28 June 2014

Algeria: I Don't Want This Dream to End - Slimani

Photo: Barry Aldworth/Backpagepix
Madjid Bougherra of Algeria celebrates scoring during Africa Cup of Nations 2010.

The explosion of joy on the final whistle in the Arena da Baixada was a tangible display of how much a Round of 16 berth meant to everyone involved with Algeria, as well as the sense of unity in the camp.

"It was unbelievable, simply unbelievable," Slimani said. "The fans have been following us all tournament and they spent the entire match cheering us on. We're a very united squad, which is why this is just reward for a fantastic team. I'm delighted to be part of this national side."

Germany up next

Come the last 16, Algeria will be up against three-time world champions Germany - winners of Group G - on 30 June at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre. "The Germans are playing very well and everyone knows what they're capable of," Slimani said. "We're clearly the underdogs, but we're confident we can put in a great performance. We'll have to be more focused than ever before and play our very best football."

Algeria opened their campaign at Spain 1982 with a 2-1 win over the former West Germany, and the on-form forward sees no reason why the 2014 team can't repeat the feat. "We know all about the win over Germany in 1982, when we had the likes of [Rabah] Madjer, [Salah] Assad and [Lakhdar] Belloumi. We'd love to follow in their footsteps," he said. "If it was possible back then, why shouldn't we dream of doing it again?

"We came to Brazil aiming to get through the group phase. Now that we've done it we can be proud, but we shouldn't be happy to stop here. You always want more and we're hoping to keep this dream going. I don't want anybody to wake me up yet."

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