Category Archives: Algerians Abroad

Algerian striker Bounedjah scores twice in Champions League win

Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah scored twice for Al Sadd in their opening AFC Champions League match of 2018.

The Qatari side came back from behind to beat United Arab Emirates outfit Al Wasl in the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai to earn all three points in the first group match.

Having not even started the game as he continues to recover from injury, Bounedjah came on in the 70th minute and made a huge impact for a team.

Al Sadd

But it was not until the 79th minute that the ex-Harrach forward scored the equaliser. Xavi played the ball into him and he turned and scored inside the penalty area.

And then in the final minute of the game, the 26-year-old scored the winner for his side from close range with a cool finish inside the box to seal the win for his team.

Bounedjah is surely going to be involved in Rabah Madjer’s squad for the upcoming Algeria matches, and should be competing for a starting position in the national team.

With eleven goals in his last ten matches for Al Sadd in all competitions, Bounedjah is in fantastic form for the club and hopefully he can come back from injury stronger and keep performing as strongly for his country.

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Algerian clubs set for Champions League campaigns

Algerian clubs ES Setif and MC Alger begin their 2018 CAF Champions League adventures tomorrow (11th February) in the preliminary round of the competition.

The two teams qualified for the most prestigious club competition in African football after finishing in the top two of the Algerian League last season.

Mouloudia Fans

ES Setif begin with a home leg against Olympic Real de Bangui from the Central African Republic. They have won this trophy twice, back in 1988 and 2014.

Meanwhile, MC Alger’s first leg is away as they travel to AS Otoho in Congo. They have won this competition just once, back in 1976, and are making their seventh appearance in the tournament this calendar year.

Both MC Alger and ES Setif will be looking to have a strong start after having disappointing seasons so far in the Algerian League, with Mouloudia 5th and Setif 8th respectively.

This is the final year that the CAF Champions League will be played through a calendar year, as it will be switching to the European model from December. All ties are home and away, with the return leg being played in around two weeks time.

MC Alger will kick-off in Congo at 2.30pm, whilst ES Setif will start their match at 5pm in the Stade du 8 Mai 1945.

Saphir Taider set for American adventure

Algerian international midfielder Saphir Taider is close to signing for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact, according to media outlet France Football.

The central midfielder, who has 38 caps for the Algerian national team and has World Cup experience, will have a big role to play in the MLS because he will become what is known as a “designated player”.

Le Buteur

Taider has made just three starts in Serie A this season for Bologna. and has spent most of his time on the bench convincing him that his time in Italy is over.

With just the one assist this campaign, the 25-year-old will be looking to make a fresh start as he travels across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA. Blerim Dzemaili will move in the opposite direction as part of the swap deal.

Both Bologna and Montreal Impact have the same owner, so the connection between the two clubs makes sense with Taider expected to move to the MLS and sign a contract until 2020.

Taider has spent most of his career in Italy, and had a short but disastrous spell in the Premier League with Southampton after his loan was cut short so quickly. Now, he will look to rebuild his career in a fresh environment and become the first ever Algerian to play in the MLS.

 

DZ Football’s 2017 Algerian Player of the Year

As the year comes to an end, we have created our own accolade to award to the 2017 Algerian Footballer of the Year. Although we have come up with our four nominations for the prize, it will be the public that decides the winner. You can vote for who you want to win on our Twitter page. So, here are the four candidates:

Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto, 27 years old)

The pacey winger has helped Porto through to the last 16 of the Champions League, thanks to his regular goals and assists. They are also unbeaten in the Portuguese League this season. Brahimi was also the top scorer for Algeria in 2017. He was also voted as Porto’s player of the year for 2017.

Oussama Darfalou (USM Alger, 24 years old)

The USMA striker is the only player nominated who plays in the Algerian League, but his stunning goal-scoring record meant that he deserves a place on this shortlist. With 10 goals in this season’s Ligue 1 DZ, no player has scored more goals than Darfalou. He also helped USM Alget to a CAF Champions League semi-final.

Sofiane Hanni (Anderlecht, 26 years old)

Hanni broke into the Algerian national team this year, and has been a brilliant addition to the squad. He scored four goals for Algeria in 2017. As well as this, he was also a champion in the Belgian League as he won the title with Anderlecht. This qualified him for Champions League football towards the end of the year.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City, 26 years old)

The maestro himself had a year full of ups and downs, but we cannot forget some of the amazing performances that Mahrez has put in. Mahrez became the all-time Algerian goalscorer in the Premier League, as well as helping Leicester to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Anes Djema: “I have always wanted to play for Algeria”

20-year-old Anes Djema is looking to make the step up to a professional footballer. The young, upcoming and talented footballer has been selected for several trials in Italy next year. We interviewed him to get to know the rising star.

1. Tell us about your football career path so far.

To best start off my soccer path would have to be with my background. Both my parents were constantly invested in sports in Algeria. As they left Algeria, they went to Cyprus where I was born. I later moved to the USA. Unfortunately I spent a few years not playing so I didn’t start that young due to not knowing the area and how soccer worked here. I later received my recognition to a bigger and more popular local team after scoring 14 goals in a game. Someone saw the newspaper that I was in and later came to the local league and watched a game and later invited me to play for their team, which is now known as GPS.

As the years went by and I got older, football became more serious. I started getting looked at by certain colleges but decided to take a year off to get more fit and work on my game which paid off because I got into a much better college team which was super fun. Unfortunately  I was unable to play this year as I received that suspension for taking a year off. After regular seasons were done I was able to play for other teams during the off season (different from NCAA – college league) and was noticed by various scouts to go abroad., which brings me to my soccer career as of right now.

2. Do you have any targets for where you want to be in the future?

Anes Djema

My target is definitely to go professional. The path to go pro in America is much harder than abroad since it’s a little behind compared to Europe. I have also always wanted to play for Algeria even though I’ve never lived there. It’s bledi so how could I not want to put that jersey on and play in front of all those fans. Since I could remember, I always wanted to play for a big club, lift trophies, be a star but that’s everyone football fans dream. To simplify it I just want to play the game I love and make it my everyday job.

3. Who are your role models in football?

I have a tonne of role models from Algerian players to legends to current players. I’m a full-back so I always look at Faouzi Ghoulam who if you look at his games for Napoli is an incredible and underrated full-back. So I always try to learn what he does and do the same. There’s plenty of other players such as Lionel Messi who you watch and realise he is an artist. Roberto Carlos, Dani Alves, Zinedine Zidane, and Cafu. many current players too but there’s too many to list.

4. Which clubs will be offering you trials next year?

So my trials in Italy range, it’ll be various teams from the Serie A to Serie C which gives me an opportunity to play abroad Insha’Allah. My hopes are to obviously go pro so this a good way to get my foot in the door to that path. The specific teams are Pistoiese FC (Serie C), Empoli FC (Serie B) and Bologna FC (Serie A) which is also where Saphir Taider plays so it would be awesome to meet him if I got the chance. That is about a year from now, so hopefully I get better everyday and get other chances to showcase my talents in some other countries as well!

A big thanks once again to Anes for taking the time to talk to us.

Bounedjah and Hamroun win Qatari Cup in style

Qatari club Al Sadd won the 2017/18 Sheikh Jassim Cup 4-2 vs Al Duhail thanks to a hat-trick from Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah.

Bounedjah scored the first goal after just five minutes, finishing off after a great pass from fellow Algerian footballer Jugurtha Hamroun.

Al-Sadd

Xavi then passed it to Bounedjah later in the first half, with the Algerian striker making it 2-0 before half-time.

In the second half, former Barcelona midfielder Xavi got his second assist of the game and Bounedjah completed his hat-trick with another great goal in the 67th minute.

Bounedjah then won a penalty towards the end of the game, and he let Hamroun take it to complete the victory in style.

After the game, Bounedjah dedicated the victory to the Al Sadd supporters:

“I am delighted with this win and with the hat-trick. The match was difficult but we managed to give our best from the beginning and took a two goal lead early on, using the instructions of the coach.

“In the second half, we decided to close down in defence and depend on our counter-attacks, which helped us score another two goals. This win is dedicated to the Al Sadd fans who helped us greatly in this match.”