Professional Football Player
Lazhar Hadj Aïssa born in Batna is an Algerian professional football player who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Algerian Championnat National club ES Sétif and the Algerian national team.
Hadj Aïssa is nicknamed "Baggio" because of his hair and his style of play's similarity to Italian legend Roberto Baggio.
Lazhar started his playing career in 1994 with his hometown club MSP Batna, starting with the youth sides and progressing to become one of the most talented players at the club. In the 2003-2004 season, he made his full debut for the club in the Algerian Second Division, with his performances on the pitch attracting loads of interest from various domestic clubs.
In the summer of 2004, Hadj Aïssa joined ES Sétif and made 25 appearances, scoring 2 goals, in his first season. The following season, he made 28 appearances and scored 5 goals.
On June 10, 2006, on the recommendation of Zinedine Zidane, Hadj Aïssa was offered a trial with Spanish club Real Madrid.
In his third season with the club, Hadj Aïssa helped ES Sétif win the 2006-2007 Algerian League, their first league title since 1987. He also played a crucial role in the team's triumph in the 2006-2007 edition of the Arab Champions League and was named the Best Player of the competition.
The following season, he helped the club win the 2007–08 Arab Champions League. However, on the domestic front, the club could only manage a third place finish.
On July 11, 2008, it was announced that he was going on trial with Portuguese club SL Benfica. However, days later, he announced that he would not join the club because they were looking to loan him out. Two weeks later, he traveled to Ukraine and signed with Metalist Kharkov but the club would not match the price tag set by ES Sétif president Abdelhakim Serrar.
On August 9th, 2009, Hadj Aïssa signed with Saudi Arabian club Al-Ettifaq.However, a few days later, the contract was canceled after Al-Ettifaq faced financial difficulties and failed to pay the transfer fee to ES Sétif.
On August the 24th, 2009, it was announced that he was going on trial with English Premier League side Portsmouth F.C. He trained with the club until the end of the transfer window, on September 31st but did not end up signing because of work permit issues. Portsmouth had been keen on keeping him, but due the administrative issues they were unable to do so.
Source : Wikipedia