Brazil legend Pele is of the opinion that African team Algeria can become one of the surprise candidates at the World Cup 2014. Pele will be travelling to Algeria as an ambassador in the next few weeks.
Ahead of this trip, he has been speaking about the possibility of one of the African teams doing well in a major tournament. In the last few years, African teams have come a long way, but none of them have not put a serious challenge for the World Cup up until now. Ghana have reached the quarter-finals of the competition, but apart from that, they have been poor.
Pele says that this could change at the World Cup 2014 since climatic conditions are unlikely to be hugely different from that experienced in Africa. This coupled with a strong qualification makes Algeria is one of the dark horses to do well in this competition. Algeria’s chances of reaching the knockout stages have been boosted significantly by the draw for the group stages. The nation will be up against Belgium, Korea, and Russia in the group stages. Apart from Belgium, everyone is expected to have a fair chance to finish second in the group, which will be enough to see them progress to the knockout stages.
“Football is not an accurate science, it’s a game full of surprises and Algeria’s national team is capable of accomplish one during the World Cup,” said the Brazil legend, who appeared in four world cups during his illustrious career. Algeria’s first match of the tournament will be against Belgium. They’ll have friendly matches against Romania in June as the final preparation for the competition. They came away from the recent friendly match against Slovenia with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Soudani and Taïder. They scored within 10 minutes to give the Africans a comfortable win.