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Association Football is the most popular sport in Algeriamarker.The game is played nationwide (1st division) and at a competitive level in the nine regions and 48 provinces that make up the country. The national associations long-term objective is to introduce semi-professional football by 2005, with professional football following by 2010. Algeria have reached two FIFA World Cup final competitions (1982 and 1986), and have also appeared at the African Cup of Nations on thirteen occasions, triumphing once (1990). The national association can also look back with pride upon two further triumphs, at the football tournament of the Mediterranean Games in 1975 and of the African Games three years later. Rachid Mekhloufi, Mostapha Zitouni, Abdelaziz Bentifour, Kader Firoud, Mustapha Dahleb, Lakhdar Belloumi, Salah Assad and Rabah Madjer were all famous Algerian players. A number of them also became successful coaches following the end of their playing careers. Former French international star Zinedine Zidane is of Algerian descent and holds dual citizenship between the two countries.


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