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Algeria announces 18-man squad for Rio Olympics

Algeria's under-23 team

Algeria’s under-23 team

Algeria’s Olympic coach Pierre-André Schürmann announced today his 18-man squad for this summer’s Rio . The Swiss coach opted for stability, with 12 of the 18 players selected having participated in the 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations last December.

Schürmann will rely largely on a domestic-based side for the Olympics with just three players plying their trade outside of Algeria in the team. The roster is headlined by Al-Sadd SC forward Baghdad Bounedjah, who was recently linked with a move to Egyptian champions Al Ahly. The 24-year old striker, one of three over-aged players in the team, scored one of Algeria’s two goals in a 3-2 loss to Iraq in a friendly yesterday. The other two over-aged players are MC Alger defender Abdelghani Demmou and NA Hussein Dey midfielder Sofiane Bendebka.

Algeria was drawn into a difficult group D for this summer’s showdown, a group which features two-time Olympic champions Argentina, European under-21 finalists Portugal and 2015 CONCACAF runners-up Honduras. This will be the Desert Foxes second participation in the football competition at the Olympics after making their debut in 1980, where they reached the quarter-finals.

Algeria’s 18-man squad for the Olympics:

Abdelkadir Salhi (CR Belouizdad)
Farid Chaâl (MC Alger)

Miloud Rebiaï (ES Sétif)
Ayoub Abdellaoui (USM Alger)
Ryad Keniche (ES Sétif)
Houari Ferhani (JS Kabylie)
Abdelraouf Benguit (USM Alger)
Abdelghani Demmou (MC Alger)

Zakaria Draoui (CR Belouizdad)
Haris Belkebla (Tours FC, France)
Mohamed Benkhemassa (USM Alger)
Rachid Aït Atmane (Sporting Gijon, Spain)
Sofiane Bendebka (NA Hussein Dey)

Zakaria Haddouche (ES Sétif)
Mohamed Benkablia (JS Kabylie)
Abderrahmane Meziane Bentahar (USM Alger)
Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd, Qatar)
Oussama Darfalou (USM Alger)

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