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Youssef Safri

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Norwich Career: 2004- 2007 (92 appearances, 4 goals)
Current Club: Raja Casablanca.(Morocco) (Assistant Coach)
Date of Birth: 03/01/1977 (Casablanca)
Nationality: Moroccan

Biography

Norwich's third signing of the 2004 pre-season was Moroccan international midfielder Youssef Safri who was set to join them from Coventry City on July 8t for an initial fee of £500,000. The tough-tackling 27-year-old is set to put pen to paper on a two-year contract for the Canaries, subject to the club receiving a work permit.

Canaries' manager Nigel Worthington said: "I'm delighted to capture a player of Youssef's quality. He's a very good passer of the ball and a hard worker who tackles well. He increases our options in midfield and his signing will help to further promote healthy competition for places in the squad, which is important."

Safri had one year remaining on his Sky Blues contract after joining them from Raja Casablanca in August 2001, when he teamed up with his compatriot, Youssef Chippo, in the Coventry squad. He has become an integral part of the Moroccan national side during his time with the Midlands club, and played a major role in their successful African Cup of Nations campaign earlier in the year, when the Atlas Lions were beaten finalists.

Coventry boss Peter Reid had very little time to work alongside Safri but wished him well at his new club. He said: "We're sorry to see Youssef leave. There is no doubting his class. He is a quality international footballer but every player carries a value and he had made it very clear that he wanted to play in the Premiership"

In three years Safri made 98 appearances for the Sky Blues, scoring once.

In October 2005, reports from Holland suggested that Dutch giants Feyernoord were interested in Safri, with a figure of £1.5million being suggested.

In July 2007, reports from the West Midlands suggested that West Brom were preparing a bid for Safri to replace Wigan-bound Jason Koumas. Further rumours linked him wth Southampton and Charlton. When Safri missed morning training to pick up an agent and then turned up late for the club's photo call ahead of the new season, Peter Grant fined him a week's wages, left him out of the squad to play West Ham in a pre-season friendly and said that Safri would never play for the club again. The latter came true when he moved to Southampton on 2nd August for a fee reported to be around £250,000. Safri becomes George Burley's fifth new signing of the summer after Marek Saganowski, Adam Hammill, Gregory Vignal and Alan Bennett

Safri captained the Moroccan side at the 2008 African Cup of Nations, playing in all three of their matches as they failed to qualify from the group stages

In July 2008, Safri transferred to Qatar Sports Club in the Middle East for a fee of £275,000

At the endo of the 2013 season he retired and started a role of assisting coach in his first club Raja Casablanca.


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