Born in Alsace in Eastern France, Karim Matmour is a product of Racing Strasbourg’s football academy. Despite not being offered a professional contract by his hometown club, in 2004 the Algerian attracted the attention of nearby German club Freiburg, then playing in the second division. After several appearances for the reserve team, he was brought into the senior side halfway through his debut season. Matmour was an immediate hit and went on to notch up 80 appearances and 10 goals during four successful years at the Badenova-Stadion.
The midfielder-cum-striker’s fine displays began to elicit offers from numerous big-name clubs, including Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt. Borussia Monchengladbach, newly promoted to the Bundesliga, eventually won the race for Matmour’s signature ahead of the 2008/09 season and he became a mainstay of the team, playing in the majority of league matches, scoring three times. In the Algerian national side, he is regarded, alongside Karim Ziani and Mourad Meghni, as one of Les Fennecs’ key attacking options. However, as coach Rabah Saadane rarely aligns the three players in the same starting XI, usually preferring a formation that relies on a lone striker, Matmour will have to seize every opportunity he is given at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.