Algeria's captain, Riyad Mahrez, emphasizes thorough preparations, good luck, and experience as key factors for success in the Africa Cup of Nations. The former Manchester City star believes that being the best-prepared team, coupled with a bit of luck, can lead to tournament success.
Drawing on Algeria's experience, Mahrez highlights the importance of a strong start, recalling how they won the 2019 tournament after beating Kenya in the opening match. As Algeria heads into the 2024 finals, Mahrez, now playing in the Saudi Pro League, is confident in his team's prospects in Group D, where they are favorites alongside Burkina Faso, Angola, and Mauritania.
Mahrez, a key figure in Algeria's 2019 Cup of Nations triumph, acknowledges the impact of experience and preparation in tournament outcomes. Having experienced both success and disappointment in previous editions, Mahrez understands the significance of a positive start.
The Desert Foxes are top seeds in their group, aiming to secure automatic advancement to the round of 16. Burkina Faso, with a history of strong performances, poses a challenge in the group. Mahrez reflects on the deep sense of belonging he feels to Algeria, with his late father born in the country, and recalls the incredible reception the team received after their 2019 victory.
Algeria's squad for the 2024 tournament includes a mix of 2019 winners and new talent. Mahrez, along with other key players like goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi and midfielder Ismael Bennacer, seeks to replicate the success of 2019. Burkina Faso, known for consistently performing well in recent tournaments, features star defender Edmond Tapsoba from Bayer Leverkusen.
While facing setbacks, such as the lack of game time for forward Bertrand Traore, Burkina Faso remains a formidable opponent. Angola, having regressed in recent years, and Mauritania, seeking improvement from their last performance, complete Group D in the Africa Cup of Nations.