3rd. Djamel Menad (CF)

Djamel Menad started his professional career at the age of 17 with CR Belouizdad in 1977. In his four years with Belouizdad, Menad would win the Algerian cup once in 1978. The summer of 1981 saw Menad making a switch to fellow Algerian club, JS Kabylie. His 6 years with club saw him winning the Algerian Ligue 1 title a total of 4 times (1982, 83, 85 & 86) and the Algerian cup once in 1985/86.

In 1987, Menad made a surprise move to France to feature for 2nd division club, Nimes Olympique. He went on to feature in more than 75 games for the club across three seasons & almost helped them gain promotion into Ligue 1 in the 1989/90 season. After leaving Nimes in 1990, Menad went on to spend another 3 years in Europe, two seasons with FC Famalicao & another one with CFO’s Belenenses.

Following his stint with Belenenses, Menad returned back to Algeria & joined his former club Kabylie. It was with the Canaries that Menad would win his last piece of silverware as a player – The 1994/95 Algerian Ligue 1 title. Menad went on to spend his final year as a player with USM Alger before eventually calling it a day in 1997.

International Career

In an international career which spanned over 13 years, Menad went on to represent Algeria in a total of 5 AFCON Championships, 1 FIFA World Cup & the 1980 Summer Olympics. His crowning moment in a Green’s shirt came during the 1990 AFCON Championships when his 4 goals helped the Algerians to their maiden title. Menad was awarded the Golden Boot for his efforts & was also named to the eventual team of the tournament. He was also named to the 1986 AFCON team of the tournament after helping the Greens to a 3rd place finish. While he has never won the African Footballer of the year accolade he did come close in 1986, finishing 3rd overall.

2nd. Lakhdar Belloumi (CAM)

Belloumi’s famous match-winner against West Germany: –

Belloumi to this day remains the only player to have represented Algeria in 100 or more internationals. In a playing career which spanned over 25 years, Belloumi featured for a total of 8 clubs most which were within Algeria itself. Having started his professional with hometown club, Olympic Sempac de Mascara, Belloumi attained recognition upon moving to GC Mascara for the 1st time in 1977.

In total, Belloumi would spend a total of 13 years at the club albeit in 7 different stints. His most successful period with Mascara came during his 6-year stint between 1981 & 1987. During this period he helped the club win their maiden Algerian Ligue 1 title (1983/84). Even when he eventually called it a day on his playing career it was while he was with Mascara in 1999.

Another club that played a big part in Belloumi’s career were MC Oran, Belloumi would spend a total of 5 seasons with the club as a player in 5 different stints. It was with Oran that Belloumi won his 2nd Algerian Ligue 1 title in 1987/88. He also played a big part in helping Oran reach the finals of the 1989 African Cup of Champions, the club eventually lost the final to Moroccan club Raja Casablanca.

The other clubs that Belloumi featured for doing his playing days includes SKAF Khemis Miliana, MC Alger, Al Arabi SC, USM Bel Abbes & ASM Oran. Of these, his only stint outside Algeria was with Al-Arabi SC in the Qatari League in 1988.

International Career

Fondly remembered to this day for scoring the winner against West Germany during their 1982 World Cup campaign [1]. Lakhdar Belloumi is without a doubt one of the greatest players the continent of Africa has ever produced. In his 11 year career with the Algerian National team, Belloumi represented them in 4 AFCON Championships (1980, 82, 84 & 88), 2 World Cups (1982 & 1986) & the 1980 Summer Olympics. It was Belloumi’s equaliser against Spain that helped them qualify for the quarter-finals, only to be knocked out by Yugoslavia.

Belloumi has also been one of Algeria’s most consistent performers in the AFCON Championships. Twice namely in 1980 & 1984, Belloumi was named in the eventual team of the tournament. He also finished as the joint top scorer in the 1988 edition of the competition. Belloumi has also been awarded the African Footballer of the year on one occasion in 1981 & finished as the 2nd runners-up in 1982.

1st. Rabah Madjer (STR)

What helped Madjer edge past Belloumi into the No.1 slot[2] is the fact that he was able to excel in the European Leagues, most notably his tenure with Porto which saw him winning the UEFA Champions League. Rabah Madjer started his career with hometown club, NA Hussein Dey, making his debut in 1975 at the age of 16. He would remain with his hometown club for a total of 9 seasons till 1983. During his time with the club, he would help them win the Algerian Cup once in 1978/79.

In 1983, Madjer made his first move outside Algeria by joining RCF Paris, a professional club based in France. Madjer excelled in his two years with the club slotting in a total of 23 goals in his 50 appearances for the club. After a short period on loan with Tours FC during the later half of the 1984/85 season, Madjer joined Portuguese club FC Porto for the 1985/86 season. In his 6 years with Porto, Madjer had an impressive tally of 71 goals from 138 games in all competitions.

Career with Porto & final playing days

During his stint with the club, Madjer won the Portuguese Primeira Liga thrice (1985/86, 1987/88 & 1989/90), the Portuguese Cup twice (1987/88 & 1990/91), the UEFA Champions League (1986/87) & the Intercontinental Cup (1987) on one occasion respectively. He greatest moment in a Porto jersey came during the finals of the 1986/87 European Cup, with Porto trailing by goal & only 13 minutes of normal time remaining, Madjer scored an incredible back-heel strike to pull Porto level, he would also go on to set up the winner 2 minutes later.

He went on to repeat the feat in the 1987 Intercontinental Cup, scoring in the 109 minute in extra-time to give them the win. Despite spending a short period on loan with Valencia in 1988, Madjer would remain with Porto until the end of the 1990/91 season. The summer of 1991, saw Madjer making the final move in his career, joining Qatar SC to feature in the Qatar Stars League. He would remain with them for a season before calling it a day on his career in 1992.

International Career

In an international career which lasted over a span of 15 years, Madjer represented Algeria in a total of 86 internationals and scoring a total of 28 goals in them. During his time with the National team, Madjer represented the Greens in 6 AFCON championships (1980, 82, 84, 86, 90 & 92), 2 World Cups (1982 & 1986) & the 1980 Summer Olympics. His most notable contribution for the national side came during the 1990 AFCON Championship as he captained the side to their maiden international title.

Not only did his performance help the Greens to silverware, he was also recognised for his contributions with the player of the tournament award. Another notable moment that Madjer had in a Green’s shirt came during the 1982 World Cup, as it was his goal which helped them take a 1-0 lead against West Germany. Upon retiring from the game, Madjer has had several stints as manager of the national team but failed to replicate the same amount of success he had as a player.

Countdown: Top 10 Algerian Footballers of All-Time 1

External Resources

[1] Theguardian.com, When the world wept for Algeria

[2] Sportsmole.co.uk, Top 10 Algerian Footballers Countdown