The Arab world’s only hope: Algerian World Cup team arrives in Brazil

Algeria's national soccer team poses before a friendly match against Armenia in Sion May 31, 2014. (Reuters)

The Algerian World Cup squad landed in Campinas in the early hours of Sunday, ahead of their upcoming match against group rival Belgium on Tuesday.

Algeria have been placed in Group H alongside South Korea, Russia, Belgium, Algeria.

Two successive World Cup appearances would have seemed almost impossible a decade ago but Algeria have made a swift return from the doldrums to again take a prominent role in African soccer, Reuters reported.

They now have high hopes of getting past the group stage in Brazil, having set themselves the ambitious target of a place in the knockout round at the fourth attempt.

The 23-man squad, chosen by coach Vahid Halilhodžić, is:

Forwards: Islam Slimani (Sporting Portugal), Hilal Soudani (DinamoZagreb), Nabil Ghilas (FC Porto).

Midfielders: Sofiane Feghouli (Valence), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Medhi Lacen (Getafe), Abdelmoumen Djabou (Club Africain), Yacine Brahimi (Grenade), Hassan Yebda (Udinese), Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)

Defenders: Carl Medjani (Valenciennes), Aissa Mandi (Reims), Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwiya), Faouzi Ghoulam (Naples), Rafik Halliche (Academica Coimbra), Essaid Belkalem (Watford), Liassine Cadamuro (Majorque), Djamel Mesbah (Livourne), Mehdi Mostefa (AC Ajaccio)

Goalkeepers: Mohamed Zemmamouche (USM Alger), Rais Mbolhi (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria), Cedric Si Mohamed (CS Constantine)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43