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World Cup 2014 – A spoofer’s guide to … Algeria

by Josh Powell | May 22, 2014

Fun Fact

The only people born in Algeria to have won a Nobel Prize were Albert Camus (Literature 1957) and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (Physics, 1997). Camus played as goalkeeper for the University of Algiers, which may make him the world’s only University Nobel Prize-winning keeper.

Wikipedia Fact

When crossing from Oran, a city in the west of Algeria, to the beach, it is customary to constantly beep your car horn as you go through the tunnel. Not only is it apparently incredibly funny to deafen people in the local community, it is also said to bring good luck. Despite this relentless beeping of horns sending some local people into a mental asylum and causing many more unrecorded breakdowns, it does mean house prices are relatively cheap. Great news if you’re looking for a three-bed detached property with good transport links and a decent sized garden.

National Hero

Theologian and philosopher Augustine of Hippo who is regarded as one of the most important Church Fathers in the West. Algeria is now mostly Islam, but Saint Augustine is still a pretty big name so we’re going to roll with it. Augustine said that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom and he made significant contributions to the theory of ‘Just War’. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, and the alleviation of sore eyes apparently. So if you’re the owner of the Dog and Duck or you think you’ve got a spot of conjunctivitis on the way, Augustine of Hippo is your man.

Football Pedigree

A relatively new footballing nation, with only 50 years or so of history to delve into. Luckily you can sum up that half-century by saying it was pretty uninspiring. They have qualified for three World Cups before, getting knocked out in the Group Stage each time, and have qualified for just one Olympic Games, making the quarter-finals in 1980.

Their only success came in the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations where they won all five of their games, beating Nigeria 1-0 in the final. Since then they have made the semi-finals just once and got no further. Algeria did make an appearance at the 2010 World Cup though and caused Wayne Rooney to have a hissy-fit as they held England to a mind-numbing 0-0 draw. They scraped through to this year’s tournament by being ever so marginally better than footballing giants, Burkina Faso.

Acceptable National Stereotype

Everyone rides camels and owns flea markets. They will tempt you in and haggle down a price for some useless crap you don’t want but you’ll be able to pass it off as a souvenir to a family member you dislike.

Unacceptable National Stereotype

Could be a very rich sheikh or he might just run your local Spar. Either way he’ll have an impressive beard.

Don’t be surprised if…

They struggle to get out of Group H, but inevitably produce a hilarious goalkeeper gaff along the way.

Odds to win World Cup 2014: 2000/1

To bet on Algeria, or rather, a nation that have a chance of winning the World Cup, head over here for all the latest odds:
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