Algeria’s Desert Foxes

Algeria will be making their fourth appearance at a FIFA World Cup™.  Nicknamed the Desert Foxes, the North Africans first appeared at the 1982 edition in Spain.  In 2014, the Algerians find themselves in Group H alongside Belgium, Russia and South Korea.

Algeria topped their CAF qualification group for the 2014 tournament losing just once to Benin along the way.  From there, the side was off to the play-off stage.  This is where the Desert Foxes were lined up against Burkina Faso, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up.  Algeria lost the first leg to the Burkinabes 3-2 but managed to turn things around at home with a 1-0 win.  Thanks to the away goals rule, the North Africans booked their ticket to Brazil 2014.

The Desert Foxes have appeared in three previous World Cup tournaments – 1982, 1986 and 2010, but failed in on each occasion to qualify from the group stage.  However, in 1982 Algeria came close when they made history by defeating West Germany 2-1 and Chile 3-2, only to lose out 2-0 to Austria and painfully miss out on the second round on goal difference.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, Algeria was in Group C, together with the United States of America, England, and Slovenia.  In a forgettable showing, Algeria secured just a single point throughout the tournament thanks to a goalless draw against England in Cape Town.  The Desert Foxes’ hopes dwindled owing to singe goal defeats at the hands of the Slovenians and Americans.

Players like Ishak Belfodil and Sofiane Feghouli will be called upon at the 2014 World Cup if the Algerians are to do well. These star players are based outside of their native country.  Belfodil plies his trade as a striker in Serie A and is currently on loan at Livorno from Inter Milan.  He will be expected to bring his international experience to the national team alongside attacking midfielder Feghouli, who plays for Valencia in Spain.