When France lifted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, they had as many as 14 players with African heritage in their squad, and now things are the opposite way with Algeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations squad including 14 players, who were not born in Africa.
Click through the gallery to see Algeria’s Afcon winners who were born in Europe.
The Desert Foxes beat Senegal 1-0 in the final to lift their second Afcon trophy since 1990. An early goal by Baghdad Bounedjah was enough to seal the tightly-contested tie, with the Lions of Teranga continuing their wait for the first-ever Afcon crown.
As many as 14 players from Djamel Belmadi’s squad were born in France, in fact, even the coach himself was born in France, too.
Algeria captain and Manchester City superstar was born in Sarcelles, France to an Algerian father and a mother of Algeria and Moroccan descent. Mahrez made his international debut on 31 may 2014 after his late father made sure he regularly visited the African nation while growing up.
Even Afcon Player of the Tournament Ismael Bennacer was born and grew up in France. The 21-year-old, who has a Moroccan father and an Algerian, even represented France at youth level but opted to switch his allegiance at senior level and represented Algeria for the first time in 2016.
Goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi, who was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament, was born in Paris. His father is Congolese and his mother Algerian, but they separated when he was still young and he grew up with his mother. M’Bolhi also initially represented France at youth levels before making his Algeria debut in 2010.
The above-mentioned players are just three of as many as 14 players in Algeria’s Afcon-winning squad, who were born in France, and you see all of them in the gallery above.
Do you think Algeria’s deserved to lift the Afcon title? Have your say in the comments section below.