their honor. After Coventry were relegated in 2001, he joined local rivals Aston Villa, having scored against them three times in the previous season. But after only playing sporadically, scoring twice in the league against Southampton[1] and Everton[2] and once in the UEFA Cup against Varteks,[3] he was released on a free transfer to Espanyol in Spain in 2004 where he remained until June 2004.[4]

Mustapha has since played for Al Ain FC in United Arab Emirates where he remained for one year before returning to Europe with 1. FC Saarbrücken of Germany in 2005, where he signed a two year contract.[5] In August 2007, Hadji signed for CS Fola Esch, a team currently playing in the Luxembourg's first-tier BGL League.[6] He ended his playing career in July 2010.

In 1998 Hadji was named African Footballer of the Year.

International career

At the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Hadji played in all three group games for Morocco, two as substitute. In Morocco's third game against the Netherlands, Hadji setup the equalizer for Hassan Nader with his first touch after coming on as substitute. Despite this, Morocco lost all three games and were eliminated. He scored in Morocco's 2-2 draw with Norway in the 1998 World Cup

He played in 13 FIFA World Cup qualification matches.[7]

Other projects

Recent events for Hadji included being selected for Ambassadorship during the 2010 World Cup by FIFA to represent Africa. Hadji is also involved in a partnership with plans to invest in Morocco, thus making opportunities for the local people, as he's aiming to help rid poverty from his homeland.

Mustapha Hadji is also a supporter of Show Racism The Red Card charity.


His three younger brothers all followed in his footsteps, Youssouf Hadji, is also a Moroccan international and currently plays for Rennes in France, Brahim Hadji plays for SV Klarenthal 1911 in Germany, and Farid Hadji at 1. FC Saarbrücken. While his son Samir Hadji plays for RC Strasbourg in the Championnat National.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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