Algeria national football team
The Algeria national football team represents Algeria in men's international football and it is governed by the Algerian Football Federation. The team plays their home matches at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida and Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers. Algeria joined FIFA on 1 January 1964, a year and a half after gaining independence. The team is also a member of the Confederation of African Football.
The North African team has qualified for four World Cups in 1982, 1986, 2010 and 2014. Algeria has won the African Cup of Nations twice, once in 1990, when they hosted the tournament, and again in Egypt in 2019. At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Algeria became the first African team to score four goals in a match at the World Cup, against South Korea.
The traditional rivals of Algeria are mainly Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, Algeria has also had very competitive matches against Nigeria, especially in the 1980s during Algeria's best football generation, against Mali due to sharing common border and a long-standing competitive rivalry, and against Senegal, where Algeria's first global success began. For the Algerians, their biggest victory was their 2–1 win against West Germany during the 1982 FIFA World Cup in which the African nation shocked the world. Algeria has produced many talented players throughout time and is considered one of the best teams in African Football history.
The BeginningFootball in Algeria was established in the 1830s by European settlers bringing the sport to the country. The Algerian football team was established in 1962 after gaining independence from France, as the successor of the FLN football team. Under French rule, Algeria was not allowed to have a national team, the FLN football team was sort of a rebellion against the French colonization. All of their games were considered friendlies and were unrecognized by FIFA. During a press conference in Tunis, the Algerian football team refused to make any political statements, referring to football as a sport rather than a political influence. After the Algerian national football team was officially recognized by FIFA in 1963, the team only qualified to the 1968 Africa Cup of Nations and failed to qualify for the next five editions of the African cup until 1980, where the Algerians had a great run. After finishing first in their group, Algeria beat rivals Egypt in the semi finals and reached the final for the first time, losing only to tournament hosts Nigeria 3–0. That tournament was considered the birth of the Algerian team as one of the big teams in Africa.
The golden generation, 1980–19901982 FIFA World Cup
Algeria caused one of the great World Cup upsets on the first day of the tournament with a 2–1 victory over the reigning European champions, West Germany. In the final match in the group between West Germany, Austria and Chile, with Algeria having already played their final group game the day before, the European teams knew that a West German win by 1 or 2 goals would qualify them both, while a larger West German victory would qualify Algeria over Austria, and a draw or an Austrian win would eliminate the West Germans. After 10 minutes of all-out attack, West Germany scored through a goal by Horst Hrubesch. After the goal was scored, the two teams kicked the ball around aimlessly for the rest of the match. Chants of "Fuera, fuera" were screamed by the Spanish crowd, while angry Algerian supporters waved banknotes at the players. This performance was widely deplored, even by the West German and Austrian fans. Algeria protested to FIFA, who ruled that the result be allowed to stand; FIFA introduced a revised qualification system at subsequent World Cups in which the final two games in each group were played simultaneously.
1986 FIFA World Cup
In 1984, Algeria took third place in the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. During the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations, the national teams recorded two defeats and one draw and was eliminated in the first round. In Mexico, at the 1986 World Cup, the Algerians were not able to pass the first round once again in a group that included Northern Ireland, Brazil, and Spain. Only one Algerian scored during this competition: Djamel Zidane. From thereon, Algeria failed to qualify for another World Cup until 2010.
1990 African Cup of Nations
In 1990, Algeria hosted the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations for the first time and were strongly considered to win the competition. drawn In Group A, the Algerians started the tournament by beating Nigeria 5–1, with doubles by Djamel Menad and Rabah Madjer and a goal by Djamel Amani. After a great start with a convincing victory against the Nigerians, they then beat Ivory Coast 3–0, with goals by Djamel Menad, Tahar Chérif El-Ouazzani, and Chérif Oudjani. The last game of the group, Algeria beat Egypt 2–0, with goals by Djamel Amani and Moussa Saïb. After a perfect start with three wins in as many games, Algeria beat Senegal 2–1 in the semi finals after Djamel Menad and Djamel Amani scored in front of 85,000 fans in the Stade du 5 Juillet to reach the final for the second time in history. In the final against Nigeria, in front of 105,302 fans in the same stadium, Chérif Oudjani, in the 38th minute, enabled Algeria to win the African Cup of Nations for the first time. Djamel Menad was crowned top scorer of the competition with four goals.
The dark years, 1992–2008After winning the 1990 African Cup of Nations and barely missing out in qualifying to the 1990 World Cup, Algerian football was still at its peak and seemed to be moving towards the right direction while dominating fellow African teams with their unique north African style of play, mixed with physical but very technical football. However, with Algeria being on the brink of a civil war in the early 90s, social and political unrest started having a negative impact in every domain in the country including football. Although Algeria qualified to the 1992 African Cup of Nations, the title holders were disappointing and were eliminated in the first round of the competition.
In the 1994 African Cup of Nations Algeria was disqualified from the tournament after fielding an ineligible player, and many fans back home strongly criticized the staff of the team, accusing them of being irresponsible and unprofessional. In 1996, Algeria returned to African Cup of Nations, but were eliminated by hosts South Africa in the quarter-finals. The Algerians failed to qualify for the following World Cups in 1998, 2002 and 2006. During the 1998 African Cup of Nations, Algeria finished last in its group with three defeats and was eliminated in the group stage. Algerian football was losing its reputation and the team that was once considered one of the best and most feared teams in Africa, was no longer feared.
In the 2000 African Cup of Nations, the Fennecs passed the first round only to lose to 2–1 to eventual champions Cameroon in the quarter-finals. Algeria once more failed to pass the first round in the African competition in 2002. but in the 2004, Algeria, coached by Rabah Saadane were looking good and full of confidence, After drawing the first game of the group 1–1 against tournament favorites Cameroon, Algeria recorded a historic win against archrivals Egypt 2–1. After a good start by Algeria, the north African side surprisingly lost the last game of the group against Zimbabwe 2–1 However, because of the 2–1 victory against Egypt, Algeria finished second in their group and advanced to the next round. Their next opponent was Morocco and after a goalless game for over 80 minutes, Algeria took the lead in the 84th minute after a goal from Abdelmalek Cherrad, nearly seconds before the final whistle Morocco scored which meant the two sides would have to play in extra time, where Morocco would go on to win 3–1. The loss against their North African neighbors was heartbreaking, and after that game, Algeria failed to qualify for the following two Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2008 and nothing seemed to be working for Algerian football.
2010 World Cup qualifiersOn 11 October 2008, Algeria returned to the top 20 African teams in the Fifa ranking by finishing first in their group ahead of Senegal, Gambia, and Liberia for the second round In the combined 2010 World Cup and 2010 African Cup of Nations qualifications. In the third and final round of the qualifiers, Algeria was joined by Zambia, Rwanda, and Egypt in group C. Egypt was widely considered the favorites to win the group and qualify for the World Cup. However, in June 2009, Algeria beat the double African champions Egypt 3–1 which ultimately changed the teams objectives from just qualifying for the African Cup of Nations, to qualifying for the World Cup after a 24-year absence. The next game was against Zambia where the Desert Foxes won 2–0 in Lusaka. Algeria then again beat Zambia at home in Blida 1–0 followed by a 3–1 win against Rwanda, the Algerians ensured that the qualification for the World Cup would go down to the wire with a final encounter against Egypt in Cairo, where only a loss by three goals would stop the Fennecs from going to South Africa. Prior to the game, the Algerian team bus was attacked in Cairo by Egyptian fans, leaving several team members injured. This led to a diplomatic row between the two countries. The attack prior to the game left the Algerian players in shock which resulted in a 2–0 loss in a controversial situation, conceding a goal just within a couple seconds from the final whistle. The loss would mean that the two north African sides would have a to play a playoff game in Sudan with the winner qualifying to the world cup in South Africa. Algeria won 1–0 after a stunning goal from Anthar Yahia and qualified for the World Cup for the third time in their history.
2010 Africa Cup of NationsAfter qualifying to the 2010 world cup at the expense of Egypt, Algeria was gaining back the respect that they lost in the early 90s. So they came in the 2010 tournament full of confidence. Being drawn in Group A, with Angola, Malawi, and Mali, Algeria started poorly, surprisingly losing 3–0 to group outsiders Malawi. After that loss Algeria had to prove that the first game was only a mistake and in the following game against Mali they won 1–0 thanks to a Rafik Halliche header. In the last match, they drew 0–0 with Angola, which sent them to the second round, finishing with the same number of points as Mali, but with a superior head-to-head record. Playing in Cabinda, Algeria faced Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals who were considered heavy favorites. After trailing 1–0, Karim Matmour equalized in the first half, the Algerians were having a great game but as the game was heading into extra time Keita gave the Ivorians the lead in the 89th minute, a goal which seemed sure to seal their victory. However, the Algerians equalized with Madjid Bougherra just 2 minutes later in added time, and in extra time a perfect Karim Ziani cross found Hameur Bouazza who gave the Fennecs the lead.
Algeria shocked the whole continent with a convincing win against a Cote Ivoire team that was considered the best in Africa. Next Algeria faced Egypt in the semi-finals, tensions were still high between the two nations after the World Cup qualification play-off incident and fans from both sides felt it was a must win game for them. Unfortunately for Algeria, things did not go as planned. After waves of controversial decisions from the referee for both sides, Algeria ended the game with 3 red cards which led to Egypt winning 4–0 which was the biggest defeat in the history of the teams' meetings. Algeria then lost 1–0 to Nigeria in the third-place game and finished fourth in the competition.
2010 FIFA World CupAlgeria was drawn in Group C with England, USA, Slovenia. The north African side came in the tournament in poor form, losing nearly all their world cup preparation games in friendlies. In their first game they lost to Slovenia 0–1. The match was scoreless until Slovenia's captain Robert Koren scored in the 79th minute after Abdelkader Ghezzal was sent off for his second bookable offence. In their second group game, Algeria drew with England leading to mass celebration throughout the world's Algerian communities. The Fennecs lost their final group game to the United States 1–0 thanks to a Landon Donovan winner in second-half injury time. Algeria exited the championship as one of two teams, along with Honduras, to fail to score a goal.
2010–11: A team in troubleAfter the World Cup, bad results were growing and growing with no wins. After a 2–1 home loss to Guinea in a friendly match and a 1–1 draw at home to Tanzania, veteran manager
Rabah Saâdane resigned and was replaced with Abdelhak Benchikha. The newly appointed coach tried to bring in new faces to the squad to bolster their offense but poor results continued for Benchikha's side who started off with a 2–0 away loss to Central African Republic. There was a little bit of hope restored for the Algerians after they beat Morocco 1–0 at home after a goal from Hassan Yebda but After they lost 4–0 to Morocco in the return leg, their manager resigned. Algeria failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and the nightmare continued.
2011–12: The arrival of HalilhodžićAfter new coach Vahid Halilhodžić was appointed, he got a few decent results before the start of the World cup qualifiers. The Bosnian coach's debut resulted in a 1–1 away draw against Tanzania, they then beat Central African Republic 2–0 with goals coming from Hassan Yebda and Foued Kadir. After a good game against Tanzania and a convincing win against The Central African Rep, the Algerian fans started to believe in their national team again and put all their trust in coach Vahid to revive the national team, and that is exactly what happened as the good results kept on coming, Algeria then beat Niger 3–0 in a friendly, and with the start of the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers Algeria beat Rwanda 4–0 to start off brightly. Qualifying for The 2013 African cup of Nations was the next target for Les Fennecs and they started off with beating Gambia 2–1 in Banjul followed by a 4–1 victory in Blida to advance to the final qualifying round, where the Algerians would take on north African neighbors Libya. The desert warriors ended up winning 3–0 on aggregate against the Libyans to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
2013 Africa Cup of Nations: Disappointing resultsAlgeria arrived to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with plenty of confidence and with the emergence of Islam Slimani and El Arbi Hillel Soudani, as well as the addition to the squad of talented Valencia CF winger Sofiane Feghouli, Algeria was even considered one of the favorites to win the competition, but unfortunately for them they lacked experience and despite clear domination against their opponents, they finished last in their group after losing the first game against Tunisia 1–0 after a crucial 90'minute goal from Youssef Msakni. In their second game against Togo, Algeria was widely expected to come out with a victory but again the lack of experience was once again crucial, after dominating the game, they conceded two goals and were officially eliminated from the competition. The last game against Ivory Coast ended in a 2–2 draw. The Algerian fans were extremely disappointed with their team's early exist from the competition, and the Algerian media even speculated coach Vahid would be sacked, but the president of the Algerian Football Federation decided to maintain Vahid, arguing that the team is heading in the right direction and just needs more time to gain experience.
Road to Brazil 2014After a disappointing campaign in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, and the Algerian Football Federation confirming their manager's stay. Algeria would then focus on their World cup qualifying campaign which they had a decent start to with one win and one loss, They continued their campaign winning 3–1 versus Benin at home and beating them again 3–1 away in Benin. After travelling to Kigali to face Rwanda, a 1–0 away victory guaranteed them the first-place position in their group which means they would advance to the final round of the qualifying campaign. Their last game didn't have any effect on the standings but Algeria still won 1–0 versus Mali national football team. After topping group H, Algeria was drawn with Burkina Faso as their final opponent. The 1st leg was held in Burkina, and the second was in Algeria. The first leg ended in a 3–2 loss to Burkina Faso and it outraged a lot of Algerian fans as Burkina was awarded a false penalty. The second leg was a harsh game but Algeria managed a 1–0 victory to advance to the 2014 World Cup.
Making history, 2014 FIFA World CupAlgeria were drawn in Group H with World Cup favorites Belgium, Russia, and South Korea. In their opening game against Belgium, Feghouli scored Algeria's first World Cup goal for 28 years giving his team the lead 1–0, eventually Belgium caught up and scored two goals to give Belgium a 2–1 victory, In their second game against South Korea, the Algerians needed an absolute win to have a good chance of going to the next round, they ended up winning 4–2, Brahimi scored the fourth goal against the opposition to set a record of being the first African team to score four or more goals in a single match in the World Cup. On 26 June, Algeria played Russia for second place in Group H, Russia scored the opening goal but Slimani became a hero by scoring the equalizer to carry Algeria to the second round of the World Cup for the first time. In the second round, Algeria was able to hold eventual champions Germany to a goalless draw for 90 minutes, in extra-time the Germans scored twice and Algeria once in a match that ended in elimination for the Algerian team.
Decline (2015-2018)After their successful World Cup, Algeria gained respect and was once more considered as one of the best teams in Africa, with young and exciting players playing in top teams across Europe.
After coach Vahid decided to opt out of a contract extension following their historic World Cup, long time FC Lorient coach Christian Gourcuff was appointed by FAF president Mohamed Raouraoua to help Algeria reach its goals.2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification group which consisted of Mali, Malawi and Ethiopia, Algeria were heavy favorites to win the 2015 edition of the tournament hosted in Equatorial Guinea. Algeria were drawn in a very difficult group that included South Africa, Ghana and Senegal. With every single team in the group being in top form, Algeria struggled in the first game against the South Africans and were a goal down before finally beating them 3–1, in the second game against Ghana, the Black stars were in desperate need of a victory after losing the first game to Senegal, After 90 minutes and while the game looked like it was heading to a goalless draw with neither sides looking dangerous, Asamoah Gyan struck before the final whistle to give a 1–0 victory to Ghana. In the last game of the group against Senegal, Algeria looked much better and after goals from Riyad Mahrez and youngster Nabil Bentaleb the Foxes were through to the next round. The Desert Foxes finished second in their group behind Ghana despite their goal difference due to their head to head record. Ivory Coast awaited them, where Wilfried Bony would score twice for an eventual 2–1 win for the Elephants, eliminating the Desert Foxes from the competition.
2017–2018: Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualificationManager Christian Gourcuff was widely criticized after the African Cup exit, he continued being criticized for his tactics and results, losing 2–1 in a friendly against Guinea and drawing 2–2 Against Tanzania. Although Algeria would achieve remarkable wins at home, such as the 7–0 return leg win against Tanzania the team was very fragile on away games and conceded too many goals. The Tanzania win allowed them to reach the Final round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Algeria were drawn in an incredibly tough group with Nigeria, Cameroon and Zambia with only the team finishing top of the group qualifying to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After a 3–3 away draw against Ethiopia, Manager Christian Gourcuff resigned from his position. Milovan Rajevac was then appointed manager in June 2016, but resigned 4 months later after Algeria's first World cup qualifying game ended in a home draw against Cameroon. The Algerian Football federation then hired Georges Leekens who did no better than his predecessor by losing to Nigeria 3-1 during match day 2 of the World cup Qualifiers in November 2016.
Leekens then coached Algeria during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations where the desert foxes had a horrible campaign drawing against Zimbabwe and Senegal and losing against Tunisia which resulted in an early group stage elimination. The African nation was on a steady decline due to constant changes at the management level and once again Algeria would get a new coach after Leekens resigned right after the African Cup and FAF president Raouraoua also left his position and was replaced by the much younger Kheiredine Zetchi. The new president came with new ideas, he brought in Spanish coach Lucas Alcaraz to try to kick start the national team once again, however the Spaniard was sacked after poor results which meant Algeria would miss the 2018 Fifa World cup. Missing the World cup was a huge upset in the country as the team consisted of very talented players playing at a high level across Europe's best leagues.
In November 2017, Former Algerian Superstar Rabah Madjer was appointed as manager, the decision to bring in Madjer was a controversial one as he hadn't coached any team for over 10 years and did have a past failed coaching experience with Algeria. Madjer wouldn't last very long either, after a couple of bad results in friendly matches including a 3–0 loss against Portugal, he would also be sacked after only 7 months in charge. Within four years of the end of the 2014 World cup, Algeria had five different coaches with the performances and results only getting worse.
2019–present: Hope & coach BelmadiAfter a series of errors from the Algerian Football Federation with repeated under performing coaches, the federation appointed former Manchester City and Algerian international Djamel Belmadi on 2 August 2018. Belmadi is a young coach and has mainly coached in Qatar with previous experiences lie there. However, due to his unsuccessful tenure in Qatar as coach of the Qatar national football team when Qatar was eliminated early in 2015 AFC Asian Cup, skepticism arose about the manager. Algeria's performance in the 2019 AFCON qualification, while acceptable, also suffered setback, such as a shocking 0–1 away loss to Benin and two 1–1 draws to less known Gambia, had raised big concerns over Algeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Thus, Algeria was not expected to become a real contender for the trophy, but mostly expected to go to quarter-finals.
In spite of criticisms over Belmadi, Algeria had managed an unthinkable performance, coined to be the best performance of any Algerian team in recent AFCON history. Algeria topped group C with a perfect record, winning all three matches including the famed 1–0 victory over 2018 FIFA World Cup's participant Senegal. Algeria's solid performance continued with a 3–0 win over Guinea in the round of sixteen; before they overcame Ivory Coast in a hard-fought encounter which they won in a penalty shootout 4–3, after having drawn 1–1 after 120 minutes. The Algerians then went on to defeat Nigeria 2–1 with a dying minute's free kick shot by Riyad Mahrez. Facing once again to the Senegalese in the final, Baghdad Bounedjah scored the bizarre and also only goal for Algeria against Senegal in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Final, a match which ended in a 1–0 win for Algeria, earning them their second title since 1990, making Algeria the second North African side after Egypt to win more than one AFCON trophy.
Home stadiumThe Algerian National Football Team have traditionally played their home games at the 5 July Stadium, However, since 2009 The team has played most of its home games at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium and recently in Hamlaoui Stadium in constantine. There are many new stadiums being built in Algeria, two of which are expected to be the home venue for the team, the first being the forty thousand capacity Baraki Stadium being built in Algiers, the other one is Olympic Stadium in Oran. Another Stadium currently under construction, where the National team is expected to play some of its scheduled friendly games is in the Stade Abdelkader Khalef in the city of Tizi Ouzou.
KitsThe Algerian national team home kit is all white with green trim, and the away kit is all green with white trim.
- The following players were called up for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Zambia and Botswana on 14 and 18 November 2019.
- Caps and goals are correct as of 18 November 2019, after the match against Botswana.
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
RET Retired from international football.
RecordsBold denotes players still playing or available for selection. Updated after the game against Zambia on 14 November 2019.
Results and fixturesThe following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
FIFA World Cup record
Olympic Games record
- Prior to the Barcelona 1992 campaign, the Football at the Summer Olympics was open to full senior national teams.
Africa Cup of Nations record
African Games record
- Algeria withdrew in protest at CAF's decision to order a replay of the first leg against Tunisia; CAF had made this decision following Tunisia's protest that Algeria had fielded two ineligible players.
African Nations Championship record
Mediterranean Games Recordfrom 1991 U21 teams.
- Prior to the Athens 1991 campaign, the Football at the Mediterranean Games was open to full senior national teams.
- Algeria participated with the national B team in 1975 and 1987.
Arab Nations Cup record
- Algeria participated with the national University team
- Algeria participated with the national U-23 team
Pan Arab Games record
- Algeria participated with the B team
All-time record against FIFA recognized nations
- Below is a record of all matches correct as of 19 July 2019
Denotes defunct national football team.
Includes games against USSR.
Includes games against Yugoslavia.
- Africa Cup of Nations
- African Games
- Afro-Asian Cup of Nations
- Mediterranean Games
- Islamic Solidarity Games
- Pan Arab Games
- Palestine Cup of Nations
- Indonesian Independence Cup
- 7th November Cup
- African National Team of the Year