World Cup: Algeria
The Algerian national team poses before a World Cup qualifying match at home against Rwanda in 2009.
Men's ranking: 27
Overall World Cup record: 2-3-1
Coach: Rabah Saadane
Best performance: First round, 1982, 1986
Overview: The Desert Foxes could become the Dessert Foxes if they are gobbled up by their three first-round opponents, which is entirely possible. Defender Anthar Yahia earned Algeria its place in this Cup with a memorable playoff goal against Egypt, but fellow defender Madjid Bougherra of Glasgow Rangers is better known. Midfield playmaker Karim Ziani has just been released by German champion VfL Wolfsburg, which won't help his confidence. Saadane has his work cut out, but France's Zinedine Zidane has offered to help. -- Grahame L. Jones