January 8, 2019

Player Feature: 2018 world football’s top scorer Baghdad Bounedjah

Prolific Algerian striker

Full Name: Baghdad Bounedjah

Birthdate: November 24, 1991

Place of Birth: Algeria

Football Club (Currently): Al Sadd

Position(s): Forward/Striker

Playing Years: 2011 to present


2017 Qatar Crown Prince Cup

2017 Emir of Qatar Cup

2018 AFC Champions League

Formative Years:

In 2011, Baghdad Bounedjah was in amateur club RCG Oran before he joined Algerian football club USM El Harrach in a two-year contract. He made his professional debut for the team as one of the starting eleven in the first round of the 2011-2012 Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1 against MC Oran where he also secured a goal in the 78th minute.

Etoile du Sahel

In 2013, Bounedjah signed a three-year contract with Etoile du Sahel, the club of Sousse. He made his debut for the club 2 months later during a fixture against US Monastir in the Tunisian Ligue Pro 1. He quickly became an important part of the team, even finishing as the top scorer in the 2014 Tunisian Ligue Pro 1 in his first year with club, recording a total of 14 goal in 23 matches. He continued to shine throughout his spell at ES Sahel, scoring his first hat-trick also in the Tunisian Ligue Pro 1 competition and winning the Tunisian Cup for the second consecutive time. His performances at the club contributed to the team’s victory, while also achieving the title as the top scorer.

Football Career:

Al Sadd

In April of 2015, Baghdad Bounedjah moved to Qatar’s Al Sadd, but he remained at Etoile du Sahel for a six-month loan spell. During his loan, he suffered from an ankle injury which kept him unavailable for almost three months. In March 2016, he made his debut for Al Sadd in the Qatar Stars League where he netted the match-winning goal against Al-Kharaitiyat, which was also his first goal for the club.

The next season, he scored his first hat-trick in the league which secured a 5-0 victory against Al-Rayyan. Two months later, he scored another hat-trick at Against Al-Arabi where he also netted five goals for the first time ever in his entire career. By the end of the season, the team didn’t win the title but Bounedjah managed to achieve the title of the top goal-scorer in the league with a record of 24 points. In the quarterfinals, he notched a super-hat trick against Al-Kharaitiyat which contributed to the massive 30 goals he netted throughout the season.

In his third season with Al Sadd, he scored his first hat-trick during the first game of the season during the Qatar Super Cup after defeating 2016-17 league champions, Al-Duhail. He then suffered from another injury, a shin fracture, which kept him out of the games for more than two months and prevented him from competing for the title of top goal scorer. However, he still managed to finish the season with 28 goals throughout the competition.

In the 208-19 season, Bounedjah opened the first game of the season with a hat-trick against Al-Kharaitiyat. A week later, he broker the Qatar Star League single-game goal record when he notched a total of 7 goals in the 10-1 thrashing of Al Arabi. He then went on to become the first Algerian and the first player from a Qatari club to achieve the top scorer of the 2018 AFC Champions League, netting thirteen goals. Bounedjah kept his remarkably consistent form and continued to pursue and notch goals for the club and the Algerian national team.

In December 2018, he managed to beat Qatar goal record when he notched up 28 goals in just 14 matches, becoming the player to score the most goals in one season while also breaking the record of Brazilian striker Clemerson de Araujo who recorded 27 goals in the Qatar top-flight during the 2007-08 season. At the end of 2018, Baghdad Bounedjah beat two dominant names in the world goal-scoring charts in the football scene—Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi—as the world’s top goal-scorer when achieved a massive 59 goals in just 40 matches. He also became the first ever Algerian to record a total of 50 goals in a year. Despite several offers from European clubs, Baghdad Bounedjah renewed his contract with Qatar side Al Sadd until 2024.

By @EliaasMJ

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