Following the appointment of the legendary Rabah Madjer as new coach of the Algerian national team, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI highlights SIX interesting facts about the 58-year-old, including encounters with Nigeria as both countries get set to meet in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier in November…
HE WAS A MEMBER OF ALGERIA TEAM THAT LOST TO NIGERIA IN 1980 AFCON FINAL
Rabah Madjer made his debut for Algeria in 1978 and went on to make his first appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980 in Nigeria.
Algeria qualified from a group that had Ghana, Morocco and Guinea, beat Egypt 4-2 on penalties in the semi-final and qualified for their first ever final.
In the final, Madjer was brought on in the second half for Tedj Bensaoula but did little as Algeria were thrashed 3-0 by Nigeria.
HE WON THE 1987 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WITH FC PORTO
FC Porto qualified for the final of the UEFA Champions League (known then as European Champions Cup) for the first time in 1987 and met German giants Bayern Munich.
On parade for FC Porto was Madjer who scored a memorable back-heel goal in the 77th minute to make it 1-1 after Ludwig Kogl had given Bayern the lead on 25 minutes.
With 10 minutes left, Juary scored Porto’s second goal which secured their first-ever UEFA Champions League title.
HE WAS VOTED AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR IN 1987
Following his contribution to Porto winning the 1987 UEFA Champions League, Madjer was named 1987 African Footballer of the Year.
Madjer finished ahead of Cote d’Ivoire’s Youssouf Fofana (second) and Cameroon’s Francois Oman-Biyik (third).
He became the second Algerian after former national teammate Lakhdar Belloumi (1981) to win the award.
HE WON 1990 AFCON ON HOME SOIL
At the AFCON 1990 in Algiers, Madjer captained the Algerian team that became African champions for the first time in their history.
In the final against Nigeria, Algeria won 1-0 thanks to Cherif Oudjani in the 38th minute.
Madjer’s two goals at the 1990 AFCON were in the 5-1 demolition of Nigeria in the opening game of the tournament.
HE WAS A MEMBER OF ALGERIA’S SQUAD TO THE 1982 AND 1986 FIFA WORLD CUPS
Algeria qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 1982 held in Spain with Madjer in the squad.
In the play-off round, Algeria eliminated Nigeria 4-1 on aggregate to qualify alongside Cameroon as Africa’s representatives.
And in the surprise 2-1 group stage win against favourite West Germany, Madjer scored Algeria’s first goal, making him the first man to achieve the feat for Algeria at the World Cup.
Madjer was in the Algeria squad to the FIFA 1986 World Cup held in Mexico.
HE COACHED ALGERIA TO THE MALI 2002 AFCON
After his first spell as Algeria coach from 1993 to 1995, Madjer was re-appointed in 2001.
He led the team to the Mali 2002 AFCON where they lost 1-0 to the Super Eagles in their first group game.
They eventually crashed out in the first round after later drawing with Liberia before losing to host Mali.