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Khalid Boulahrouz profile

Khalid Boulahrouz has quickly emerged as a pivotal figure in the Dutch camp and is being tipped to figure prominently in this summer's showpiece.

Snapped up by Hamburg in 2004 from RKC Waalwijk, Boulahrouz settled in quickly in the Bundesliga and has played a key role in the club's renaissance.

"He is an important defender, but he is also the man to lift spirits within the squad. He is the sort of guy you need around during long evenings at training camp."
Edwin van der Sar.

Boulahrouz may be slight in stature, as he stands at just 5ft 9in, but he has a presence on the field that clearly feeds through the team as he is held in such high regard by his international colleagues.

The 24-year-old made his professional debut for RKC in 2002 and quickly established himself in the team, but was lured to Germany in the summer of 2004.

HSV fans have taken the Dutchman to their hearts as he has earned the nickname Khalid der Kannibale ("Khalid the Cannibal") for his ability to eat up the opposition.

He made his international debut in the 3-0 win over Liechtenstein in September 2004 and will be keen to impress the German public this summer.

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