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Football in Algeria: Wikis

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Association Football is the most popular sport in Algeria.The game is played nationwide (1st division) and at a competitive level in the nine regions and 48 provinces that make up the country. The national associations long-term objective is to introduce semi-professional football by 2005, with professional football following by 2010. Algeria have reached two FIFA World Cup final competitions (1982 and 1986), and have also appeared at the African Cup of Nations on thirteen occasions, triumphing once (1990). The national association can also look back with pride upon two further triumphs, at the football tournament of the Mediterranean Games in 1975 and of the African Games three years later. Rachid Mekhloufi, Mostapha Zitouni, Abdelaziz Bentifour, Kader Firoud, Mustapha Dahleb, Lakhdar Belloumi, Salah Assad and Rabah Madjer were all famous Algerian players. A number of them also became successful coaches following the end of their playing careers. Former French international star Zinedine Zidane is of Algerian descent and holds dual citizenship between the two countries.

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Association Football is the most popular sport in Algeria[citation needed]. The country's domestic league is organised into two national divisions, the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1 and the Algerian Championnat National 2, overseen by the Fédération Algérienne de Football

Algeria's national team played its first international game in 1957 against Tunisia, and saw its period of greatest success in the 1980s. Algeria qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1982 and 1986, and 2010.

During the 1982 tournament, Algeria managed a surprise defeat of West Germany in their first ever World Cup game and thus became the first African team to defeat European opposition at the World Cup, but were eliminated after the so-called "Shame of Gijón".

Due to Algeria's historic ties with France, there have been a number of Algerian players playing professionally in the French leagues, while the French national team has included players of Algerian extraction, most notably Zinedine Zidane.


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