Ali Benarbia

Ali Benarbia ( born October 8, 1968 in Oran, Algeria ) is a former Algerian- French footballer.

Club career

At the age of three years Benarbia came with his family from Algeria to France in 1985 and began his professional career at second division FC Martigues. In 1993 he went to the club on to Division 1, in which he scored nine goals for the team from Provence in 65 point games. In 1995 Benarbia for AS Monaco, with whom he won the French championship and the Trophée des champions at the end of his second season. 1999 followed by a second league title with Girondins Bordeaux. In both championship years, he was also honored as Player of the Year Division 1, 1997 with the right conferred by the trade magazine France Football Étoile d'Or, two years later with the Trophée UNFP, in which the players of the top two French Divisions cast their vote. From 1999 played Benarbia for the capital club Paris Saint- Germain, for whom he had chosen, despite the personally very successful season in Bordeaux, because he considered him " one of the top five clubs in Europe." In 2001, he decided, nevertheless, to move abroad.

On the way back from a disappointing trial with Sunderland AFC - because head coach Peter Reid was not present at the training session, he should attend a further what Benarbia refused - he stopped at Manchester City to meet Alioune Touré, and became spontaneously coach Kevin Keegan invited to attend the afternoon session. With Manchester City have recent playmaker Eyal Berkovic had hurt, and Keegan quickly realized with the Algerians, whom he had met by a clash in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1996/97, as Benarbia scored two goals against Keegan's Newcastle United, to have suitable replacement found. On 14 September 2001 he was taken free transfer under contract and made ​​his debut a day later at a home game against Birmingham City when he was preparing two goals in a 3-0 success. Benarbia was in the following months, a key player of the team, as a City with 99 points and 108 goals scored confidently as second division champions managed to return to the Premier League. With its technical and playing skills that were far above the level of English second division, he was immediately a crowd favorite. After Berkovic returned from his injury, Keegan was henceforth in a 3 -5- 2 system to play with two key players, of which particularly the striker Shaun Goater (28 goals), Darren Huckerby (20 goals) and Paulo Wanchope (12 goals) solid benefited. At the end of the season the City fans Benarbia voted "Player of the Year" and he was beside Berkovic and Goater one of three City players in "PFA First Division Team of the Year".

After climbing Benarbia took over from the retiring Stuart Pearce the captain's armband. Keegan sat in the Premier League first on unconditional offensive, but soon discovered that the defensive midfielder did not meet the requirements. The manager decided after the tenth match day, when the club had slipped into the relegation zone, for a more defensive game system in which Berkovic was preferred. Only in the second half came Benarbia again increased in the starting XI for use and finished the season with Manchester on the ninth. During the pre-season in the summer of 2003 Benarbia broke up his contract with Manchester and announced end of his career, but had only a few days stock. Instead, he let his career fade away in Qatar, initially for two years at Al- Rayyan SC - among other things on the side of Mario Basler, Fernando Hierro and Frank and Ronald de Boer - and then one more season at the Qatar SC. During this time he advised his former club Manchester City on several occasions working in Qatar players also including Hussein Yasser and Pep Guardiola, who were each invited to tryouts. In the case of Yasser this recommendation led to an obligation.


With its associations

  • French Champion: 1996/97, 1998/99
  • French second division champions: 1992/93
  • Trophée des Champions: 1997
  • English second division champions: 2001 /02


  • Étoile d'Or: 1996/97
  • Trophée UNFP du football: 1998/99
  • PFA First Division Team of the Year: 2001 /02
  • Manchester City Player of the Year: 2001 /02