Rabah Madjer is still regarded as the king of Algerian football 31 years after he became the nation’s only footballer to ever win the most coveted club trophy in world football; the UEFA Champions League.
Referred to as the European Cup back in 1987, Madjer was then playing for Portuguese club FC Porto and helped them to the final, where they were up against Bayern Munich.
Madjer was not even expected to start the in the final. But an injury to key player Fernando Gomes meant that the Algeria international started up front, to the shock and dismay of the Porto supporters who had travelled to Austria.
In front of 57,000 in Vienna, Bayern, who were the overwhelming favourites, took the lead in the first half through Ludwig Kogl.
Porto were trailing until the 77th minute, when Madjer, who now manages the Algerian national team, stunned four Bayern defenders by scoring a sumptuous back-heel to equalise for the Portuguese outfit.
It was an incredible stroke of genius to even have the audacity to attempt and score that sort of goal in a final. It is regarded to this very day as one of the greatest ever goals in a European final.
Madjer was not finished.
Just three minutes later, he was involved again as he crossed for second half substitute Juary, the Brazilian slotting home to win the European Cup for FC Porto.
It was not until 2004 that Porto lifted the trophy again, under Jose Mourinho’s management.
Bayern had knocked out European powerhouses Real Madrid in the semi-final, so they were no pushovers. What Madjer managed to conjure up in that final was nothing less than a world class performance.
And now FC Porto have a new Algerian forward in their ranks. Yacine Brahimi took Porto to the quarter-final of the competitions three years ago, and he will be looking to go even further in this season’s tournament.
Porto face Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League, where Brahimi will be up against fellow Arab winger Mohamed Salah.
Only time will tell who will come out on top.
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