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The National Sport of Algeria is Soccer.

Soccer in Algeria is a passion, connecting people from all backgrounds with its rich history and competitive spirit.

To learn more about sports culture in Algeria, read our article about the most popular sports in Algeria.


#1 History of Soccer

  • 1897: The first recorded soccer match in Algeria took place between European settlers.
  • 1921: Formation of the North African Football Confederation with the participation of Algeria.
  • 1962: After gaining independence, Algeria created its own Football Federation (FΓ©dΓ©ration AlgΓ©rienne de Football or FAF).
  • 1963: Launch of the Algerian Championnat National, the country’s top soccer league.
  • 1982: Algeria competes in its first FIFA World Cup, causing a major upset by defeating West Germany, one of the tournament favorites.
  • 1990: Algeria’s national team wins the Africa Cup of Nations, becoming African Champions.
  • 2014: Algeria makes it to the Round of 16 in the FIFA World Cup for the first time in its history.

#2 Culture and Traditions

Soccer plays an important role in Algeria’s cultural identity, connecting people from various ethnic and social backgrounds. It has been a driving force in inspiring a sense of national pride and unity, especially during major international competitions.

Derbies between rival clubs, like the “Algiers Derby” between MC Alger and USM Alger, are the center of the fervent fan culture. These highly-anticipated matches often involve vibrant displays of tribalism and loyalty among the supporters, making for unforgettable atmospheres so characteristic of Algerian soccer.

Additionally, soccer plays a significant role during national and religious celebrations such as the Algerian Independence Day, when friendly matches are organized across the country to commemorate the occasion, bringing people together through their shared love for the sport.

#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment

πŸ“• Rules & Gameplay

  • Match Duration: A standard match consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute break in between.
  • Objective: Each team tries to score by getting the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
  • Players: Each team has 11 players, including one goalkeeper.
  • Offside: A player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal than both the ball and the second last opponent when the ball is played to them.
  • Fouls: Direct and indirect free-kicks and penalty kicks are awarded for infringements of the rules.

βš™οΈ Equipment & Gear

  • Ball: Round and made of leather or another suitable material.
  • Goalposts: Located at each end of the field, they are 7.32 meters wide and 2.44 meters tall.
  • Kits: Teams wear distinguishing kits, with goalkeepers wearing different colors to stand out.
  • Shin Guards: Protection for players from potential tackles or hits.
  • Boots: Specialized shoes designed for the sport’s requirements.

#4 Modern Development of Soccer

Algerian soccer has experienced significant growth in recent years, with the national team reaching new heights in international tournaments. The continued investment in youth talent development and infrastructure has initiated a new wave of enthusiasm around the sport.

Technological advancements, such as VAR and goal-line technology, have not only influenced the sport globally but also paved the way for their gradual implementation in the Algerian Championnat National, improving the quality and fair play within the league.

Moreover, Algerian clubs and national teams have seen an increasing presence of foreign professionals, coaches, and technical staff, bringing diverse perspectives and approaches to the game. This merging of cultures and ideas has contributed to the modern development and evolution of soccer in Algeria.

#5 Soccer and the Olympics

Soccer has been a part of the Olympic Games since the early 1900s, and Algeria made its first Olympic appearance in the sport during the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The Algerian national team has since participated in multiple Olympic soccer events and has used this platform to showcase its talented players on the global stage.

Algeria’s involvement in Olympic soccer has not only contributed to the team’s international recognition but has also helped shape its players’ careers. As they gain worldwide exposure through the Olympics, these athletes have the opportunity to sign with prestigious clubs, furthering their soccer development and promoting Algeria’s soccer talent on a global scale.

#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements

  1. Rabah Madjer: The legendary forward scored the famous backheel goal in the 1987 European Cup final, making his club FC Porto champions, and played a critical role in Algeria’s 1990 Africa Cup of Nations victory.
  2. Lakhdar Belloumi: Often ranked as Algeria’s greatest player of all time, Belloumi was an attacking midfielder who scored the winning goal against West Germany in the 1982 FIFA World Cup and was a vital part of Algeria’s 1980 and 1984 Olympic campaigns.
  3. Riyad Mahrez: A key player in Leicester City’s miraculous 2016 English Premier League title win, Mahrez also helped Manchester City dominate the league after joining them and has been a consistent performer for the Algerian national team.
  4. Yacine Brahimi: Known for his dribbling skills and attacking prowess, Brahimi has played for various European clubs, such as FC Porto and Al-Rayyan, and has been a regular contributor to Algeria’s national team successes.

#7 Where to watch Soccer

  • ENTV and EPTV Sports: Local Algerian channels that broadcast domestic and some international soccer events.
  • beIN Sports: Popular subscription-based TV network with coverage of both Algerian and international soccer leagues, as well as major tournaments like the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League.
  • Live venues in Algeria: For an unforgettable experience watching soccer in person, visit iconic stadiums such as Stade 5 Juillet 1962 (Algiers), Stade du 19 Mai 1956 (Annaba), and Stade Mustapha Tchaker (Blida).

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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