Bougherra the man behind Algeria's solid defence

Bougherra the man behind Algeria's solid defence
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Published January 28th, 2015 - 16:14 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Madjid Bougherra
Madjid Bougherra

Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra has proven again that he provides glue the that keeps this generation of players together - on and off the pitch.

The 32-year-old was outstanding in countering the physical presence of Senegal on Tuesday night and a major factor in Algeria winning 2-0 to seal their quarter-final place.

It is a result that suggest after so many years of under-performance and disappointment, that Africa's top-ranked side could go all the way in this year's competition.

Senegal put a lot of balls into the box, their physical forwards stood ran at the defence with pace and power, but through it all Bougherra stood firm, marshalling his backline superbly.

Bougherra, who captained Algeria into the second round of the World Cup in Brazil where they took eventual champions Germany to extra-time, was a surprise omission from the first game of this tournament against South Africa where Rafik Halliche was preferred.

But he has played the last two and looks set to continue in his centre-back roll for as long as Algeria remain in the tournament.

And he is also a leader off the field - their had been rumblings of unhappiness and inflated egos within the Algerian camp in the build-up to the Senegal game and although Bougherra did not deny this, he says he and the technical team have dealt with it.

He commands the kind of respect within the group that means where he goes, others follow.

Now playing for Al-Fujairah in the UAE, where he sees out the last days of his career with a healthy pay-check, Bougherra has been a cult-figure wherever he has played with his infectious personality and all-action style.

He is a battler, the kind of player you want in the team when the going gets tough and he never shirks responsibility.

Born in France, he started his career at lower league side Gueugnon and joined English side Crewe Alexandra on loan.

After a successful spell there he had time at Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic, before signing for Glasgow Rangers in 2008.

It was there that he really made his name, winning three league titles in a row and competing in the UEFA Champions League, including a man of the match performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

He moved to Qatar in 2011 and continued winning trophies with Lekhwiya, before signing for Al-Fujairah at the start of this season.

© 2014 AllAfrica Global Media.

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