Bio at a glance
Sofyane Cherfa (Arabic: سفيان شرفة) (born 13 August 1984 in Toulouse, France) is a French-Algerian football defender currently playing for Panthrakikos FC.
Cherfa started his football career in 2004 playing for the youth team of AS Monaco with no official appearance. The time period between 2005 and 2007, he played for the French CS Louhans-Cuiseaux scoring 5 goals in 59 matches. The next year he played with the jersey of French team Stade de Reims scoring 2 goals in 30 matches. A year after, he joined the FrenchCS Sedan Ardennes (15 appearances). Between 2009 and 2011, Cherfa played for the French football team LB Chateauroux(40 matches). In 2011, he joined AC Omonia Nicosia scoring 2 goals in 22 matches. In 2012-2013, he played forPanthrakikos F.C. on loan from AC Omonia. In the Summer of 2013 he re-integrated in Omonia's squad and renewed his contract for three years.
In April 2005, Cherfa was called up to the Algerian Under-23 National Team for a mini training camp in France.
Sofyane Cherfa was one of the 14 players with Algerian origins playing football in France who were selected and invited to form the roster of the Algerian Olympic national football team under 23 for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
His younger brother, Walid, is also a defender.
Transfer to Cyprus
During the Summer transfer window of 2011, the coach of Omonia Nicosia, Neophytos Larkou, showed great interest in obtaining Cherfa due to voids in centre-back defensive positions of his team. Also, two other Cypriot football teams showed their great interest in the acquisition of the French-Algerian stopper, Ermis Aradippou and Apollon Limassol. In summer 2011, there was a strong competition in Cyprus on which Cypriot football team will integrate Cherfa in its roster. He even underwent and passed successfully the medical examination and physical/fitness test forErmis Aradippou, although -at the end- he was transferred to Omonia Nicosia since the team of Ermis Aradippou did not have the financial ability to complete the transfer. His registration in the roster of Nicosia’s football team constitutes his first transfer outside the French borders.
On loan to Panthrakikos and scenarios of early return to Omonia
During the summer transfer window of 2012, the French-Algerian stopper was outside the plans of Omonia’s management because after the completion of the transfers, stoppers were considered redundant. Thus, Omonia agreed one-year loan of Cherfa to Panthrakikos F.C., since the latter was competing inSuper League Greece. Before the mid-season transfer window of 2012, informal journalistic information wanted the coach of Omonia Nicosia Tony Savevski, requesting the return of the defender football player back to Omonia. The rationale for his early return to Cyprus occurred mainly after the secession of 32-years-old Montenegrin defender Savo Pavićević and the transfer of Christos Karipidis to APOEL On the other hand, the rumors regarding the return of Cherfa to Omonia contradicted by Panthrakikos management, who argued that the agreement between the two football teams would last by the end of the season. The footballer himself, making statements to reporters, confirmed the rumors, although he clarified that he was not thinking at that time to return to Cyprus.
Back to Omonia and contract renewal
By the end of the 2012-2013 season, Cherfa completed his commitments in Greece, so he returned to Omonia. The club set a target of restructuring and management of debt accumulated in previous years, therefore, management of the club proposed the renewal of contracts of the players with the simultaneous reduction of their wages. Negotiations with French-Algerian player did not have positive outcome, at first. As a result, Cherfa started training alone and refrained from European obligations of the club. Also, information was leaked concerning potential Cherfa’s transfer to OFI Crete, something never happened because according to press reports, Omonia did not want to release the player. Meanwhile, gaps presented in defense line during the brief European course of Omonia in Europa League, made the coaching team to re-think Cherfa’s reintegration. After consultations, a new round of negotiations was launched to renew the player's contract with reduced wages. Finally, negotiations achieved the desired result for both sides. Cherfa has renewed his contract with the football team of Nicosia for another three years.
On 15 January 2016, four days after being released by Panthrakikos, Cherfa signed a two-year contract with Algerian club CS Constantine.