Head coach of the Algerian national team, Djamel Belmadi says the upcoming TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 will be very difficult.
Belmadi was speaking to CAFOnline on his reaction to the Official Draw that was conducted on Thursday in Abidjan where the north Africans were draw into an interesting Group D that consists of Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Angola.
Belmadi, who led his country to lifting the title in the 2019 edition in Egypt said Burkina Faso and the other two nations will not be easy to overcome
What do you think of the draw that sees you in the same group as Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Angola?
What I can read from our group what many I think most coaches think, especially those who have worked a lot in Africa. It is the fact that there are no longer small teams in Africa,. Therefore, we expect that the matches will be complex and difficult, and we must prepare well for the group stage of the competition.
Algeria will face Burkina Faso again, as it happened in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers, what do you think of this tie?
We played Burkina Faso in the last World Cup qualifiers and it will be very difficult team to face.. Burkina Faso is a strong team with great ambitions and they have improved a lot.
It will be a tough but good match that we must be well prepared for.
What are the chances of the team advancing out of the group?
It will be a tough group for everyone but we always experience surprises in the Africa Cup of Nations. Algeria was a victim of a surprise exit from the first round in Cameroon, where we were the defending champions.
So we know that we should not take anything lightly and that every match has to be well prepared for.
What are Algeria’s goals during for the competition?
Every competitor seeks to go as far as possible in such a competition. No one can be sure of what will happen as every team attends and aims to win the title. Football in Africa is at an exceptional level but can be quite difficult.
It can be challenging for teams that have active players in Europe who don’t always play in high humidity. However, we will do our best.
You will compete in the AFCON as a coach for the third time in a row with what do you think gives you the edge with such experience?
I think that all of us, as coaches, teams, and players, have elements that allow us to know what awaits us, we will on each other’s’ strengths and give it our all. The elements and all the experiences we have gained over the past years will certainly come in handy for us but we cannot take anything for granted. We will not leave anything to chance in order to be competitive and aspire to achieve greatness on the continent.