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6 Algerian footballers who starred in Europe

Ali Khaled looks a the careers of six of the best Algerians to have made an impact in Europe.

Rabah Madjer

The gold standard of Algerian, African and Arab careers in Europe. Came to the world’s attention after scoring in Algeria’s fabled 2-1 win over West Germany at the 1982 World Cup. A short spell at Racing Paris was followed by six years at Porto, where he enjoyed his finest playing days. Famously scored a backheel in the 2-1 win over Bayern Munich at the 1987 European Cup final and months later scored the winner against Uruguay’s Penarol in the Intercontinental Cup.

Few Arab or African players have come close to matching his landmarks since.



Salah Assad

Often overlooked in favour of international teammates Madjer and Lakhdar Belloumi (the match winner against West Germany), Assad, it should not be forgotten, was one of Algeria’s stars of the 1982, scoring twice in the 3-2 win over against Chile. His World Cup heroics earned him moves to Mulhouse and PSG in France before returning home to his first club RC Kouba after the 1986 World Cup.


Ali Benarbia

The native of Oron, Algeria started his career at French club Martigues, and went on to win a French league title with Monaco, where he was also named Player of the Year. His excellent form earned him a move to Bordeaux, and a year later, to Paris St Germaine, where he spent two seasons. Became a huge fan favourite at Manchester City in the decade before they became one of the Premier League’s leading teams, captaining the team and winning the club’s player of the season award.


Madjid Bougherra

Before splitting six seasons between Qatar’s Lekhwiya and the UAE’s Fujairah, Bougherra had spent over a decade playing in Europe. Having stated at FC Gueugnon in France, he spent a season each at Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic. But it was in his three years at Rangers that he excelled, winning the League and Scottish in his first season at Ibrox. Went on to retain the title twice, with two League Cup winners’ medals thrown in as well.


Riyad Mahrez

One of Europe’s most sought after players since pulling off the miracle of winning the English Premier League with Leicester in 2016. Few Premier League fans had heard of him prior to his move from Le Havre in 2014, but despite failing to make a move to Manchester City on deadline day of the 2017-18 winter transfer window, he is still expected to be courted by some of the continent’s top clubs in the summer.


Faouzi Ghoulam

Since joining Napoli from St Etienne in the summer of 2014, Ghoulam has become one of the most sought after left-backs in Europe, with Liverpool among several Premier League teams keeping tabs on the Algerian rightback. Has become an integral part of Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli team that is aiming to bring the Serie A title back to the Stadio San Paolo for the first time since Diego Maradona lead them to glory in 1990.






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