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Africa’s football legends: Algeria’s Rabah Madjer

By Sami Ghorbal
Posted on Monday, 28 June 2010 08:20

The man with a move named after him.

Not

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”.

This

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

Dey.

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.?

On

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.?

Madjer

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

supporters.

This article was first published in The Africa Report’s World Cup 2010 edition in May.

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