Islam Slimani born 18 June 1988) is an Algerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Newcastle on loan from Leicester City and the Algeria national team.
An Algerian international, Slimani made his international debut in 2012. He played at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where he was Algeria's joint top scorer with two goals. As of 13 July 2014, he has won 24 international caps and scored 12 goals.
Early life & career
Slimani grew up in the western Algiers suburb of Ain Bénian. It was here that his football career began as a teenage amateur, playing for local fifth tier side WB Ain Bénian. He was then signed by third division JSM Chéraga in 2008, where he spent several months in the youth team before eventually making his debut for the first team. Slimani finished his debut season at JSM with 18 goals.
In May 2009, Slimani joined CR Belouizdad from JSM Chéraga for a transfer fee of 800,000 Algerian dinars, signing a two year contract. In August, he made his official debut for the club as a starter against MC Oran in the first week of the 2009–10 Algerian Championnat National. He finished his first season with Belouizdad with 8 goals in 30 games.
On 17 May 2011, Slimani scored four goals in a league game against JS Kabylie, leading CR Belouizdad to an impressive 7-1 win. In July 2011, with his contract expired and several French clubs such as Nice and Le Havre showing interest in signing him, Slimani decided to sign a two year extension with CR Belouizdad.
On 6 August 2013 Slimani joined Sporting Clube de Portugal. Slimani started the 2013–14 season as a substitute, gaining a reputation as an impact player due to him scoring vital goals when coming off the bench. However, due to the lack of form of Fredy Montero, he became a starter and scored 4 goals in 4 matches in early March 2014 against Rio Ave, SC Braga, Vitória de Setubal and in 1-0 over Porto in the Dragões vs Leões. In December 2013 he was considered the best Algerian footballer of the year as he won the Algerian Golden Ball.
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