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Mehdi Nafti

Mehdi Ben Sadok Nafti (; born 28 November 1978 in Toulouse, France) is a Tunisian Association football who plays for Real Valladolid in Spain, as a Midfielder Defensive midfielder.

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Mehdi Nafti biography

Mehdi Ben Sadok Nafti (; born 28 November 1978 in Toulouse, France) is a Tunisian Association football who plays for Real Valladolid in Spain, as a Midfielder Defensive midfielder.

During Mehdi Nafti professional career, Mehdi Nafti played in four different countries in representation of five teams, namely Toulouse FC, Racing de Santander and Birmingham City F.C..

Club career

Nafti made Mehdi Nafti professional debuts with hometown's Toulouse FC, being sparingly used during Mehdi Nafti three-year spell with the club, and also playing several games with the reserves. Mehdi Nafti best season was 1999–2000 French Division 2, as Mehdi Nafti appeared in 13 games (one goal) to help the team return to Ligue 1 after one year of absence.

In the 2000 summer, Nafti joined Racing de Santander in La Liga and, as in Mehdi Nafti previous club, started Mehdi Nafti stint appearing for Racing de Santander B. In the 2000–01 La Liga, Mehdi Nafti played in just three games for the main squad, which was eventually relegated, then proceeded to become a very important midfield element for the Cantabrians in the following three seasons, whilst collecting 35 Penalty card Yellow card and three Ejection (sports).

Nafti was signed on loan by Birmingham City F.C. in the last minutes of the January 2005 transfer window. Often referred to as "Nasty" due to Mehdi Nafti fiery nature and tendency for cautions, Mehdi Nafti was primarily signed to replace the outgoing Robbie Savage, and finished 2004–05 FA Premier League strongly for the Blues, which led to a permanent deal being agreed in the summer.

Nafti's 2005–06 FA Premier League came to end before it had even begun, with a severe injury to Mehdi Nafti cruciate ligaments in a friendly with Deportivo de La Coruña in early August 2005. Mehdi Nafti recovered sooner than expected and still appeared in the last matchday, a 0–1 loss at Bolton Wanderers F.C., but Birmingham suffered relegation.

After having appeared in 32 games in 2006–07 Football League Championship to help Birmingham return to the Premier League, Nafti scored Mehdi Nafti first competitive goal for the club in a 4–0 win against Wycombe Wanderers F.C. in August 2008, for 2008–09 Football League Cup's Football League Cup. In June 2009, after Birmingham chose not to renew Mehdi Nafti contract, Mehdi Nafti signed a two-year contract with Aris Thessaloniki F.C. in Greece.

On 12 September 2009, Nafti scored the only goal of the home match against PAS Giannina F.C to put Aris top of the Superleague Greece after three matches, and finished 2009–10 Superleague Greece with four goals in 22 games, with the team finally ranking fifth.

During the January 2011 transfer window, 32-year old Nafti left Aris and returned to Spain, signing a 18-month contract with Segunda División club Real Valladolid.

International career

A Tunisia national football team since 2002, Nafti represented the nation in three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, helping it win the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations, played on home soil. Mehdi Nafti then appeared in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, playing against Australia national association football team (2–0 win) and Germany national football team (0–3 loss).

Nafti was selected for the squad that competed in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, appearing in all three games as Tunisia exited in the group stage.


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