|Full name||Ibrahim El-Zein|
|Born||17 May 1986|
|Current club||Dortmund SFC|
|St. Marks Koningstad||2006-2012|
|Youth squad: 2004-2006|
|Senior squad: 2006-date|
Early club careerEdit
After he was linked to a move to Marseille and Sevilla, El-Zein eventually moved to Juventus in 2004 for €3,000,000. At Juve he initially only played with the reserve Primavera side but he was given three senior-side starts in the 2005-06 season, marking one goal. With the Calciopoli scandal tarnishing Juventus at the end of that season, El-Zein wanted to have more appearances, but despite the club's relegation he was not guaranteed many starting spots. In September 2006 he was loaned out to St. Marks Koningstad, and at the end of the 2006-07 season, it was widely rumored he would sign permanently with them.
El-Zein was a wikination transfer record, joining the clubfor €6.7 million. At St. Marks he quickly established himself as one of Brunant's best footballers. In the 2007-08 season, he had only 3 appearances but an impressive 5 goals. The following season he scored 12 goals to become the league's top scorer; he won Total Football's Golden Flower award that season. In 2009-10 he scored 8 goals in 5 appearances, but was sidelined for much of the season. The following season, he was on excellent form and scored an unbelievable 19 goals, including two hat-tricks. He won the Golden Flower again and was voted "Best Brunanter Footballer" by a panel of former players and journalists. In the 2011-12 season he managed good form but was expecting a serious raise in pay and consequently missed several training sessions.
After such a difficult season for El-Zein, there was much speculation he might leave the team. During the winter transfer period, he affirmed his commitment to St. Marks and stated "I love this team and do not see myself leaving anytime soon". Coach Harrison also said to the media that Ibra "was essential to the team's success" and wished he stayed put. But, with much interest from Dortmund, St. Marks revealed that El-Zein would leave in the summer. A deal was reached with Dortmund SFC which saw him go for an unprecedented €10 million, with a fee rumored to be €85,000 per week.
On 21 October, El-Zein scored two stunning header goals in a 1-5 routing of Brunant Leuwens. On November 17, he scored a hat-trick against rivals Grijzestad Strijders, in a tense 5-3 loss. El-Zein now has eight goals in the league and is tied with Antonio Florente of Mediterranean FC and Gigo of Grijzestad. After 1.5 seasons at the club El-Zein has not been terribly happy and is looking to increase his salary at the club.
In the 2013-14 First League, El-Zein has kept up excellent form to become the highest goalscorer with 28 goals. While his form early on was not consistent, he soon picked up pace by 2014 and continued on an excellent form. He scored twice in a 3-3 home daw versus St. Marks Koningstad and 5-2 win over MFC and in total managed nine braces. In the cup, he managed seven goals, scoring in a semifinal leg as DSFC won the tournament. He extended his contract in the summer of 2014 for four years, earning €90,000 per week.
In the 2014-15 season he has started off with three goals in six matches as well as kicking off with a goal in the 2014 Brunant Supercup. He has one goal in the Leaders League as well, though has yet to score in the cup. He ended the season with 19 goals, second only to Sergio Cañete, while becoming the club's top scorer over Ricardo Villas.
El-Zein was called up to the Brunant national U-20 team in 2003. El-Zein received his first cap for the national team in 2005, playing in a friendly win over Spain. He was a substitute for a World Football Championship qualifier against Jamaica, where he scored the third goal. In 2006 and 2007 he established himself as a regular and he was quickly named by Karim Zenadi as his successor in the national team. With braces scored in early 2014, El-Zein surpassed Zenadi in goals and in 2015 is two from tying the record set by Florian Evers in 1940.
Style of playEdit
El-Zein is an anchor and driver for his team, known for his scoring. At St. Marks, he was known for his assists and his coordination of play between the defensive midfielders and the forwards. But, when he moved towards the net, it was hard to guess if he would score the goal or pass to assist it. El-Zein is widely considered to be the best wikination footballer, rated the best by the WNFA.
Family and relationshipsEdit
Rather little is known about his personal life, given his disdain of most tabloid/celebrity media and desire to talk about only his professional career. El-Zein has been known, though, for his long on and off relationship with Italian Claudia Bellini, known from his Juventus days. They had a daughter together in 2010, and his family is often seen at stadiums watching him.
Aside from football, El-Zein is best known as a spokesperson for various companies which use him in advertisements. tell.me uses him in mobile phone adverts since 2011, though he has been the longest with Maxi supermarkets, often seen promoting chicken, soap or items on sale. He also appears on the Ultimate Football video game covers and ads, where he is depicted playing as himself on a television screen.
|St. Marks Koningstad||2006-07||24||16||3||1||1||0|
1 - Played with Juventus Primavera
|2016 Brunant squad|
|1 Elteman • 2 Capels • 4 Marshall • 5 Lecaros • 6 Jamieson • 14 Nadir • 8 Jostens (c) • 16 S. El-Zein • 12 Marzouk • 11 Hoever • 10 I. El-Zein • 9 Carlinhos • 13 Giggs • 23 Losinger • 24 Brunner • 15 Nabil • Coach: Bergher|