Belmadi hails 'extraordinary, historic' Algeria victory

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi lauded his players and claimed they deserved their Africa Cup of Nations success after a narrow final win.

Baghdad Bounedjah (centre) celebrates after scoring Algeria's opening goal. Photo: AP

Djamel Belmadi revelled in Algeria's "extraordinary, historic" Africa Cup of Nations final victory over Senegal.

Algeria became champion of Africa on foreign soil for the first time — adding to its 1990 success as host — thanks to Baghdad Bounedjah's decisive, deflected second-minute strike.

Belmadi believes his side deserved its triumph but deflected praise onto his players. "It's extraordinary. It's historic," he told beIN Sports. "This is the first Cup of Nations we have won outside our borders.

 

"Since 1990, it has been a long, empty passage. We are a football country. We deserve it, I think. It was a very complicated match, very difficult. We knew that it was going to be decided on a small detail. And the boys held on.

"With the tournament we had, with better attack and better defence, what more? But without the players, I am nothing. We tend to forget that they are the main protagonists. They are the ones who play, who apply the instructions. They did it wonderfully — if not better."

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