Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi intends to restore the “Desert Warriors” position in the FIFA World Cup, when they face Cameroon in two play-off matches Friday in Douala and Tuesday in Blida in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, despite doubts about a squad that failed to defend its title in the last African Nations Cup. Following a resounding exit from the group stage.
Algeria participated four times in the World Cup in 1982, 1986, 2010 and 2014 when it reached the round of 16 and lost after the extension to Germany, which later won the title, knowing that it achieved a resounding surprise in the 1982 edition when it won with its two stars Rabah Madjer and Lakhdar Belloumi in the group stage over West Germany Which was teeming with stars and replaced a maid.
Belmadi, who is characterized by his stubborn personality, led it, after lean years, to win the 2019 African Nations Cup, for the second time after 1990. But the 45-year-old coach quickly returned to the ground by being subjected to severe criticism and questioning his abilities, after Algeria were eliminated from the group stage in the last edition. From the continental championship in Cameroon in particular, after it was the most prominent candidate to retain the title.
Belmadi refused to question his options against the background of excluding some names and summoning others, and confirmed last Sunday that Algeria’s qualification for the football wedding would be “the result of three years of work,” according to AFP.
Belmadi, who took over his technical duties in August 2018, said that “the goal is to qualify for the World Cup in order to forget some of the problems that occurred to us in the African Cup.”
The exclusion of Bounedjah and the recall of Guedioura
The former French Marseille and Southampton midfielder dispensed with his first striker for several years, Baghdad Bounedjah (30 years), who scored 24 goals in 57 international matches, and replaced the Qatari Al-Sadd striker with the veteran striker of Al-Wakra club, Mohammed Ben Yatto (32 years), who is entering the squad for the first time. . West Ham striker Said Benrahma and Al Rayyan midfielder Yassin Brahimi were also excluded.
He again called up veteran Adlan Guedioura, 36, the average midfielder of the English third division, Porton Albion, along with Hertha Berlin striker Isaac Belfodil, 30, who has been absent from the national team since 2018.
Belmadi revealed the reasons that prompted him to invite Guediora despite his advanced age, “He has great potential and experience with the national team. He spreads brotherhood among the players. Injury kept him away from the team only previously.”
And about the desired addition that “the tank” will provide, Belmadi said: “The World Cup is our official goal, and for this I prepared Guedioura because I need him in the decisive role,” and he “makes the difference, especially in individual conflicts.”
The importance of Mahrez and Blaili
On the reasons that prompted him to call up Ben Yatto, he said, “He has been shining for three seasons, by scoring and highlighting his effectiveness in front of goal, and this is what we are looking for.”
He continued, justifying his decision, “I saw that he has effectiveness, and improves his handling in front of strong defensive lines, so I consider that he deserved this invitation.”
He also confirmed the readiness of Al-Khader striker Sofiane Feghouli for the decisive role, and touched on the issue of the recent injury to “Al-Muharib”, saying: “Feghouli was injured and was removed from the list of his Turkish team recently.
Belmadi spoke about the newcomer, defender Youssef Laaoufi, “Before calling Laouafi, I studied the player’s potential well. He is doing well and he plays in the left-back position, and his strength is that he can play in other positions.”
The national voter highlighted the reasons that prompted him to re-invite Ishak Belfodil, the former Italian player, stressing his confidence in his capabilities and that “he has a lot to offer to the national team. He was promising with the Lyon school, and he was compared to Benzema in his early days.”
And he added, “He was able to be with us in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, but unfortunately he had an injury.”
While Belmadi expressed his great confidence in the possibility of the duo, Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, England) and Youssef Blaili (Brest, France), he added, “Everyone is ready to die in order to qualify for the World Cup. I felt a desire for them, and some players want to end their career by participating in the World Cup.”
Belmadi has been attending “for months” for this occasion, and touched on the strength of the Cameroon team, which finished third in the African Nations Cup, which “has excellent players, a strong team and everyone follows it. It has a good way of playing its own.”
He added, “Although the technical staff of the Cameroon national team has changed, I do not expect that they will change their way of playing in four days,” referring to the appointment of former international Rigobert Song as the new coach of the “Untamed Lions” instead of Portuguese Toni Conceicao.
Belmadi highlighted the importance of the return match in Algeria on the 29th of this month at the Mustapha Chaker Stadium in Blida, in the presence of the audience, and his determination with his players to avenge themselves by going to the Jaboma stadium in Douala on the 25th of this month, taking advantage of their good knowledge of this stadium, where the Algerian team played three matches before About two months into the finals of the African Nations Cup.
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