One of nine siblings born to a Moroccan family, the versatile Stuttgart defender experienced frustration aplenty this year after last season suggested he was well on the way to relaunching his career in the Bundesliga. Indeed, when he joined Die Roten in summer 2008, the former Hamburg favourite had made just 20 league appearances over the two preceding campaigns with Chelsea and Sevilla.
Called up by Marco van Basten for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, the player introduced to the game by Martin Jol at Waalwijk disputed all four of his country’s encounters in Germany. Noted for his strong tackling, he went into that tournament having earned the nickname “Khalid the Cannibal” among Hamburg fans, excelling alongside the likes of Daniel Van Buyten in the Bundesliga’s tightest defence in 2005/06. Happy to perform the guard-dog role at the back, he nonetheless picked up his fair share of cards along the way.
In the wake of Germany 2006, Boulahrouz joined Chelsea, where after a promising start he was soon left hungry for more playing time. A loan move to Sevilla followed in summer 2007, but the stopper failed to adapt to life in La Liga and remained in the shadows. Relief came with his transfer to Stuttgart and he impressed in his debut season, but the death of his child during UEFA EURO 2008 changed his relationship with the game. He appeared in just one qualifier on the road to South Africa.