Currently ranked 75th by the Coca Cola World Ranking, Algeria is one of the better teams of Africa. The french brought football to Algeria in the late 1900s, and by the 1930s several Muslim Algerian clubs had been formed. The earliest was Mouloudia Challia (1920), and they won the African Champions Cup in 1976 at their first attempt.
Algeria gained independence in 1962, and since then the national side has improved considerably. In 1980 they reached the final of the African Nations Cup, where they lost 3-0 to host Nigeria, and two years later qualified for the World Cup finals in Spain. At the 1982 finals the Algerians pulled off one of the biggest World Cup shocks when they beat West Germany 2-1, and had it not been for contrived result between the Germans and Austria, Algerians would have reached the second round. Rabah Madjer and Lahudar Belloumi were the goalscorers against West Germany and they remain Algeria's greatest players. Madjer won the European Cup-winners' Cup medal with FC Porto in 1987, when he was also voted African Footballer of the year.
Algeria was semi-finalists in the African Nations Cup in 1984 and 1988, and in between qualified for the 1986 World Cup finals. Then, in 1990 they won the African Nations Cup finals, but were expelled for fielding an ineligible player in qualifying game.
Algerian clubs have done well in African competitions, with MC Algiers (1976), J.S Kabylie (1981, and 1990) and ES Setif (1988), all winning the African Champions Cup.
Following are the most recend results of the Algerian National team during the 2002 qualifying round of the World Cup:
Algeria 1 - Senegal 1
Morocco 2 - Algeria 1
Algeria 1 - Namibia 0
Egypt 5 - Algeria 2
Senegal 3 - Agleria 0
Algeria 1 - Morocco 2
Algeria 4 - Nimibia 0
Algeria 1 - Egypt 1