Hosts Algeria is among the four countries in the semi-finals of the ongoing TotalEnergies African Nations Champions (CHAN) and their fans strongly believe they can win the title.
Below are the three reasons why Algerians believe that the Desert Foxes can win the title:
The quest for victory for the Algerian people
Algeria is a football-mad country. A nation that lays claim to a legend like Rabah Madjer.
Football is a religion in Algeria and it even goes further to enhance socio-cultural interactions.
Algeria’s love for football is by far the best. During matches of the Algerian national team, the country comes to a standstill, no matter which category is playing. The streets of Algiers, Oran and Constantine vibrate to the sound of the famous slogan “one, two, three viva l’Algérie”.
Apart from the 2013 U-23 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), in which the country was eliminated in the group stage, Algeria generally does well in tournaments they host. In 2009, the U17s reached the final of the tournament. Talk less of the 1990 AFCON won by Rabah Madjer and his teammates.
According to many Algerians, this CHAN on home soil has come at the right time. After the Desert Foxes got eliminated from the Group stage of the 2021 AFCON and further failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this is like an opportunity to restore the country’s respect at least on the continent.
Meziane Abderrahmane and his teammates are on a mission for the nation. Though a difficult mission against three serious contenders who can also win.
As it is often said in the land of the Fennecs: “the Algerians can return to the forefront in the most difficult circumstances”.
Madjid Bougherra’s philosophy
Madjid Bougherra is a leader of men with a keen sense of the game. A former defender, he relies on a solid defensive base with a number of quick players.
He relies on players who are skilled in the transition phase in midfield. With a well-defined style of play, Bougherra is pragmatic and desires to foil his rivals with solid performances.
This efficiency enabled Madjid Bougherra to become the first tactician to win the FIFA Arab World Cup, which was held in Qatar in 2021. Only two survivors from the Arab World Cup: Abdellaoui Ayoub and Zakaria Draoui, are in the squad for the CHAN.
There has been an overhaul of the squad due to the development of the local league.
The strength of the local league
Of the 16 clubs that make up the first division of the Algerian league, ten are represented by their players in this CHAN.
In the CAF Club ranking, Algeria is ranked third, behind Morocco and Egypt, an index enhanced by the good performances of its representatives in the CAF-interclub competitions.
This season CR Belouizdad, the defending national champions, and runners-up ES Setif, have qualified for the group stages of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League.
ES Setif reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. These clubs and the other teams have a strong representation in the ongoing tourney.
Putting all these factors together, Algeria has a chance of winning the CHAN, though football is not straightforward.
Credit CAF MEDIA