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!