Profile: Yacine Brahimi

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AFOY BRAHIMI VT BBC WORLD

Every year France's biggest clubs queue for an opportunity to sign graduates from the famed Clairefontaine academy.

In 2006, a precocious Yacine Brahimi was the standout scholar and trained with Paris St-Germain.

But his parents wanted him to sign for Stade Rennais, as the club carried a comprehensive international baccalaureate program.

That also appealed to Brahimi, who did not want to neglect his education, and he opted for the Breton side.

But the move did not go well. Brahimi suffered a debilitating spell of injuries and also clashed with coach Frederic Antonetti on several occasions.

A loan move to Granada offered the midfielder a fresh start and he was afforded a level of trust he never found in France.

The switch worked wonders as Brahimi's technical style of play was celebrated in Spain.

At his best, Brahimi finds space in the pocket between opposing midfields and defences and his supreme dribbling ability allows him to take the ball on the turn and fashion goalscoring opportunities for team-mates.

However, one criticism of Brahimi surfaced at Granada - that his end product was perhaps not as good as it could be.

But there was no doubting his potential and the Spaniards made the deal permanent after one season and they were rewarded for their faith in the player.

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Yacine Brahimi: 2014 BBC African Player of the Year nominee.

Last season, Brahimi scored his first goals for the club and his all-round performances were recognised when he was voted La Liga's best African player.

He carried that confidence into the this summer's World in Brazil, where he played in three matches and helped Algeria to reach the last 16 for the first time in their history.

Brahimi also scored his first international goal in the 4-2 win over South Korea in the group matches.

His impressive displays caught the attention of Porto and he joined them after the tournament for a fee of £5.1m (6.5m euros).

And in Portugal Brahimi has blossomed; in 14 matches he has scored six goals and made four assists for his club.

That form has transferred to the international stage, where Brahimi contributed two goals and one assist in four matches, helping to secure Algeria's qualification for next year's Africa Cup of Nations.

Now aged 24, Brahimi has added an extra dimension to his game, retaining the panache of his stint at Granada while improving his composure in front of goal.

Meaning the sky is now the limit for Porto's new number eight.

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