6 African Players That Had The Most Impact On World Football

These are 6 African players that played for African national teams and had the most impact on football worldwide of any African player. They did not only have an impact on football in Africa and Europe, but they were talked about right round the world. Some of them (e.g. Roger Milla) were so famous that their fame went beyond the football world. 

1) Rabah Madjer

Rabah Madjer is one of the greatest players to have ever come out of Africa. He was also once one of the players that I hated the most. 


1982 World Cup and one of the worst cases of match fixing ever

Algeria defeated Nigeria in the final qualifying round for Espana ’82. Lakhdar Belloumi and Zidane scored at the National Stadium in Lagos as Algeria won 0-2. Rabah Madjer and Belloumi scored for Algeria in Constantine and Felix Owolabi scored a consolation goal for Nigeria as Algeria qualified for the World Cup for the first time.

Algeria’s first game was against the almighty West Germany, who were former world champions and who paraded stars like Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. The Germans boasted about how they were going to beat Algeria. One of them said that they would dedicate their seventh goal to their wives and the eighth goal to their dogs. 


The Algerians had other ideas. They felt insulted by the comments of the German players. Rabah Madjer scored Algeria’s first ever goal at the World Cup in the 54th minute of the game. Rummenigge equalised in the 67th minute. However, Algeria made a 9 pass move from the restart and Lakhdar Belloumi scored the winner almost immediately. This was Africa’s first victory against a European side at the World Cup.

Rabah Madjer’s goal against Germany at Espana ’82 (Algeria’s first ever goal at the World Cup) and Belloumi’s goal (Algeria scored from the restart after Rummenigge’s equaliser. Not a single German touched the ball).

Algeria lost to Austria 2-0 in their second game and defeated Chile 3-2 in their third game. The third and final round of games featured one of the most disgraceful events in world football. Algeria played against Chile a day before Austria played against Germany. Austria and Germany are both German speaking countries and they are neighbours. They both knew that a one or two goal win for Germany would ensure that they both qualified for the second round at the expense of Algeria. Germany scored in the tenth minute and both sides did not make any attempt on goal after that. Many people believe that both teams had an agreement that Germany would be allowed to score a goal and no attempt at scoring would be made after that. The game has been nicknamed the ”Disgrace of Gijon.

It was because of this disgraceful episode that FIFA mandated that all final group games must be played at the same time.

Rabah Madjer also played for Algeria at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, but they were knocked out in the first round. 


The 1987 European Cup final and the greatest goal ever

Rabah Madjer moved to Europe in 1983. He played for a succession of French clubs before moving to FC Porto in the 1985/86 season.

Madjer became a club hero the next season when he played for FC Porto against Bayern Munich in the 1987 European Cup final (now known as the Champions League final).

Madjer scored in the first round of the competition as Porto hammered Rabat Ajax of Malta 9-0. He scored the only goal that helped Porto defeat Brondby 1-0 in the first leg of the quarter final. Then came the final.


The 1987 European Cup final was played in Vienna, Austria and Bayern Munich took the lead in the 25th minute. Then in the 77th minute, Rabah Madjer pounced on a loose ball in the area and back heeled it into the goal. Pele said, "It would have been the greatest goal I have ever seen, if he had not looked back at it."

Madjer provided the assist and Juary scored in the 80th minute to give Porto the 1987 European Cup. The final was the first European Cup final that Bayern, and their captain Lothar Matthäus would lose to successive late goals, repeated 12 years later in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final against Manchester United.

The 1987 Intercontinental Cup
The victory meant that Porto would represent Europe in the 1987 Intercontinental Cup (aka Toyota Cup). The Intercontinental Cup is the forerunner of the Club World Cup, but it was only contested by the champions of Europe and the champions of South America. Penarol of Uruguay were the champions of South America.

Porto went ahead in the 41st minute, but Penarol equalised in the 80th minute. It was even at full time, so the game went into extra time. Rabah Madjer scored in the 109th minute to make Porto the world champions in club football. Madjer was named man of the match. 


It was only players that were born in Europe that were allowed to compete for the Ballon d'Or in 1987. France Football Magazine, which awarded the Ballon d'Or, had a separate award for African players called the Ballon d'Or Africain and Rabah Madjer won the 1987 edition (he was second in the 1985 edition and third in the 1990 edition).

Rabah Madjer was at Porto from 1985-1991and he won the European Cup, the European Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, 3 Portuguese League titles, the Portuguese Cup and 2 Portuguese Super Cup titles with them.


Why I hated Rabah Madjer

Rabah Madjer loved scoring against Nigeria. He had scored against Nigeria in the qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup and then came the 1990 Nations Cup which was hosted by Algeria.

There was no FIFA rule mandating European clubs to release their players for the tournament, so most European clubs refused to release their players. Nigeria only had two of its Europe based stars and the captain, Stephen Keshi, was unable to make it to the tournament.

Rabah Madjer was Algeria’s captain at the time and Algeria was the host. Nigeria played against Algeria in the first game and we were hammered 5-1. Madjer scored two goals, including a perfectly taken free kick. Emmanuel Okocha (Jay Jay’s elder brother) scored Nigeria’s only goal. Nigeria picked itself up (due in large part to several goals by Yekini) and got to the final of the tournament where we played Algeria again and lost 1-0. Rabah Madjer had captained Algeria to its first Nations Cup victory.


I hated the Algerians at the time because they and their fans were very aggressive and were noted for their gamesmanship.

Why I now like Coach Madjer
Rabah Madjer retired in 1992 and became a youth coach at Porto. He later had spells in which he coached the Algerian National team but he often quarreled with the Algerian FA and resigned.

Africa played a historic match against Europe in 1997 and Madjer was selected as the coach of the African team (Africa won that game).

6 African Players That Had The Most Impact On World Football 6 African Players That Had The Most Impact On World Football Reviewed by limio on January 01, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.