Mourad Meghni (born 16 April 1984 in Paris) is a French-born Algerian professional football player who currently plays as a attacking midfielder for Italian Serie A club S.S. Lazio and the Algerian national team.
Meghni is a player with excellent technique, and is right-footed. In France, as a young footballer, his ability earnt him the nickname "petit Zidane".
He helped inspire the French under-17 team to victory in the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship held in Trinidad and Tobago along with Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Anthony Le Tallec.Meghni was born on the 16th of April 1984 in Paris to Ali and Anna, a father of Algerian origin and a Portuguese mother. His father during an interview spoke about how Mourad had been attracted by football at a very early age and that he used to take him to football stadiums very often notably to encourage his older brother Saïd who preceded him on the football pitches. His father also spoke on how Mourad joined several football training schools at an early age including that of Tursi and FC Nantes in France where he made impressive and swift progress as a budding player. His mother stated during the interview that she had always made it her duty together with her husband to visit Algeria every year to get together with all the family members and friends in the family home of Ouled Hadadj..Clairefontaine
At the age of 13 Meghni joined the national football school at Clairefontaine there he vastly improved his technique, prior to joining the academy Meghni always played on small pitches hence he learnt quickly the necessary skills and technique that would be needed when beating a man, whilst at Clairefontaine he had a Brazilian coach who helped him improve his technique which he is now known for. Meghni remained at the national football school at Clairefontaine for three years before moving to Cannes at the age of 16.
When he was 16, Meghni decided to leave the Clairefontaine academy and sign for Cannes, but due to financial problems Cannes were immediately relegated to amateur football. Meghni had an unsuccessful time at Cannes as he was usually on the substitute bench for the reserve team, but in the summer of 2000 he was snapped up by Bologna at the age of 16 on a free transfer. Meghni views his time at Cannes as a learning experience as he was very young when he signed for the club.
As a youth player, Meghni moved from the renowned Clairefontaine academy to Bologna, where he played from the 2000-01 season to the 2004-05 season. He made his Serie A debut on January 12, 2003 in a 2-0 loss at home to Milan. Meghni then spent the 2005-06 season on loan to French Ligue 1 side Sochaux, before returning to Bologna.
While at Bologna, Meghni was never able to turn his talent into success and consistency, and as such was never a favourite among the fans. He made a statement following Bologna's relegation to Serie B, in which he declared he would never play in what he considered to be a sub-standard competition. He did spend a year in Serie B, his last at the club, where he was a regular for the entire season, yet only found the net twice.
In the 2007-08 season, Meghni joined Lazio on a co-ownership deal for ¤1.75million. His early performances for the Biancocelesti were not impressive, and he failed to nail down a regular place in the lineup, only starting seven matches for the season. He did make his debut in the UEFA Champions League, setting up a crucial goal for Tommaso Rocchi, which gave the club their only win in the competition, at home to Werder Bremen. At the end of the season, Meghni was fully bought by Lazio from Bologna for another ¤1.92M, as part of the deal taking Gaby Mudingayi to the newly promoted team, which Mudingayi was sold for ¤7M. After the arrival of Matuzalém, Meghni became a backup player, and in December 2009 injured.
On August 12, 2009, Meghni was selected for the first time to join the ranks of the Algerian national football team, in a game facing Uruguay (Algeria won on a score of 1-0).
Meghni will not be in Algeria's final World Cup squad after being informed that his knee injury has not sufficiently healed and will require surgery despite the great lengths that both the player and the Fennecs medical team went to in order to give him a chance of recovering in time.