NOURREDINE NAYBET

Date of Birth: 10 February, 1970
Nationality: Morocco (international)
Period at Deportivo: 1996 - 2004
Transfer: 250 mln ptas (ca. €1,6 million) (1996)
Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur (2004), Deportivo (1996-2004), Sporting Lisbon (1994-1996), Nantes (1993-1994)
Sold: £700,000 (ca €1 million) (2004, to Tottenham Hotspur)
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Position: Defender (central)

NAYBET has been one of the best signings ever of Deportivo, especially financially, as he led the defence between 1996 and 2004. Despite his difficulties during his last season at the club his miss was painfully noticed during a difficult 2004/2005 campaign.

The Moroccan defender can seriously can be considered a ‘bargain’ as the quality defender played 211 Liga matches while costing the club only about €1,6 million back in 1996. During the summer of that year he was signed by John Toshack, became attached to Deportivo until 2000 and declared he had come to La Coruña "to win the Liga". His start was excellent as he scored an amazing backheel goal in the match against Ajax Amsterdam during the 1996 edition of the Teresa Herrera tournament. The strong defence, with Naybet in the centre, was one of the main reasons why Deportivo stayed unbeaten for the first seven matches that season and in December 1996 were fighting with Real Madrid and Barcelona for the first spot.

Since then his performances remained convincing and under all coaches he was a starter at the club. His no-nonsense way of defending and good anticipation made him a natural leader at the back and a secure feature in the defence. His place was never in doubt although he had a lot of partners at the back throughout the years.

Naybet impressed such that in the summer of 1997 he claimed that there was an offer on the table from Real Madrid. Lendoiro refused to let him go although Real Madrid could have paid the €12 million buy-out clause of his contract. Aat the start of the 21st century both Real Madrid (again) and Manchester United were seriously interested in his services. But a move to Manchester United was frustrated because the English club claimed Naybet had knee problems. It was a sad excuse as Naybet kept on performing well at Deportivo without many physical problems. Real Madrid's interest was rejected because Deportivo's policy remained not to strengthen their rivals.

One negative thing though is that ‘El Moro’, as he is called in Spain, loses his head on occasions and with it made his team pay for it. During his eight years in the Primera División he received several red cards and in 2004 was sent off in the crucial Champions League match at home against Porto. Nevertheless, he has compensation because he likes to push forward at every opportunity, scoring several goals a season. His most famous one has been the winner against Manchester United in September 2001.

For years Naybet also has been the he captain of the Morrocan national team. He played the World Cup tournaments of 1994 and 1998 as well as the African Cup every two years. This made him miss a handful of Liga matches every winter, but earned him the status as record international of his country.

In 2004 he commented he would love to extend his contract at the club which was to run out in 2005. But Deportivo considered it time to rejuvenate their defence and Naybet picked up the hint. When Tottenham Hotspur approached him he asked Lendoiro to let him go for free but the president wanted some compensation. Aged thirty-four he was sold for €1 million to English club Tottenham Hotspur.
Reload Add to favorites Make us your home page Contact us

© Deportivo-La-Coruna.com