Djamel Belmadi

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Djamel Belmadi is a former Algerian midfielder who was born in Champigny-sur-Marne, France on 27th March 1976. He began his career with Paris Saint-Germain and made his debut for the club in January 1996 against Gueugon. Belmadi spent the 1996/97 season on loan at second tier outfit Martiques. The Algerian moved to Marseille in 1997 but struggled for first team action before moving to Cannes on loan during 1998/99.

Belmadi joined Spanish side Celta Vigo in 1999/2000, and represented the club in the UEFA Cup. He played alongside the likes of Claude Makelele and Benny McCarthy, helping the club to a 7th place finish. On July 9th 2000 Belmadi won his first international cap against Morocco. He returned to Marseille for the 2000/01 campaign and became a regular at Stade Velodrome, starring for the club in the Champions League. Belmadi was named Algerian player of the year in both 2000 and 2001. His first international goal came on 26th January 2001 in a World Cup Qualifier with Nambia.

Belmadi had fallen out of favour at Marseille by the 2002/03 season. In January 2003 the former PSG playmaker joined Kevin Keegan's Manchester City on loan until May. He made his debut for the Maine Road club on 18th January 2003 in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle. Belmadi made 8 appearances for City, and was mainly used as a backup player for fellow creative midfielder Ali Benarbia.

Belmadi was a victim of bank theft during his short stay in Manchester. Bank workers Paul Sherwood and Paul Henley stole more than £350,000 from the accounts of Belmadi, and two other former City players, Daniel Van Buyten and Vincente Vuoso. The pair secretly diverted money from the players accounts after they had left the Manchester City.

After being released by Marseille in the summer of 2003 Belmadi had a two year spell in Qatar with Al-Ittihad and then Al-Kharitiyath. In July 2005 the midfielder joined Harry Redknapp's Southampton on trial, having previously trained with Wigan and Celtic. After impressing in pre season Belmadi was offered a one month contract. The Algerian made his debut on August 6th 2005 in a 0-0 draw with Wolves. Belmadi impressed immediately at St Marys, and scored one of the goals of the season in a 2-0 win over Crewe on August 27th 2005. The former Celta Vigo star went on a mazy run before neatly finishing. That performance won him a contract until the end of the season. Belmadi was undoubtedly the most technically gifted player at the club. His skill and trickery created countless chances for the Saints strike force that often failed to capitalise on such good service. After Belmadi netted another tremendous goal against Stoke on 29th October 2005, Harry Redknapp likened the player to former Southampton great Matthew Le Tissier. Belmadi suffered an injury in January 2006 which ruled him out until April. It's no coincidence that the clubs form improved once Belmadi returned.

Belmadi started the 2006/07 season very well, and was at the heart of the clubs good attacking displays in the opening weeks. Shortly after scoring against Millwall in the League Cup in September Belmadi was hit by injury again, and as a result Southampton's form dipped. He returned in February 2007, but his performances weren't quite up to the standards most had come to expect. He did have a hand in Grzegorz Rasiak's equalising goal in the play-off semi final second leg at Derby on 15th May 2007. Belmadi was released by Southampton on 30th June 2007.

Belmadi joined French outfit Valenciennes in the summer of 2007. He spent two years with the Ligue 1 club, but was once again hampered by injury. He scored what turned out to be his final ever goal in football on 13th December 2008 in a 3-1 win over Monaco. Belmadi hung up his boots in June 2009.

In 2010 Belmadi returned to Qatar to become head coach at Lekhwiya. The former Algerian international took to management like a duck to water, winning the Qatar Stars League in his first season at the club. Belmadi led a team full of established international stars like Aruna Dindane, Bakari Kone and Dame Traore. He won a second league title in 2011/12