Lazhar Hadj Aïssa (Arabic: لزهر الحاج عيسى) (born 23 March 1984 in Batna) is an Algerian professional football player who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for MC Alger in the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1.
Hadj Aïssa is nicknamed "Baggio" because of his hair and his style of play's similarity to Italian legend Roberto Baggio.
Hadj Aïssa started his playing career in 1994 with his hometown club MSP Batna, starting with the youth sides and progressing to become one of the most talented players at the club. In the 2003–2004 season, he made his full debut for the club in the Algerian Second Division, with his performances on the pitch attracting loads of interest from various domestic clubs.
In the summer of 2004, Hadj Aïssa joined ES Sétif and made 25 appearances, scoring 2 goals, in his first season. The following season, he made 28 appearances and scored 5 goals.
On 10 June 2006, on the recommendation of Zinedine Zidane, Hadj Aïssa was offered a trial with Spanish club Real Madrid.
In his third season with the club, Hadj Aïssa helped ES Sétif win the 2006–2007 Algerian League, their first league title since 1987. He also played a crucial role in the team's triumph in the 2006–2007 edition of the Arab Champions League and was named the Best Player of the competition.
The following season, he helped the club win the 2007–08 Arab Champions League. However, on the domestic front, the club could only manage a third-place finish.
On 11 July 2008, it was announced that he was going on trial with Portuguese club Benfica. However, days later, he announced that he would not join the club because they were looking to loan him out. Two weeks later, he traveled to Ukraine and signed with Metalist Kharkov but the club would not match the price tag set by ES Sétif president Abdelhakim Serrar.
On 9 August 2009, Hadj Aïssa signed with Saudi Arabian club Al-Ettifaq. However, a few days later, the contract was canceled after Al-Ettifaq faced financial difficulties and failed to pay the transfer fee to ES Sétif.
On 24 August 2009, it was announced that he was going on trial with English Premier League club Portsmouth. He trained with the club until the end of the transfer window, on 31 September but did not end up signing because of work permit issues. Portsmouth had been keen on keeping him, but due the administrative issues they were unable to do so.
In 2010, he captained his side in the final of the Algerian Cup, in which they won 3–0.
On 15 August 2011, Hadj Aïssa signed a one-year contract with Kuwaiti Premier League club Qadsia SC.
|2003–04||MSP Batna||Ligue 2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2004–05||ES Sétif||Ligue 1||25||2||1||0||-||-||-||26||2|
|2011–12||Qadsia SC||Kuwaiti Premier League||7||2||-||-||-||-||-||7||2|
- ES Sétif
- Algerian Championnat National: 2006–07, 2008–09, Runner-up 2009–10
- North African Cup of Champions: 2009
- Algerian Cup: 2009–10
- North African Super Cup: 2010
- North African Cup Winners Cup: 2010
- Arab Champions League: 2006–07, 2007–08
- CAF Confederation Cup: Runner-up 2008–09
- Qadsia SC
- Kuwait Emir Cup: 2011–12
- Kuwaiti Premier League: 2011–12
- Best player of the Arab Champions League in 2007
- Best young player of the Algerian League in 2006