Africa’s football legends: Algeria’s Rabah Madjer
The man with a move named after him.
many players can lay claim to having a sweet technical move named after
them. In Vienna, in the booming Prater stadium on 28 May 1987 at the
final of the European Cup, FC Porto played as the rank outsider against
a dominant Bayern Munich. Rabah won the match single-handedly. The
decisive moments were one great assist and then, most importantly, the
majestic goal that went straight into the history books, a decisive
backheel winning the match 2-1 for the Portuguese. The move went around
the world becoming an instant classic: “the Madjer”.
magical moment was the apotheosis of a rich career that began at the
end of the 1970s at Nasr Athlétique, a team then coached by Hussein
The agile winger, who
was born in Algiers in 1958, went on to win pretty much everything at
club and international level. European appreciation arrived a little
late, perhaps because of a stint between 1984 and 1986 at Racing Club
de Paris, the low point of his career.?
the international front, he appeared at the 1982 and 1986 World Cup
finals. He was a star of Lakhdar Belloumi’s Desert Foxes, scoring a
memorable goal against West Germany in Algeria’s 2-1 victory in 1982.
But the achievement was for nought as Algeria were later eliminated in
a match suspected to have been fixed by Austria and Germany.?
ended his playing career at Porto in 1991, a year after he led Algeria
to victory at the 1990 African Cup of Nations with the captain’s
armband around his arm, on his home soil and in front of his home