Antar Yahia was born in France, like a number of his fellow Algerian internationals, and after spending part of his childhood in Souk Ahras, Algeria, he went back to live in his country of birth. Yahia began his football education at the age of 14 in the FC Sochaux youth academy. After a year’s trial at Inter Milan had come to nothing, he signed his first professional terms with Bastia in 2001, before moving on to OGC Nice. He played in most of Nice's games in the 2005/06 season, but in the following season was relegated to the bench by coach Frederic Antonetti. In the 2006/07 winter transfer window, Yahia rejected an offer from Leeds United and opted to move to Vfl Bochum in the Bundesliga, initially on loan. Some fine performances, most notably against Bayern Munich, earned him a five-year deal, and he remains part of the Bochum squad to this day.
On the international front, Yahia actually made his debut for France, at U-18 level alongside Nadir Belhadj, and was part of a side that beat Germany 4-2 in Les Bleue's failed attempt to qualify for the 2001 UEFA European U-18 Championship in Finland. Yahia then became the first player in the world to profit from the change in FIFA's rules on international eligibility, making his bow for Les Fennecs against Ghana in the qualifying stages for the Men’s Olympic Tournament in Athens, marking his debut with the winning goal. Rabah Saadane brought him into the full national team for the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and ever since he has become a permanent fixture in the squad. Yahia enjoyed a true moment of glory against Egypt in the play-off game for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, scoring the goal that ensured qualification for the Algerians. It was also through football that he met his wife, who is none other than his international team-mate Karim Ziani’s sister.