Hassan Maatouk

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Hassan Maatouk
Maatouk Training.jpg
Maatouk training with Lebanon in 2018
Personal information
Full name Hassan Ali Maatouk[1]
Date of birth (1987-08-10) 10 August 1987 (age 31)
Place of birth Beirut, Lebanon
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Nejmeh
Number 10
Youth career
2003–2004 Sagesse
2004–2005 Ahed
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2012 Ahed (48)
2011–2012Ajman (loan) 21 (6)
2012 Emirates 0 (0)
2012–2013 Al-Shaab 25 (4)
2013–2017 Fujairah 91 (46)
2017– Nejmeh 40 (20)
National team
Lebanon U20 15 (7)
2006– Lebanon 75 (20)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 April 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 January 2019

Hassan Ali Maatouk (Arabic: حسن علي معتوق‎, Lebanese Arabic pronunciation: [ˈħasan ˈʕaliː maʕˈtuːʔ]; born 10 August 1987) is a Lebanese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Lebanese club Nejmeh and the Lebanon national team. Known for his pace and technical skills, Maatouk became a key part of the national team as their captain from 2016 onwards.

Maatouk began his senior career at age 17 in 2005 at Ahed in Lebanon. He won a total of 11 trophies for his team, including three Lebanese Football League titles and three Lebanese FA Cups in his seven-year stay. He moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2011 on loan to Ajman, before signing for Al-Shaab one year later. In 2013 he transferred to Fujairah, where he remained a total of four seasons scoring 46 league goals for the team. In 2017 he returned to his home country signing for Nejmeh: in his first season he won the Lebanese Elite Cup and was the second top scorer in the league, as well as the player with the most assists.

He made his debut for the national team in 2006 in a match against Saudi Arabia, with his first goal coming in 2011 against Bangladesh. Maatouk scored a total of 20 goals for his country, sharing the title of most goals in Lebanon's history with Roda Antar, whom he followed as captain in 2016.

Club career[edit]

Ahed[edit]

2004–05: Debut season[edit]

Coming through the youth system, Maatouk's senior career began in 2005, at age 17, with Ahed in the Lebanese Football League. He made his first-team debut as a centre-forward before moving to the wings later on in his career.[3][4]

His first league goal for Ahed came on 20 March 2005 against Al Rayyan when he scored the match winner in a 2–1 win.[5] His first domestic brace came on Matchday 19, when he scored the only two goals in a match against Tadamon Sour.[5] Maatouk scored three goals in the 2005 AFC Cup,[6] two of which were against Al-Hussein of Jordan on 25 May.[7]

He ended his 2004–05 season with three league goals,[1] as well as a Lebanese FA Cup.[5]

2005–09: First league title and domestic treble[edit]

On 5 February 2006, during the 2005–06 Lebanese Football League season, Maatouk scored his first domestic hat-trick against Salam Zgharta in an 8–0 win.[8] He scored a total of eight goals in the league, improving on his previous tally.[1] His 2006–07 Lebanese Football League season, however, was not as prolific. He scored only two league goals and one cup goal.[1]

Maatouk began the 2007–08 season with a hat-trick against Tripoli on Matchday 5, in a match that ended 7–1. Thanks to three other goals scored throughout the season, Maatouk helped Ahed win their first-ever Lebanese League title.[9]

Maatouk was the top scorer of the 2008 Lebanese Elite Cup with three goals, on a par with his teammate Salih Sadir.[10] He also scored in both of the 2009 AFC Cup group stage games against Busaiteen, but his team failed to qualify to the next round.[11] He won a domestic treble with Ahed during the 2008–09 season, winning the FA Cup,[12] Elite Cup,[13] and Super Cup,[14] as well as being nominated Player of the Season.[15]

2009–11: Two Lebanese Golden Balls, top goalscorer and domestic quadruple[edit]

On 30 January 2010, he scored a brace in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup against Nejmeh, despite his side being a man down. This secured the team's entry into the semifinals,[16] which they lost to Ansar 1–3.[17] Three months later, on 7 April, Maatouk scored his first brace in the AFC Cup against Al-Jaish as a substitute from the 46th minute; his side lost 6–3.[18] Following up on his previous season's success, Maatouk scored 12 goals in the league; his second win.[1] He was awarded Player of the Season for the second time in a row, as well as the Lebanese Golden Ball and as Best Lebanese Striker.[15]

In his final season with Ahed, Maatouk scored 15 league goals to become the season's top goalscorer.[19] He also won a domestic quadruple with his team, winning the League,[13] FA Cup,[20] Elite Cup,[13] and Super Cup.[21] Thanks to his performances, he was awarded Player of the Season for the third time in a row, and won a second Lebanese Golden Ball.[15] Maatouk scored a 48 league goals in six years with the Lebanese side,[1] and won a total of 11 trophies for his team.

Ajman[edit]

2011–12: First season in the UAE Pro League[edit]

On 27 September 2011, it was announced that Maatouk had completed a loan deal to Ajman from Ahed worth $180,000.[22][23] During the 2011–12 season he scored six goals for his club,[1] as well as a brace on his club debut, on 10 October 2011, in a UAE League Cup match against Al-Nasr.[3][24] His first league goal, however, came on 3 December of the same year, against Dubai in a 3–1 away win.[25] On 4 January 2012, Maatouk's first UAE Pro League brace came against Sharjah in a 1–3 win, when he scored in the first minutes of both halves.[26]

In 2012 his performances attracted the attention of various European teams, such as Borussia Dortmund in Germany,[3] and Ligue 1 sides Olympique Marseille,[3][27][28] Ajaccio,[28] and Nice.[28]

Emirates & Al-Shaab[edit]

2012–13: Second season in the UAE Pro League[edit]

On 18 June 2012, it was announced that Maatouk had signed a one-year deal for Emirates Club for $800,000. His former club Ajman had been unable to pay the fee that Ahed asked to renew the loan deal.[23] However, as Emirates was unable to gain promotion through to the play-offs, they were forced to sell the Lebanese forward.[29]

Maatouk moved to Al-Shaab on 11 September on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.[29] He scored four league goals for the team during the 2012–13 season.[1] He also scored two League Cup goals, one of which was against Al-Nasr on 16 January 2013,[30] Maatouk's third against them in the competition.[13]

Fujairah[edit]

2013–14: UAE First Division[edit]

In 2013 Maatouk moved on a free transfer to UAE First Division side Fujairah.[31] In his debut season he scored 20 league goals in 23 games,[1] helping his side gain promotion to the UAE Pro League for the following season.

2014–16: Promotion and stay in the UAE Pro League[edit]

His first Pro League goal for the team, which also happened to be a brace, came on 4 February 2015 against Emirates in a 1–2 win.[32] His next league goal for Fujairah also came in the form of a double against Al-Ittihald Kalba on 21 March 2015, with his 89th-minute goal being the match decider in a 2–3 away win.[33] He scored a total of five goals and provided three assists in 26 appearances in the league.[1][34]

During his second season with Fujairah in the UAE Pro League, Maatouk improved his goal tally by scoring nine goals in the same number of appearances as the previous season,[1] as well as providing six assists.[35] He also scored one cup goal in two matches.[13] This, however, was not enough to keep the team safe and they were relegated back to the second division after only two seasons.

2016–17: Relegation back to the First Division[edit]

In his last season for the club, played in the UAE First Division, Maatouk scored 12 goals in 16 appearances.[1]

He was released by Fujairah on 11 July 2017, despite there being a year left on his contract.[36] The Lebanese player's desire to terminate his contract came after his team failed to gain promotion to the first division during the 2016–17 season. Maatouk said that the appointment of Diego Maradona as coach was not tempting enough for him to remain, and he would rather depart from the Division One side.[37]

He scored a total of 46 goals in 91 league appearances, as well as one cup goal in five appearances for his club.[1][13]

Nejmeh[edit]

2017–18: First Elite Cup and third Lebanese Golden Ball[edit]

Maatouk decided to return to Lebanon in 2017, signing for Nejmeh.[38] Right off the bat, he won the 2017 Lebanese Elite Cup for his team, winning on penalties against his former club Ahed in the final played on 20 August.[39] On his league debut, played on 15 September, Maatouk faced Ahed once again in a 2–2 draw,[40] scoring in the 22nd minute from the penalty spot.[41] His first brace for Nejmeh came two months later, on 5 November, against Tadamon Sour in a 2–0 away win.[42]

Upon his return to the Lebanese Football League, he scored 13 goals and made 14 assists in 21 league appearances, making him the second top scorer and the player with the most assists in the 2017–18 season.[43] He won the Lebanese Golden Ball for the second time, and was included in the Lebanese Football League Team of the Season for his performances.[44]

2018–19: Second Elite Cup[edit]

At the 2018–19 Arab Club Champions Cup play-off rounds Maatouk scored twice in three matches, one goal being a penalty in a 1–0 win against Tunisian team Club Africain on 23 May 2018.[45] This enabled Nejmeh to gain all three points and qualify to the Round of 36 against Al Ahly, where his team lost 4–1 on aggregate and was subsequently knocked out of the competition.[46] On 2 July 2018, amidst speculation of his departure, Nejmeh confirmed Maatouk would remain with the club for the following season.[47] On 25 August 2018, Maatouk won his second consecutive Elite Cup for Nejmeh, his fifth in total,[48][13] after beating Akhaa Ahli 1–0 in the final.[49]

His first league goal of the 2018–19 season came against Salam Zgharta on 21 October 2018, when he scored the first goal in a 2–0 win.[50] On 12 February, Maatouk was involved in all five goals in a 5–1 win against Tripoli, scoring a brace and assisting the other three goals.[51] He was voted the best player of Matchday 14 for his performances.[52] On 16 February 2019, Maatouk scored a direct free-kick against Shabab Al Sahel:[53] this would be Nejmeh's first free-kick goal in the league in over a year, with the previous one dating back to 25 November 2017.[54] On 6 April 2019, Maatouk's penalty kick allowed his team to beat Ansar 1–0 in the "Beirut Derby", in a vital fight for second place.[55] Maatouk's first AFC Cup goal for Nejmeh came on 3 May 2019, in a 2–1 away defeat against Hilal Al-Quds.[56] On 14 May Maatouk scored his second goal in the 2019 AFC Cup, in a 2–2 draw against Al-Jaish.[57]

Maatouk ended his season with 14 goals in 37 games throughout the season. He also made seven assists in the league, making him the player with the second most assists in the season.

International career[edit]

Hassan Maatouk (right) against Saudi Arabia at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Maatouk began his international career in 2006 with a friendly match against Saudi Arabia, won by Lebanon 1–2. His first goal, however, came in 2011 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification against Bangladesh; he scored the opener in a match that finished 4–0.[1] On 10 October 2011, during the same qualifications, Maatouk scored his first international brace against Kuwait in a 2–2 draw.[58][59]

On 8 September 2014, Maatouk played against the Brazil Olympic team in an unofficial friendly that ended in a 2–2 draw.[60] In the last minute of the first half, trailing by one goal, he set up Mohamad Ghaddar who scored the equalizer.[61] In the 53rd minute, Maatouk scored a low-driven shot on a volley from a free kick taken by Abbas Ahmed Atwi to put his team in the lead.[62][61] Twenty-eight minutes later, Ghaddar reciprocated the previous favour as he assisted Maatouk with a back heel pass. Maatouk scored after dribbling past the goalkeeper, but the goal was incorrectly ruled offside.[61][62][63]

Two years later, in 2016, Maatouk became the captain of the national team following Roda Antar's retirement from international football.[64] Maatouk was fundamental to his team's success during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifications. He scored five goals in six matches in the Third Round,[1] thus qualifying Lebanon to their first ever AFC Asian Cup through qualification.[65] In December 2018 he was called up for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup,[66] during which he received a yellow card for handling the ball in the first group stage match, on 9 January 2019, against Qatar; they scored from the subsequent free-kick.[67] On 17 January, Maatouk converted a penalty kick against North Korea, giving Lebanon the 3–1 lead.[68] With this goal Maatouk became Lebanon's joint top scorer, equaling Roda Antar's tally.[69] However, Lebanon lost out to Vietnam in the third-place ranking on the fair play rule and were knocked out of the competition.

Style of play[edit]

Capable of playing in different positions in attack, not only is Maatouk a goal poacher but he is also able to make the most of his natural abilities, mainly his pace and dribbling.[3][4] He is known for his great vision and ability on the ball in order to create scoring opportunities for his teammates.[4] The fact that he can also use both feet equally make him a very versatile player.[70]

Theo Bücker, the Lebanon national team's former coach, portrayed Maatouk as the kind of player who "comes around every 10 years" and "is almost impossible to substitute", while his former manager at Ajman, Abdul Wahab Abdul Qadir, noted how Maatouk "is very fast, beats many players and works very hard in the game".[3] Maradona also called him an "outstanding" player.[3] On 22 August 2018, Miodrag Radulović, Lebanon's coach during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, characterized Maatouk as a "leader" and "a really good player", as well as "one of the very best players in the Middle East" and "right at the top level", comparing him to the likes of "Stevan Jovetić, Mirko Vučinić and Stefan Savić".[71]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played on 14 May 2019
Club Season League Cup[a] Asia Other Total Ref.
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ahed[b] 2004–05 Lebanese Football League 3 0 3[c] 6 [1][5][72]
2005–06 8 0 8 [1][73][74]
2006–07 2 1 3 [1][75]
2007–08 6 0[d] 6 [1][14]
2008–09 2 3 2[c] 0[d] 7 [1][76][12][77]
2009–10 12 6 3[c] 21 [1][13][21][78][79]
2010–11 15 2 3[c] 20 [1][13][20][80]
Total 48 12 11 0 71
Ajman 2011–12 UAE Pro-League 21 6 5 2 26 8 [1][13]
Emirates 2012–13 UAE Pro-League [76]
Al-Shaab 2012–13 UAE Pro-League 25 4 6 1 31 5 [1][13]
Fujairah 2013–14 UAE First Division League 23 20 23 20 [1][76]
2014–15 UAE Pro-League 26 5 3 0 29 5 [1][13]
2015–16 26 9 2 1 28 10 [1][13]
2016–17 UAE First Division League 16 12 16 12 [1][76]
Total 91 46 5 1 96 47
Nejmeh 2017–18 Lebanese Football League 21 13 8 7 29 20 [1][76]
2018–19 19 7 6 3 6[e] 2 6[f] 2 37 14 [1][76][81][82]
Total 40 20 14 10 6 2 6 2 66 34
Career total 177+ 124 30+ 26 6+ 13 6+ 2 219+ 165
  1. ^ Includes Lebanese FA Cup, Lebanese Elite Cup and UAE League Cup
  2. ^ Some statistics are missing.
  3. ^ a b c d Goals in AFC Cup
  4. ^ a b Goals in Lebanese Super Cup
  5. ^ Appearances in AFC Cup
  6. ^ Appearances in Arab Club Champions Cup and Lebanese Super Cup

International[edit]

As of match played on 17 January 2019[1]
Lebanon national team
Year Apps Goals
2006 2 0
2007 2 0
2008 3 0
2009 8 0
2010 2 0
2011 9 4
2012 9 1
2013 11 3
2014 3 2
2015 7 2
2016 6 2
2017 5 4
2018 5 1
2019 3 1
Total 75 20

International goals[edit]

As of match played on 27 March 2018. Lebanon score listed first, score column indicates score after each Maatouk goal.[1]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 23 July 2011 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut, Lebanon  Bangladesh 1–0 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 17 August 2011 Saida International Stadium, Sidon, Lebanon  Syria 1–0 2–3 Friendly
3 10 October 2011 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut, Lebanon  Kuwait 1–0 2–2 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 2–1
5 29 February 2012 Al-Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  United Arab Emirates 2–2 2–4
6 22 March 2013 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut, Lebanon  Thailand 4–1 5–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
7 4 June 2013  South Korea 1–0 1–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 6 September 2013  Syria 1–0 2–0 Friendly
9 5 March 2014 Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Thailand 2–0 5–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
10 4–1
11 8 October 2015 Suphachalasai Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Myanmar 1–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 12 November 2015 Saida International Stadium, Sidon, Lebanon  Laos 5–0 7–0
13 5 September 2016 Rashid Karami Stadium, Tripoli, Lebanon  Afghanistan 2–0 2–0 Friendly
14 11 October 2016 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut, Lebanon  Equatorial Guinea 1–1 1–1
15 28 March 2017  Hong Kong 2–0 2–0 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification
16 5 September 2017 Kim Il-sung Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea  North Korea 2–2 2–2
17 10 October 2017 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut, Lebanon 2–0 5–0
18 14 November 2017 Hong Kong Stadium, Wanchai, Hong Kong  Hong Kong 1–0 1–0
19 27 March 2018 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut, Lebanon  Malaysia 1–0 2–1
20 17 January 2019 Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates  North Korea 3–1 4–1 2019 AFC Asian Cup

Honours and achievements[edit]

As of 17 January 2019

Club[edit]

Ahed

Nejmeh

Individual[edit]

Awards

Performances

Records[edit]

Lebanon

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tied with Roda Antar.

References[edit]

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