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Sports World News of Sunday, 15 January 2017


AFCON 2017: Profile of Algerian national team

The Algeria national football team represents Algeria in association football and is controlled by the Algerian Football Federation.

Algeria,who are currently 38th in the world according to FIFA, will play at the 2017 AFCON under the management of Belgian coach George Leekens .Carl Medjani is the team’s appointed captain.

Brief history

Algeria were the champions in 1990 when they hosted the competition beating Nigeria 1-0 to lift the trophy.

In the other events,the Desert Foxes were runners-up in 1990, placed third in 1980 while making it to third place in 1994 and 1998 editions.

Afcon 2017 qualification

Algeria clinched their place in the finals with a 2-0 win over the Seychelles with goals from Yassine Benzia (from French club Lille) and El Arbi Hillel Soudani (Dynamo Zagreb in Croatia).

In the tournament, they are placed in Group B, where they will take on Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Senegal for one of the two qualifying places in the quarter-finals.

Squad Overview

Algeria’s Leicester City duo, Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani have been included in the squad, while Watford’s Adlene Guedioura made the cut.

Some of the other European-based players included the squad are Napoli’s Faouzi Ghoulam, Schalke’s Nabil Bentaleb and Yacine Brahimi.

Key player :Riyad Mahrez

Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez is the 2016 the Confederation of African Football’s player of the year award.

The 25-year-old helped Leicester to the Premier League title, is also the PFA Player of the Year and BBC African Footballer of the Year.

He has made 27 appearances for the national team, scoring six goals.He will be one of the players to watch during the tournament as he is expected to steer Algeria to their Afcon 2017 tittle.

Algeria 2017 AFCON Squad:

Goalkeepers: Rais Ouhab M’bolhi (Antalyaspor, Turkey), Malik Asselah (JS Kabylie, Algeria), Chemseddine Rahmani (MO Bejaia, Algeria)

Defenders: Mokhtar Belkhiter (Club Africain ,Tunisia), Mohamed Rabie Meftah (USM Alger, Algeria), Aissa Mandi (Real Betis, Spain), Hicham Belkaroui (Esperance, Tunisia), Liassine Cadamuro (Servette Geneva, Switzerland) , Mohamed Benyahia (USM Alger, Algeria), Ramy Bensebaïni (Stade Rennes, France), Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli, Italy), Djamel Eddine Mesbah (FC Crotone ,Italy)

Midfielders: Adlène Guedioura (Watford, England), Saphir Taïder (Bologna, Italy), Nabil Bentaleb (Schalke 04, Germany), Mehdi Abeid (Dijon, France), Yassin Brahimi (FC Porto, Portugal), Rachid Ghezzal (Olympique Lyon, France)

Forwards: Islam Slimani (Leicester City, England), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City, England), Hilal Soudani El Arabi (Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd, Qatar), Sofiane Hanni (Anderlecht, Belgium).