The ME gets behind the World Cup: 11 Algerian players to watch and root for!

Published June 9th, 2014 - 13:02 GMT

Rate Article:

 
PRINT Send Mail
comment (0)
Raïs M'Bolhi
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Goalkeeper Raïs M'Bolhi plays for the Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia. As the first choice custodian for the country during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, he will likely be the first choice during the World Cup as well.

Madjid Bougherra
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Central defender and Captain Madjid Bougherra is currently a free agent with vast experience. He played in France, England, Scotland, and Qatar and has more than 60 caps with the national team. Impressive indeed!

Faouzi Ghoulam
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Left back Faouzi Ghoulam plays for Italian club Napoli and is considered among the best players in his position at Serie A. He previously played for Saint Etienne in France and undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him!

Djamel Mesbah
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Left wingback Djamel Mesbah plays for Italian club Livorno and was part of the national team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s also quite the looker!

Rafik Halliche
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Central defender Rafik Halliche plays for Academica de Coimbra in Portugal. He was picked to represent Algeria in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, playing all the matches as the national side only conceded two goals in the group stage, but finished last in their group after failing to score once

Hassan Yebda
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Hassan Yebda plays for Spain’s Granada team, but his fab footie skills have put him on loan for the Italian Udinese Calcio team! The midfielder kicked ass at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and played every single game at the World Cup in 2010!

Sofiane Feghouli
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Recently named in the Algeria squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, winger Sofiane Feghouli is an undisputed first-choice for Valencia CF. This pro is noted for creating goals rather than making them! A former French National Youth football team player, Feghouli switched his loyalties and now represents Algeria instead!

Nabil Bentaleb
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Hot Spur Nabil Bentaleb plays for England’s Tottenham. The talented teenager is being tipped to emerge as one of the best young players as he’s just made it to Brazil’s World Cup games! Bentaleb scored his first goal for Algeria - against Romania - on 4 June 2014

Saphir Taider
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Saphir Taider plays for Inter Milan, and with his good looks and fame comes the perks of dating playboy model Veronica Graf! Putting his dating life aside, on 26 March 2013 Taider was called to play for Algeria for the first time, where he made his debut against Benin and scored one goal.

Nabil Ghilas
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Nabil Ghilas is a striker for FC Porto. In March 2013, he was called to “play” for Algeria for the first time- he stayed on the bench though! He gained his first cap on 9 June against the same opponent where he scored the last goal in a 3–1 away win!

Hillel Soudani
  Pause  
  Play  

Image 1 of 11: Striker al-Arbi Hillel Soudani plays for Dinamo Zagreb. He is their top pick for striker as on 3 August 2013 he came onto the pitch in the 67th minute and scored the only goal against RNK Split. He was called up by Abdelhak Benchikha to the Algerian National Team for the first time in 2011.

Algeria’s ‘Desert Foxes’ - who represent the Middle East’s main hope this year- are up against  the likes of Belgium, Russia, and South Korea from their World Cup group this summer of 2014. The odds will be stacked against them in overcoming their historically successful rivals, Korea, whilst the Europeans will surely present a serious challenge- but what if, just what if, they did pull through for an exciting underdog victory? It would be a tall order for Coach Vahid Halilodzic, leading this relatively seasoned albeit youthful side in Brazil. Their latest participation back in 2010 was quite disappointing, with the national team failing to score a single goal, earning just a lonely point.

Algeria has played in a total of three FIFA World Cup finals with mixed results. The Foxes were off to an excellent start in the 1982 edition in Spain, beating West Germany 2-1 in their opening game. However, despite a 3-2 victory over Chile in their final group game, an earlier 2-0 loss to Austria meant that while they were level on points with the latter, they were eliminated on a goal difference. Mexico 1986 was less memorable for the North African team. Drawn in Group D with Brazil, Spain and Northern Ireland, two defeats and a draw left them at the bottom of the table and on the first flight home. Nor were things much better at South Africa in 2010. Pitted against England, the USA and Slovenia, our Desert Foxes lost twice and drew their other fixture, departing the competition without a goal to their name. Nevertheless, the team has seen its fair share of stars including Lakhdar Belloumi, Rachid Mekhloufi, Mustapha Zitouni and we are confident that Brazil will bring out the next generation of Fantastic Mr Foxes!

With such a chequered but hopeful background we can only wish the team, along with the rest of the Middle East, all the very best in Brazil! Yallah!

Advertisement

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.