Skill in every dribble
Born in Paris, Brahimi is an international player for Algeria and can play as offensive midfielder or winger. With an uncanny skill in ball control and passing, he was trained at Montreuil and Vincennois, finally moving to the prestigious football academy of Clairefontaine, where he remained from 2003 to 2006. During his first year, the training didn’t stop him from playing for his former club during the weekends, and, in the last year at the academy, he was assigned to Camp des Loges, owned by Paris Saint-Germain.
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Despite being desired by several clubs, he signed a senior contract with Rennes when he was still a junior, being loaned out to Clermont (Ligue 2, 2009/10), where he made a name for himself, scoring eight goals in 34 matches. Back to Rennes, he scored his first goal in August 14, 2010, in a victory over Nancy (3-0). He was loaned to Granada in 2012/13 and his performance in the 28 games he played convinced the Spanish club to sign him. A natural dribbler, in 2013/14, Brahimi played 36 matches and scored three goals, one of them against FC Barcelona, which meant a victory for his team (1-0).
He played for all the French national teams, from Under-16 to Under-20, and was part of the team that made it to the semi-finals in the Under-19 European Championship, in 2009, losing to England. He played for the French Under-20 team, but, as a senior, chose to play for Algeria, having been one of the most important players of his team in the 2014 World Cup, hosted by Brazil, scoring his first goal for his country during the group stage (victory by 4-2 against South Korea).
It didn’t take him long to set the stands of Estádio do Dragão on fire, with his dribbles and goals. On September 17, 2014, he became the sixth player in the history of the UEFA Champions League to score a hat-trick on the debut in the group stage, in the 6-0 victory over Bate Borisov. In the following years, despite the ups and downs typical of the most creative players, he remained a reference in FC Porto, with over 120 official matches and 30 goals scored.