Clubs: Olympique Lyonnais, Olympique de Marseille, Newcastle United FC
• Born in the Parisian suburbs to a Tunisian father, his prodigious talent earned him a place at the celebrated Clairefontaine academy and he was recruited by Olympique Lyonnais aged 15; won the 2004 European U17 title with France on home soil, scoring three goals to become the tournament's joint top marksman.
• Made his senior debut for Lyon at 17, in August 2004, and was on the fringes of the first team for the club's title wins in 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07.
• Enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2007/08, scoring six goals in 30 Ligue 1 appearances and winning the French double with Lyon, though he did not play in the Coupe de France final; also won his first six senior international caps that season, the first of them on 13 October 2007 in a UEFA European Championship qualifier in the Faroe islands, which he marked with a goal in a 6-0 win.
• Left Lyon for Marseille in 2008 at a cost of €12 million and started all six games in the UEFA Champions League group stage; second place in Ligue 1 in his first season was followed by another French title – and League Cup win – in his second, but a disagreement with coach Didier Deschamps triggered his departure to Newcastle.
• Missed most of his debut season in the Premier League as a result of a fracture to left fibula and tibia sustained in October 2010 against Manchester City FC; returned to fitness and form in 2011/12, scoring a couple of brilliant solo goals and helping Newcastle qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
• Scored France's consolation goal in Laurent Blanc's first game as head coach – a 2-1 defeat in Norway – but played no part in the team's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign as he recuperated from injury.
• Recovered superbly in 2011/12 to warrant an international recall and made the France squad for UEFA EURO 2012 where he made two appearances as France fell at the quarter-final stage.
• Domestic 2012/13 season hampered by injury, but came back to play 27 times in the league the following season, however, was not included by Didier Deschamps in the France squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.
UEFA European Under-17 Championship: winner 2004
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