African selection is becoming an obstacle for many potentially strong teams. We have not forgotten the powerful crisis that befell the continent’s two eternal favorites – Nigeria and Cameroon – in the middle of the first decade of the 2000s. Then new heroes began to emerge — Ghana, Cote D’ivoire. In addition to a layer of favorites and outsiders on the Black Continent, there are three approximately equal teams that never or almost never suffer from instability. Egypt, Algeria and South Africa rarely jump above their heads, but try not to let them fall into the cuvettes.
The qualification of the African national teams for the World Cup is multi-staged and consists of three rounds. In the first, frankly weak teams play in order to finally weed out such mysterious teams as Djibouti, Ethiopia and Swaziland for four long years. Once in Group H, the Algerians won their quartet with one of the largest reserves on the African continent. Mali, Rwanda and Benin have taken away all three points from Khalilhodzic wards. According to the regulations of the African zone, in order to get to the World Cup, the Algerians, as the winners of the group stage, had to replay the opponent’s draw in an additional play-off match. It turned out to be a team from Burkina Faso. “Desert Foxes” wanted to meet anyone on their way, but not the promising Burkinians, who in a good sense of the word shocked the audience at the African Nations Cup in 2013. Interestingly, the Algerians a year earlier in the continental championship stars from the sky did not grab and clearly did not look like a team that has high chances of reaching the final of the World Cup.
In Burkina Faso, the first play-off match was played, lost by Desert Foxes 2: 3 due to a penalty in the last minutes of the meeting. In the second game, the Algerians managed to shove the ball into the net in the commotion at the gate of the Burkiyan Dauda Diakite. The advantage due to a goal in a foreign field helped the Algerians to get to their fourth world championship. Three previous attempts (1982, 1986, 2010) teams from North Africa to break into the play-off round of Mundial did not succeed.
The French brought football to Algeria at the turn of the century, and by the beginning of the 30s. There were created several Muslim clubs. The oldest of them, “Muludia Khalsya” (formed in 1920), in 1976 won the African Champions Cup from the first attempt. The Algerian Premier League gave the world such teams as ES Setif, MC Alger, MC Oran, JS Saoura, MO Bejaia and many others. Algeria has no homegrown “zidans”, “nasri” and “Benzema”. Unfortunately for residents of the largest country in Africa, Zinedine, Samir and Karim at different times preferred the land, where they were born and raised and can rightfully consider France as their homeland. Khalilhodzic’s task is to find the best 11 players for the national team of 38 million people in the country.
Khalilhodzic has two favorite tactical schemes in the arsenal, which they use with the national team of Algeria. 4 + 5 + 1 under his leadership smoothly flows into 4 + 3 + 3. The “Desert Fox” has a very young team that can surprise and grieve at the World Championships. The head coach at the first training of the team explained the main principles – discipline in defense, a bet on counterattacks. Despite the last point, Algerians have very strong clearly marked vertical attacks, which often begin on central defenders and end on the attackers in the opponent’s penalty area. In the national team of Algeria, a large number of legionaries, but at the gates of the team will be located the local football player Mohamed Lamin Zemmamouche, representing the club USM Algeria. In the application of the national team there is a more experienced Adi Rais Cobos Adrien Mbolhi, who defends the gate of CSKA from Sofia, but at the end of the qualifying campaign Khalilhodzhich fully trusted Mohamed Lamin
Majid Bouguer and Karl Medjani from the central defense zone a lot help their midfielders by unloading them from a lot of creative work. Both defenders have a great first Paz, able to cut any defense, top and bottom. Flank defenders Aissa Mandi and Faouzi Ghulam are speed guys who have their own drawbacks. In particular, the Mandi team found itself in the middle of the French championship standings, and Ghulam absolutely could not play on the right edge of the defense (in contrast to Aissa Mandi, he was a real wagon). An alternative in defense is Mehdi Lachen, for whom the local press does not rejoice. As we have already noted, Algerians are easily transferred from the scheme with three midfielders to five full midfielders. Fortunately, in the middle line Khalilhodzic has the most extensive selection of key players. Gediura, Bentaleb in the center, star Feguli, able to deal with rivals on the right flank and on the position of playmaker, wandering to the left by Braimi.
Saphir Slity Tider gets big hopes. Milan “Inter” spent on its acquisition of about five million euros. Taider has already played for the youth teams of France, until he made his choice in favor of Algeria – his mother’s footballer has Algerian roots. It will be necessary to confirm the loud status of the top scorer of the team Islam Slamini. 25-year-old striker of the Lisbon Sporting awaits an invitation from the clubs of the big European five.
In the spotlight
Sofien Fégouli could have taken the path of French Algerian national team stars, but a couple of consultations with the leadership of the Algerian Football Association helped the midfielder to decide. In his debut match for the national team, Feguli held the winning goal in a game with Gambia (2: 1). When Sofien is on the pitch, the Algerian national team’s attack changes and becomes brighter and more intense. Spanish Valencia midfielder is able to play to the right in the middle line, advance to the role of a pure insider or become a central attacking midfielder. In the national team of Algeria there is not large number of wagons and this variation of the midfielder will allow Khalilhodzic in some way to “patch the hole”.
The weaknesses of the current team, consisting of young and inexperienced guys, may overlap with the individual qualities of Feguli. In the one-on-one game, Sofien is a little equal in Spain. At the World Championships, Algerians are waiting for a match against at least one team, which has almost the best youth in the world. Sofien Fégouli arrived in the camp of the Algerian squad in an excellent mood. In the match of the final round of the championship of Spain “Valencia” Algerian footballer beat “Seltu”. The best player was Feguli, who became the author of the scoring goal and assists.
If Feghouli is the main star and the main source of attracting the attention of European fans, then Majid Bougherra is the soul and body of the Algerian national team. Like Sofien, Bougherra is able to perform equally successfully in various positions. Most often Majid can be found on the site of the central defender. But if problems arise in the support zone, the Bougherra appears there. Majid surprisingly accurately reads the game. Recognizing the next action of an opponent, making an accurate pass forward, realizing that none of the opponents will have time to block a teammate – these are the strengths of Bugerra. Not to mention his physique and natural intransigence.
National Football Championship
The Algerian Football Championship has been played since 1962. The Algerian football system includes the First Professional League of Algeria (Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1), Second League (Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 2), Amateur League (Ligue Nationale du Football Amateur), consisting of 3 groups (Group West, Group Center, Group Est), Inter-Regional Division (Inter-Regions Division), consisting of 4 groups (Groupe Ouest, Groupe Center Ouest, Center Center Est, Groupe Est) and Regional League of 16 groups (Ligue Regional I, Ligue Regional II).
Algeria’s main football trophy
- The largest number of championship titles can boast of FC Kabilia – 14.
- When “EU Sétif” takes the second place of champion awards – 8 times.
- When USM Algeria takes third place – 7 champion awards.
- The current champion is the “EU Sétif”.
Algeria made its debut at the world championships in 1982, and Desert Fox made a loud sensation by defeating the German national team, the then European champion, with a score of 2: 1. After the defeat of Austria, Algeria beat the national team of Chile, after which you could hardly worry about one of the first places in the group. But the national teams of Austria and Germany the next day played a notorious match, which went down in history of football as “Gikhon shame”. The Germans won with a 1: 0 score for both teams and Algeria went home. FIFA made conclusions from that match – from now on, the final matches in the groups will be played at the same time, but the Algerian national team players are no better.
Four years later, in Mexico, Algeria performed much less successfully: a draw with Northern Ireland and a defeat against the national teams of Brazil and Spain and the only goal of the Algerians on the account of Djamel Zidane, namesake of the great French football player. In 1990, Algeria, in the rank of the hosts of the tournament, beat Nigeria in the final – 1: 0 (the hosts goal was brought by the goal of Sochaux Sheriff Ujani, scored in the 38th minute). In addition to home gold, Algeria won silver once (1980) and twice bronze (1984, 1988).
For nearly a quarter of a century, the national team of Algeria could not get through to the World Cup, but it managed to compete in the only world championship held in Africa. The result, at first glance, was the same as in 1986. But it is only at first glance, in fact, until the last minute of the match of the third round, Algeria claimed to be in the playoffs. By that time, the Algerians had scored one point (defeat from Slovenia and a draw with England) and a victory over the US team led them to the playoffs. A draw that did not suit both teams lasted until the second minute added, when Landon Donovan still scored a goal against the African team.
Championship of Algeria: teams
“MK Algeria” in its regalia is one of the most successful clubs in Algeria, second only to Kabiliya in the number of titles won by the champion of Algeria and sharing second place with another capital club ShR Beluizdad. CS Constantine “is also an Algerian football club from the city of Constantine, playing in the Algerian Football Championship. JS Kabylie is an Algerian football club from the city of Tizi Ouzou. The main competitor of this team is the famous club CR Belouizdad.
Algerian team goalkeeper scored the funniest own goal in history
Daif defended the gates of his ASO Chlef team in a duel against the MC El Eulma. With the score 1: 0 in favor of the ASO Chlef Lamar 1: 0 unsuccessfully knocked the ball into the opponent’s head, after which the projectile flew straight into the goal. In desperation, the goalkeeper rushed for the ball, but the situation only got worse. Daif caught up with the ball right at his own gates when he bounced off the crossbar and dropped it right into the goal.
There is a famous expression that football is a game of millions. The most massive sport is available to everyone and everywhere, requiring only the ball and the desire to play. But there is a second bottom in this expression. Football today is a game of millions of dollars. Football players worth one hundred million, sponsorship contracts – all attributes of show business are firmly integrated into the most popular game.