Algeria’s national team head coach Djamel Belmadi made history, becoming the 12th local coach (based in Africa) to win the prestigious African Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy.
Belmadi was born in the French city of Champigny Sur Marne and played for a long time in French clubs.
The 43 year old French born tactician won 20 caps for Algeria between 2000–2004 guided Africa to the 2019 AFCON championship in Egypt, beating Senegal 1-0 at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday night.
He hailed his players for the job well done;
It’s extraordinary. It’s historic. This is the first Cup of Nations we have won outside our borders. Since 1990, it has been a long, empty passage. We are a football country. We deserve it, I think. It was a very complicated match, very difficult. We knew that it was going to be decided on a small detail. And the boys held on.With the tournament we had, with better attack and better defence, what more? But without the players, I am nothing. We tend to forget that they are the main protagonists. They are the ones who play, who apply the instructions. They did it wonderfully – if not better.Djamel Belmadi , Algeria Head Coach
The midfielder featured at Paris Saint Germaine (PSG), Martigues, Marseille, Valenciennes and Cannes in France.
He later ventured in Spain at Celta Vigo, Saudi Arabia clubs Al Ittihad and Al – Kharitiyath.
He had a spell in the United Kingdom with English Premier League club, Southampton.
Over the 32 editions of Africa’s showpiece football tournament, Algeria and Algeria match was the fifth final to have two local (African) coaches on helm of the finalists’ technical staff.
In 1962 hosts Ethiopia coached by legend Yidnekatchew Tessema won their first (and only to date) AFCON title, defeating Egypt 4-2 in the final.
The Pharaohs were then coached by the duet of Mohamed El Guindy and Hanafy Bastan.
Ghana won the 1965 edition, beating hosts Tunisia 3-2.
The Black Stars coach Charles Gyamfi had his second successive AFCON glory then, defeating Tunisian counterpart Mokhtar Ben Nacef.
Another Ghanaian, Fred Ousam-Duodu led the Black stars to the 1978 title at home, defeating Uganda led by local legend Pete Okee 2-0 in the final.
In 1998, Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary became the first man to win AFCON as a player (1959) and coach.
He guided the Pharaohs to their fourth title in Burkina Faso, defeating South Africa, coached by local icon Jomo Sono 2-0 in the final.
Overall, 11 local coaches had won 15 AFCON titles in the previous 31 editions. Ghana’s Gyamfi and Egypt’s Hassan Shehata had each won record three titles, with Nigerian Stephen Keshi being the latest to achieve that in 2013.
African coaches to win AFCON titles:
- Mourad Fahmy (Egypt – 1959)
- Yidnekatchew Tessema (Ethiopia – 1962)
- Charles Gyamfi (Ghana – 1963, 1965 and 1982)
- Adolphe Bibanzoulo (Congo – 1972)
- Fred Osam-Duodu (Ghana – 1978)
- Abdelhamid Kermali (Algeria – 1990)
- Yeo Martial (Cote d’Ivoire – 1992)
- Clive Barker (South Africa – 1996)
- Mahmoud El Gohary (Egypt – 1998)
- Djamel Belmadi (Algeria – 2019)