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Bougherra: Algeria inspired by 1982

Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Madjid Bougherra has told L'Equipe that Algeria's shock victory over Germany at the 1982 World Cup must inspire the current squad to emulate that feat in Brazil.

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Bougherra, 31, was not even born when an Algeria side led by Ali Ferghani defeated a West Germany team packed with household names in Gijon during their group stage encounter.

The loss left the eventual runners-up struggling to reach the knockout stages, and only their infamous match against neighbours Austria enabled them to make progress at Algeria's expense.

The two teams meet again in Porto Alegre where Joachim Low's men will start as overwhelming favourites to progress to the quarterfinals. However, after surprising many by emerging from the group stage thanks to last Thursday's 1-1 draw with Russia, Algeria will hope to progress again by matching the feat of their predecessors.

"They're the team that always came up during family discussions. When we were young, we were told about the victory over Germany, and then the arranged game with the Austrians," Bougherra explained.

"It was 20 years after independence, which meant a lot. Germany were a top team at the time, and we managed to beat them. We grew up with that. That has to give us a lot of ideas for today.

"Everyone has Germany as favourites, but we know what to expect. For us, it's a bonus. We go out there with no pressure. As the coach told us: 'Enjoy yourselves'."

After missing out on the Russia game due to a calf problem, Bougherra is expected to be restored to the starting lineup by coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

Since taking over in July 2011, the former Paris Saint-Germain boss, 61, has changed the face of his squad, drafting in previously unknown players such as Islam Slimani who have since proven their worth, and has succeeded in taking the nation into the World Cup knockout stages for the first time.

"From the first training session, I said to myself, 'He takes things seriously. He knows exactly what he wants'," Bougherra said. "He demands a lot of discipline. When you get to know him, he's a nice guy."

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