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2010 World Cup Preview: Algeria

Good times
Creative Commons License photo credit: normalityrelief

The Team: I consider myself a well-educated person, but I must admit that I lack much knowledge when it comes to Algeria. I know it’s a nation in North Africa, and I am aware of the fact that its inhabitants have been ruled by everyone from Charles de Gaulle to the Ottoman Empire, but I have no sense of Algerians’ culture and traditions. I do know that they have a decent soccer side, but it is by no means one that should intimidate the rest of Group C.

The Cream: The squad does have some playmakers though, and nobody needs to take Algeria too lightly. After all, they have Yazid Mansouri controlling things in the middle, Saifi shooting rockets inside, and Belhadj besting strikers in the back. My personal favorite on their side though is GK Lounes Gaouaoui (yes, that is seven vowels in a row). He is the definite starter in 2010, and he makes it difficult for opposing offenses. Well, offenses and World Cup announcers.

The Dream: Algerians refer to their team as the Desert Foxes, but the squad hasn’t shown much cunning over the last few decades. Although they enjoyed a huge wave of success in the 1980s (when they qualified for two World Cups), they crested at the 1990 African Nations Cup and were sucked back into the sea of mediocrity until they bested Egypt for one of the final spots in South Africa. I don’t like their chances, so I will put their odds of winning it all at 500:1.