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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Mourad Meghni

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Mourad Meghni was born in Paris on April 16, 1984. He was a very highly considered player as a youth, nicknamed “le petit Zizou” because he looked and played like Zinedine Zidane. He had class, he looked as if he danced with the ball rather than playing with it and at times he could invent things out of nothing. But he was incredibly frail and the injuries in the end hindered his career.

Mourad Meghni was born in Paris on April 16, 1984. He was a very highly considered player as a youth, nicknamed “le petit Zizou” because he looked and played like Zinedine Zidane. He had class, he looked as if he danced with the ball rather than playing with it and at times he could invent things out of nothing. But he was incredibly frail and the injuries in the end hindered his career.


He started playing football at the National Football Institute at Clairefontaine and at 16 signed with Cannes. He stayed there only a year as the club went bust. Manchester United were interested in him but he signed for Bologna in 2004. This created a big scandal in France because he was one of stars of the team that had effortlessly won the Under 17 World Cup and it was inconceivable for the French that he could play abroad.


At Bologna he won an Under 17 Scudetto and debuted in Serie A against Milan on January 12, 2003. Two months later he scored his first professional goal. In the first two years he did not play much but was used slightly more in the 2004-2005 season when unfortunately Bologna were relegated. Meghni, who refused to play in Serie B, was sent on loan to Sochaux in Ligue 1 but it was a disappointing year. Back at Bologna for the 2006-07 season he made 35 appearances and scored two goals in Serie B, but the Rossoblu stayed in the second tier.


In 2007 he signed for Lazio. Sports Director Igli Tare was always on the lookout for players that had unfulfilled potential and Mourad was certainly one of them. In four years he played 60 games with two goals. Manager Delio Rossi alternated him with Stefano Mauri and he got some decent playing time. There were occasional flashes of class such as the impossible pass made for Tommaso Rocchi in the Champions League tie against Werder Bremen (see below video), but then the injuries won. In his third year he managed only 11 appearances, in his last none. The contract was terminated by mutual agreement.



In his last six years of active football he played just 19 games in the Qatar Stars League and in the Algerian Ligue 1.


Despite having played for France as a kid, he decided to take Algerian nationality and play with the Desert Wolves. He played nine games in preparation of the 2010 World Cup including four qualification games and four matches in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations where Algeria lost in the semi-finals. But his problems with his knee did not allow him to be fit enough.


Mourad Meghni by many is considered to be one of the biggest unfulfilled potentials in the history of world football. A pity.


Lazio Career

Season

Apperances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

2007-08

24

19

1

4

-

2008-09

25 (1)

22

3 (1)

-

-

2009-10

11 (1)

7

-

-

4 (1)

Total

60 (2)

48

4 (1)

4

4 (1)

Sources


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