Top facts about Ibrahim Afellay, the little magician

Wed 02 March 2022 | 8:30

Ibrahim Afellay let his career fade away from the spotlight after playing 53 games for the Netherlands in 2021. Read on to find out more facts about Ibrahim Afellay, ex-Barcelona Playmaker.

Ibrahim Afellay (born 2 April 1986) is a former professional footballer from the Netherlands who played as a winger or attacking midfielder.

Ibrahim Afellay’s age

is 35. Here you can find out the most important facts about Ibrahim Afellay, The Holland international.

The first fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he graduated from the PSV youth academy in 2004, where he played 149 league games and won the Eredivisie four times before joining

FC Barcelona

in January 2011.

Afellay won the UEFA Champions League with FC Barcelona in 2011 before being loaned out to Schalke 04 and Olympiakos Piraeus. He spent four seasons with

Stoke City

beginning in 2015 before joining PSV on a free transfer in 2019.

PSV announced in May 2020 that they would not renew Afellay's contract. Afellay's playing career came to an end in January 2021.

An important fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he appeared in 53 matches for the Dutch national team between 2007 and 2016, scoring seven times.

A notable fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he competed for the Dutch national team in the 2008 European Championship, the 2010 World Cup, and the 2012 European Championship. Following his playing career, Afellay became an analyst at Studio Voetbal.

On February 4, 2004, he made his debut for PSV's first team in a cup match against NAC Breda (0–1). In the seventy-second minute, he replaced Johann Vogel. Ten days later, he made his league debut against FC Twente.

In the 2003/04 season, he appeared in three official matches. He appeared in seven league matches during the 2004/05 season. On December 18, 2004, he took his place in the starting lineup against Roda JC.

Afellay came on in the 15th minute for attacker Robert in the championship game against Vitesse on April 23, 2005. PSV won their eighteenth league title, while Afellay won his first. Afellay scored twice against


on May 15, 2005, his first two goals for PSV.

Top facts about Ibrahim Afellay:

During the 2005/06 season, he was allowed to start the

Johan Cruyff

Scale matches as well as the first three competition matches. He was booked in all four games, resulting in a suspension for the fifth competition game.

Due to the absence of DaMarcus Beasley and Mika Väyrynen, he played those matches with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Jefferson Farfán, as well as a few with Phillip Cocu and Timmy Simons.

Ibrahim Affelay early life

Afellay is of Moroccan Riffian heritage. Speaking about Ibrahim Afellay’s parents, it should be mentioned that his parents immigrated to the Netherlands in the 1960s from Al Hoceima, Morocco.


Ibrahim Afellay’s childhood

, it is worth mentioning that he was raised in Overvecht, an Utrecht neighborhood with a strong immigrant population. After his father died while he was young, Afellay and his brother, Ali, were raised by their mother, Habiba.

In the 1960s,

Ibrahim Afellay's parents

moved to the Netherlands from Al Hoceima. Ibrahim grew up in the Utrecht district of Overvecht and began playing football at the Utrecht amateur club VSK before switching to the Utrecht amateur club Elinkwijk after a season. He left that club in 1996 to join the PSV youth academy.

Ibrahim Affelay personal life

Afellay opened a Cruyff Court in Morocco on April 27, 2009. Each year's talent gets to pick his or her own location for his or her Cruyff Court. This award is given to a young talented player in the Dutch Eredivisie who not only excels on the field but is also very involved in society.

The Johan Cruyff Prize has been awarded to the 'Talent of the Year' at the annual Football Gala since 2003. A jury of (ex) football players and (ex) trainers selects the talent, which is judged on fourteen criteria based on Johan Cruyff's fourteen rules. Afellay chose the coastal town of Al Hoceima because it is where his family is from.

Ibrahim Affelay professional career

As one of the biggest in the 2000s, Ibrahim Affelay’s amazing talent was evident right from the start. He went through the youth team and made his professional debut soon afterwards in 2004.

Despite his enduring youthful appearance, we can recall Afellay as the mercurial light of a

PSV Eindhoven

side which dominated Dutch football and made an impression in the Champions League.

Ibrahim Affelay club career

At the age of ten, he joined the PSV Eindhoven development system after playing youth football at Elinkwijk. After making his debut in 2004, he spent eight seasons with PSV, leading them win four Eredivisie championships until joining Barcelona in January 2011 for €3 million.

An important fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he was loaned to

Schalke 04

and Olympiacos before joining for Stoke City in 2015. He was seldom utilized by Barcelona and was hampered by injury. Afellay played three seasons at Stoke before returning to PSV to finish his career.

Afellay made his Netherlands national team debut in 2007, and he played in the 2010 World Cup, contributing to the Dutch team's second-place result. He also played in Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, totaling more than 50 appearances. Afellay began his football career with local club VSK, but left after one season to join USV Elinkwijk.


In 1996, Afellay moved to PSV from Elinkwijk. At the age of 17, Afellay made his PSV debut against NAC Breda in a KNVB Cup match on February 4, 2004. Ten days later, he faced FC Twente in his maiden Eredivisie match. In the 2003–04 season, Afellay played one more senior match.

In May, he signed a new deal with PSV that would last through 2007. In the next season, Afellay was named to the starting lineup against Roda JC in December.

However, he fractured his toe at a winter break training session in Dubai. For three months, Afellay was unable to play. In the 2004–05 season, he appeared in nine games, the most famous of which was PSV's last home encounter against Feyenoord (2–4).

In the contest, Afellay scored two goals and added an assist. He also won the KNVB Cup after coming in as a substitute in PSV's 4–0 victory over Willem II in the final. Afellay established himself as a first-team regular with PSV in the 2005–06 season.

He teamed up with Timmy Simons and

Phillip Cocu

in the midfield. Afellay earned four yellow cards in his first four matches (Johan Cruyff Shield and league), leading in an instant ban.

Afellay made his Champions League debut against Schalke 04 in September (1–0 victory). During a season marred by a series of minor ailments, he managed to play a total of 23 league matches. PSV won the Eredivisie in 2006, which was Afellay's second consecutive victory.

He appeared in 27 league games for PSV the following season, scoring six goals. After beating Vitesse (5–1) in the last league round, the squad won the Eredivisie by a single goal difference.

Afellay scored the game's third goal. Afellay received the Johan Cruyff Award for being the most promising youth in the Netherlands for his efforts that year.

Afellay got off to a good start in the 2007–08 season by scoring the first goal and assisting the second in a 0–2 away win against Heracles Almelo.

A damaged toe led Afellay to take a two-month break a month later. In December, he extended his contract till 2011. In the 2007–08 Eredivisie season, Afellay appeared in 24 games.

He was unable to play in the second-to-final match against FC Twente, in which PSV had a chance to win the league, but failed to do so.

With Afellay on the squad, the league title was finally won in the last match against Vitesse. Afellay had a difficult start to the 2008–09 season as he got less vacation time than he had hoped for after Euro 2008.

His season got off to a good start, with a Johan Cruyff Shield win against Feyenoord (0–2) and three goals in the first two Eredivisie games.

Afellay scored 13 goals in the league, including the game-winning goal against Feyenoord at home in December. After suffering an injury in April, the 2008–09 season, in which PSV finished fourth, was cut short.

Under new coach Fred Rutten, Afellay went to a more defensive midfield position for the 2009–10 season.

In February, Afellay was elevated as the team's second captain. However, since first-year captain Timmy Simons spent much of the season on the bench, Afellay essentially took over as captain.

After video evidence revealed foul conduct against Eyong Enoh in the encounter against


in March, Afellay was given a three-match suspension.

PSV and Afellay finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Eredivisie. In the summer, he was named team captain for the first time.

An important fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he declared in October that he will not renew his contract with PSV. PSV was eager to sell over the winter break since the contract was coming to an end.

FC Barcelona reached an agreement with PSV on November 15th. Afellay agreed to a four-and-a-half-year deal. During his last PSV match against Roda JC, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.


A notable

fact about Ibrahim Afellay

is that he signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with FC Barcelona after completing the €3 million move. In a Copa del Rey encounter against Athletic Bilbao on 5 January 2011, he made his Blaugrana debut, replacing

David Villa

in injury time.

In his debut season, he appeared in 28 Barcelona matches, 18 of which were as a substitute. In the Copa del Rey, Afellay made his debut against Real Betis on January 19, 2011. In February, he scored his first goal in the Copa del Rey against UD Almera.

On the last day of the season, Afellay scored his first league goal in a 3–1 away victory over Málaga CF. Barcelona won the league title in 2010–11, while Afellay won his sixth league trophy overall.

He debuted for Barcelona in the Champions League against Arsenal and went on to play in the quarter-finals against Shakthar and the semi-finals against Real Madrid.

He helped

Lionel Messi

score the first goal in Barcelona's 2–0 win against Real Madrid on the road. After defeating

Manchester United

(3–1), Afellay and Barcelona won the Champions League. In the 90th minute of the final, Afellay was introduced.

Afellay missed the Supercopa de Espana matches against Real Madrid due to a minor hamstring injury during the 2011–12 preseason.

Before sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury during training in September, he recovered in time for one Champions League and one La Liga encounter.

A notable fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he had surgery and through a seven-month rehabilitation phase. On April 29, he returned to the pitch against Rayo Vallecano as a 71st-minute substitute, replacing teammate Sergio Busquets in a 7–0 away thrashing triumph for the Catalan club.

Despite appearing in two more La Liga games, Afellay was not called up by Pep Guardiola for the crucial meetings against Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Schalke 04

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova informed Afellay about his reduced playing time for the 2012–13 season during the preseason. On August 31, he accepted a loan offer from FC Schalke 04 as a result of it. He rejoined with Jefferson Farfán and Huub Stevens, his coach.

The next day, Afellay made his debut against FC Augsburg. At Schalke, he scored four goals, including the game-winning goal in the Revierderby against Borussia Dortmund (1–2) and a Champions League goal against Arsenal.

Afellay last played for Schalke on November 10th, and he suffered a muscular injury a few days later when playing for the Dutch national team in a friendly against Germany.

Afellay didn't return to the field until January, when he sustained a similar muscular issue in a friendly against Al Sadd SC.

After voicing his dissatisfaction with the medical care at Schalke 04., Afellay returned to the Netherlands for the rest of the season. Despite keeping in touch, Afellay did not return to Gelsenkirchen after his injury, a decision that drew criticism from Schalke general manager Horst Heldt.

In May, Afellay travelled to Spain to assess his issues with the FC Barcelona medical team. To concentrate on his rehabilitation, he chose to start training two weeks ahead of the rest of the team.

However, in August, Afellay had to have another surgery in Barcelona for a thigh issue, putting him out for another four months. After the transfer window closed, Barcelona awarded Afellay the number 19 shirt, despite the fact that he had not been issued one before.


Olympiacos confirmed the season-long signing of Afellay on August 10, 2014. On his Superleague debut on August 23, he scored his first goal after receiving the ball from Alejandro Domnguez in the 32nd minute.

In Greece, Afellay had a fantastic season with Olympiacos, winning the league and cup double. After an injury-plagued tenure with Barcelona, he was dismissed at the conclusion of the 2014–15 season.

Stoke City

On July 27, 2015, Afellay signed a two-year deal with Premier League side Stoke City. He made his debut in a 1–0 loss to


at the Britannia Stadium on August 9, playing 78 minutes before being replaced by Peter Odemwingie.

On August 29, 2015, he was sent off against West Bromwich Albion for hitting Craig Gardner. In a 2–0 League Cup win against Sheffield Wednesday on December 1, 2015, he scored his first goal for Stoke.

On February 13, 2016, Afellay scored his first Premier League goal in a 3–1 victory against AFC Bournemouth.

On his 30th birthday, he scored his second Premier League goal in a 2–2 draw with Swansea City on April 2, 2016.

A notable fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he sustained a significant knee injury while training on April 22, 2016, putting him out for up to eight months. In all, Afellay appeared 36 times for Stoke City in 2015–16, scoring three goals in the team's ninth-place finish.

On December 27, 2016, Afellay returned from injury against Liverpool. On March 2, 2017, Afellay signed a two-year contract extension with Stoke City. In April 2017, he experienced another injury and underwent knee surgery.

In 2016–17, Afellay made 13 appearances, three of which were starts, as Stoke ended in 13th place. In September 2017, he returned from injury, however he was unable to establish himself in Mark Hughes' 2017–18 squad, making just six appearances.

In March 2018, Afellay had a training field brawl with new manager Paul Lambert and was forced to leave the club.

Afellay returned for pre-season ahead of the 2018–19 season, scoring in a friendly against Walsall before suffering another long-term knee injury. On January 28, 2019, his contract with Stoke was mutually ended.


PSV confirmed Afellay's return to the club on June 18, 2019, following a nine-year absence. Afellay announced his retirement from professional football on January 31, 2021.

He explained: "What I had hoped for has not transpired. But it doesn't bother me. You're well aware that this day will arrive sooner or later. It's good the way it is."

Ibrahim Afellay international career

Following the 2004/05 season, Afellay represented the Netherlands in the World Cup under 20 that was held in the Netherlands. He scored the first goal in the first game against Japan.

National coach Foppe de Haan rested him in the second game against Australia due to a hamstring strain. In the third game against Benin, Afellay landed incorrectly after an aerial duel in the 27th minute, ending his tournament. He was discovered to have an ankle ligament tear.

On November 10, 2006, national coach Marco van Basten announced that Afellay would not be included in the squad for the friendly international against England. He was among those who were considered for the preliminary round.

A notable fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he was not included in the selection because he wanted to delay his decision between Morocco and the Netherlands. He was also called up by the Moroccan national team coach, but Afellay refused to make a decision until he had spoken with the Dutch national team's technical staff.

On January 26, 2007, he announced his decision to join the Orange squad. Because he had played for the Dutch Juniors, he had until his twenty-first birthday to apply to FIFA to be allowed to play for Morocco (according to the regulations in force at the time).

He made his debut in and against Slovenia on March 28, 2007. Van Basten, Afellay's national coach, took him to the 2008 European Championship and had him play in three of the four Orange matches, against Italy, Romania, and Russia.

Two years later, national coach Bert van Marwijk took him to the 2010 World Cup, where he made appearances against Denmark, Japan, and Slovakia. PSV's only representative at this World Cup was Afellay.

(André Ooijer also played for PSV in 2009/10, but his contract was not renewed.) On October 12, 2010, he scored his first two goals for the Dutch National Team against Sweden in a European Championship qualifier.

Afellay scored twice in one match again on 2 June 2012, this time in a friendly against Northern Ireland, which was won 6–0.

National team manager Louis van Gaal announced on August 31, 2012, that he would not be taking Afellay to the World Cup qualifiers against Turkey and Hungary.

On August 29, 2014, national coach Guus Hiddink named Afellay to the Dutch national team. The Orange squad took on Kazakhstan on October 10, 2014. Afellay had one goal.

Some quick facts about Ibrahim Afellay:

On September 13, 2005, Afellay made his Champions League debut. Afellay was named to the starting lineup against Schalke 04 on Saturday. The game was won by PSV 1–0.

An important

fact about Ibrahim Afellay

is that he was included in

Marco van Basten

's pre-selection for the great Orange's international matches against the Czech Republic and Macedonia on October 8 and 12, 2005. Afellay started all eight of PSV's UEFA Champions League matches that season. In the 2005/2006 season, he played in twenty-three matches.

Afellay appeared in twenty-seven of thirty-four matches in the 2006/07 season, which PSV won by a goal on the final day.

Even now, he was frequently out due to injuries, albeit less frequently, but Afellay's starting spot was not up for debate. He became a regular at PSV and was named Dutch Talent of the Year in 2006/07.

A year later, Afellay was a regular base player and one of PSV's driving forces, thanks not only to his qualities like floating with the ball, but also to his position, centrally behind the center striker. That season, there are a lot of yellow cards. Both for himself and for his adversary.

A notable fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he is the player in the Eredivisie who has received the most yellow cards from his opponents. He, too, is not uninterested, receiving seven yellow cards (in twenty-three games), mostly for "talking."

These yellow cards resulted in three suspensions for him: the matches against direct competitor


, both at the Arena and at the Philips Stadium, and the championship match at home against FC Twente, which ultimately did not become a championship match for PSV.

Afellay wins his fourth championship in a row with PSV in the 2007/2008 season. PSV and Afellay announced on December 4, 2007, that the expiring contract (mid-2010) had been broken, improved, and extended until mid-2011.

Afellay was given a commanding role in midfield during the 2009/10 season. He had also been promoted to reserve captain, replacing Timmy Simons. Afellay captained many matches because Simons played so little. In the 2009/10 season, Afellay was captain.

Simons was put on the bench by Fred Rutten, who later left for 1. Nürnberg F.C. † PSV celebrated Afellay's farewell with a 3–1 victory over Roda JC on December 19, 2010.

The Eindhoven football club went into the winter break as the clear favorite. Afellay, who played his 149th Eredivisie match for Eindhoven, waved goodbye to the PSV fans after eighty-seven minutes to rousing applause.

PSV and FC Barcelona reached an agreement in November 2010 for the transfer of Afellay to Spain. As a result, he became the 20th Dutchman to play for FC Barcelona.

He also became FC Barcelona's second player of Moroccan descent. He'll be wearing the same shirt number as PSV: 20. On 5 January 2011, he made his FC Barcelona debut in a cup match against Athletic Bilbao.

At FC Barcelona, Afellay faced stiff competition in midfield from Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano, and Seydou Keita.

On February 2, Afellay made his debut in the Catalans' starting lineup against UD Almera, and he also scored his first goal in a Catalans shirt. He signed for a 0–3 victory. Afellay won his first UEFA Champions League match against

Shakhtar Donetsk


In the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, Afellay came on in the 76th minute. He made an action on Marcelo with his first touch of the ball, and Lionel Messi scored from Afellay's cross to make it 0–1 for FC Barcelona.

An important fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he started the away match against Levante on May 11, 2011, when FC Barcelona won its twenty-first league title. On May 28, 2011, Afellay and FC Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League by defeating Manchester United 3–1 at Wembley Stadium.

He suffered a serious knee injury at the start of the 2011/12 season – a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee – that sidelined him for seven months. On Sunday, April 29, 2012, he made his league debut against Rayo Vallecano (7–0). Afellay sat in for more than fifteen minutes as a substitute.

He suffered a tendon injury in his right thigh in the summer of 2013 and underwent surgery in August of that year. He returned to action on February 26, 2014, four hundred and thirty-eight days after being injured.

A notable fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he played for Schalke 04 during the 2012/13 season. He couldn't count on much playing time at FC Barcelona, so he moved to Germany on a short-term contract.

Despite playing an important role in the first half, Afellay was plagued by a serious thigh injury in Germany. Afellay rejoined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2013.

Afellay joined Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus on loan in August 2014. On August 23, 2014, he made his debut and scored his first goal while also being injured.

With Olympiakos Piraeus, Afellay won both the Greek National Championship and the National Cup that year. He played in the league nineteen times and once in the cup tournament. In addition, he appeared in six UEFA Champions League games and two UEFA Europa League games for Olympiakos.

Trainer Vtor Pereira did not allow him to play a single minute in April and May, so he missed out on the final achievement of both the title and the cup on the field.

Afellay signed a contract with Stoke City in July 2015 until mid-2017, when the club was ranked ninth in the Premier League the previous season. After his contract with FC Barcelona expired, he became a free agent.

He came here to play with Erik Pieters, another PSV teammate. Afellay made his official debut for Stoke on August 9, 2015, starting against Liverpool at home in the first round of the 2015/16 Premier League season. Stoke was defeated by a score of 0–1.

That season, Afellay played thirty-one league games, the most in his career up to that point. He tore a cruciate ligament during training at the end of April 2016.

As a result, he couldn't play for eight months. He made his league debut on December 27, 2016, in a 4–1 loss to Liverpool. Afellay's contract with Stoke was extended in March 2017 until mid-2019.

Afellay was fired from Stoke City at the end of March 2018. At the time, the club was on the verge of relegation from the Premier League, with only seven games remaining. According to manager Paul Lambert, Afellay's training commitment was lacking, which is why he was left out of the selection.

The English press referred to Afellay's loan spell at Olympiakos Piraeus in 2014. At the time, trainer Michel referred to Afellay as "a rebel and a kid," adding in a radio interview that if Afellay does not change, "he will have problems at this club and all the other clubs he will play at."

An important fact about Ibrahim Afellay is that he last played for Stoke City in the Premier League on December 30, 2017. On January 28, 2019, he and the club agreed to end his contract.

A notable

fact about Ibrahim Afellay

is that he began working at PSV in March 2019 on his rehabilitation to regain full fitness. He did this at PSV's youth academy (under 19). After an eight-and-a-half-year absence, Afellay returned to the PSV first team in June 2019. He agreed to terms on a contract that would last until the middle of 2020.

He made his return on December 7, 2019, eight minutes before the end of a 5–0 league victory over Fortuna Sittard. The partnership between PSV and Afellay will end on May 27, 2020.

Afellay appeared in four games during his second stint at Eindhoven. Afellay's active football career came to an end in January 2021.

Afellay and his family are Moroccans who live in the Netherlands. After being picked for both the Moroccan and Dutch national teams, he was torn between playing for the Moroccan team, due to his Moroccan ancestry, and playing for the Dutch team, due to his birth and domicile in the Netherlands.

Despite stiff competition for midfield positions, he finally chose to play for the Dutch national team. On March 28, 2007, he made his international debut against Slovenia in a Euro 2008 qualifier. He was a replacement in the 2008 European Championships.

He almost scored a goal only seconds after replacing Dirk Kuyt in the group match against Italy, but his effort struck the top of the crossbar.

He was named to the starting eleven with Arjen Robben in midfield for their final group encounter against


. In a Euro 2012 qualifier against Sweden on October 12, 2010, Afellay scored his first international goals. Afellay was a member of Bert van Marwijk's 2010 World Cup-winning Dutch squad.

The player entered the tournament as a replacement for their first and second matches, a 2–0 win over


and a 1–0 victory over Japan, respectively, as well as the round of 16 encounter against Slovakia.

Despite missing the most of the 2011–12 season due to injury, he was named to the Netherlands' Euro 2012 team. Afellay scored two goals in the Netherlands' last warm-up match before the tournament, a 6–0 friendly triumph against Northern Ireland on June 2, 2012.

His squad was defeated 1–0 by Denmark in the tournament's opening match. He was also a member of the starting eleven against Germany. After the team's second defeat, head coach Bert van Marwijk chose Rafael van der Vaart to replace him.

Ibrahim Afellay social media


Ibrahim Afellay social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (


) with 253k followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him with his fans and family.

Ibrahim Afellay body measurements

Speaking about

Ibrahim Afellay body measurements

, it should be mentioned that he has a height of 180cm and a weight of 76 kg.

Ibrahim Afellay net worth and salary

Ibrahim Afellay's net worth

is estimated to be $15 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider. He is one of the wealthiest and one of the most popular soccer players.


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