[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“That match is the greatest memory I have of my career. I scored a goal, I set up another and I won a title that will always be with me. I never thought for a moment I would end up playing in a match like that.”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]In 1987, Algerian football legend, Rabah Madjer became the first African player to score in the final of the UEFA Champions League and win the competition which was referred to as the European Champion Clubs Cup at that time, when FC Porto came from behind to beat FC Bayern Munich 2 – 1 at the Prater Stadium in Vienna, Austria.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25333″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]Mustapha Rabah Madjer was born in the district of Hussein Dey in Algiers on December 15, 1958 to poor Muslim parents who were restricted from holding jobs of higher office or getting meaningful education under French rule. With a firsthand experience of the devastating effect of poverty on lives, finding the motivation for a better life was not hard for the naturally gifted lad.
Beginning his football career with the local NA Hussein Dey in 1973, Rabah Madjer quickly gained recognition for his skills and was compared to the legendary Dutch master, Johann Cruyff whom Madjer acknowledges as an inspiration while developing his footballing talent.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25335″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]By the age of 22, Rabah Madjer was an integral of the Algerian national team, the Desert Warriors which got to the final of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations after a 12-year absence, losing to the host team, the Green Eagles of Nigeria 3 – 0.
Two years later, Madjer returned to Lagos with the Desert Warriors and got their pound of flesh in a World Cup qualifier beating Nigeria 2 – 0. A goal aggregate of 4 – 1 was completed with Algeria beating Nigeria in the second leg in Constantine 2 – 1 with Madjer scoring the second to pick the ticket for the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25334″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]At the Mundial, Rabah Madjer entered the history books as the scorer of Algeria’s first World Cup goal as they shocked European champions West Germany 2 – 1. Madjer also played at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. However, the golden moment of his football career occurred on May 27, 1987 during the final of the European Champion Clubs Cup match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Porto.
With the German team ahead by one goal, Rabah Madjer produced a moment of brilliance to level the scores in the 77mins of the game, before providing an assist for the winning goal as FC Porto edged out FC Bayern 2 – 1 to be crowned the 1987 champions of Europe. Later in December, Madjer was awarded man of the match as FC Porto beat CA Peñarol of Uruguay to win the World Club Cup in Tokyo, Japan. He received the Ballon D’Or Africain to cap an excellent year.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25332″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]I’m just pleased to have served my country. That tournament was a first for Algeria and I have wonderful memories of it.
In 1990, Rabah Madjer donned the armband as he skippered the Desert Warriors to its first continental honors when Algeria hosted and won the African Cup of Nations, beating the Green Eagles of Nigeria by a lone goal in the final.
After retiring from playing, Rabah Madjer took up coaching and has had two frustrating stints with the Algerian national team, largely due to his clashes with the FA. He gave up coaching in 2006 and moved in to TV working as a pundit for Al-Jazeera. He is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25336″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]For additional information, please see:
Afro Tourism salutes the legendary and much decorated footballer and one of the best to have emerged from Africa; a European and World champion at club level and African champion with the national team, the Magnificent Mustapha Rabah Madjer!