Algerian football legend Lakhdar Belloumi spoke with a heartbreak about the absence of his country from the 2022 World Cup, and said in an interview with Al Jazeera Net that the participating Arab teams will benefit from a strong point during their World Cup campaign thanks to playing on the land of Qatar and its fans.

Bloomi believes that Qatar "has honored the Arabs by hosting the World Cup finals and with its international facilities and stadiums," and he expected that the tournament, which begins on November 20, would be an "exceptional and successful version."

One of the most prominent stars of the Algerian national team, who participated in the victory over Germany in the 1982 World Cup, considered that the levels of the Arab teams participating in the World Cup in Qatar are close, and he expressed his loyalty in encouraging the Brazilian team.

Here is the text of the interview:

  •  How does the legend Lakhdar Belloumi see Qatar's preparations for the World Cup finals on its soil?

Qatar's hosting of the World Cup is a great honor for it and the Arabs. Qatar deserves to host this version of the World Cup, and with the harnessing of huge potentials, I expect this year's World Cup to be exceptional and very special.

  • What are the Arab teams that you expect to surprise in the World Cup in Qatar?

The Arab teams participating in the 2022 World Cup have a similar level, whether Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Tunisia, and each team has its history that it talks about, and most of them have experience participating in the World Cup finals.

The Qatar team will have high morale for its players because it is at home and in front of its fans, and this is an opportunity for all the Arab teams participating in the World Cup to achieve positive results, because they will play in front of the Arab masses, and it is a great opportunity for the Arab teams to reach the semi-finals, and why not?!

  • Which teams participating in the 2022 World Cup do you expect to reach the advanced stages or are most likely to win?

I see the strong teams on the world stage are Brazil and Argentina, in terms of performance, player names, experience and history.

However, I hope that an Arab or African team will reach the semi-finals of the cup.

  • What is your favorite team in this World Cup?

Brazil, of course, I love and always prefer this team, and history speaks for itself.

  • How do you see the absence of the Algerian national team from the World Cup in Qatar?

We did not expect this absence, even the players and coach of the national team did not expect the exclusion, they had great confidence in qualifying, but this is football, we won in Cameroon and lost in Algeria.

  • What is the reason for this absence and who bears the responsibility?

We cannot be held responsible for the players or the coach. The one responsible for the exclusion was a big campaign against Algeria. There are Africans who were behind this campaign against us to keep the team away from the World Cup in Qatar, frankly.

The one responsible for the exclusion of the "desert warriors" from outside Algeria, and in fact what happened was a campaign to exclude our team so that it does not participate in the next World Cup. The campaign was very clear, and God alone knows who these parties are. They agreed to exclude our team from the World Cup in Qatar.

  • Do you expect coach Djamel Belmadi to succeed in his new career with the national team after the disappointment of the World Cup?

The exclusion from the World Cup in itself is a very important point for the coach, and what must be emphasized is that Belmadi achieved a great journey in the qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar, and put his confidence in the players, but unfortunately they did not appear at the required level.

Belmadi took a lesson from this journey, and he won a special edition of the African Cup finals in Egypt in 2019, contrary to our expectations during that period.

I see that he will benefit from the previous experience, and we look forward to a bright future for the Algerian national team.

  • You were among the creators of the Gijon epic in the 1982 World Cup... Could you tell us about it and the scenes of that historic match?

We went to the 1982 World Cup in Spain in order to raise the Algerian national flag. We did not participate for personal goals. Honoring Algeria and raising its flag is our ultimate goal.

We never thought that Germany, Austria and Chile were stronger than our team.

With regard to the match with Germany, our preparation was good, even the Algerian officials and authorities at the time supported the team and its supporters. The Germans spoke a lot before the match and mocked our team and said that they would score many goals and others, but that increased our morale, and thank God we won them.

Although we were eliminated from the first round, we scored a historic achievement, and caused a change in the rules of FIFA, after the incident of the Germany-Austria match (arranging the result of the match to prevent Algeria from qualifying).

Belloumi in the Algerian national team match with Brazil in the 1986 World Cup (French)

  • Your son, "Mohamed Al-Bashir", who plays in the Portuguese club "Farnese"... What are your expectations for his football future?

    Will he become a legend like you?

I hope that God will pay his mistake, and honor the name of his family that honored Algeria and all the Arabs, God willing, his future will be prosperous, and I will not interfere in his career, and he has the right to make his football future as he wants.

  • Are you likely to be called up to play with the first team?

Mohamed El Bashir originally played for the youth team, and also with the local team led by coach Majid Bougherra.

He was not thinking of playing professionally outside Algeria, but the problems in the local teams forced him to choose to play in a team outside Algeria.

He told me: My father, you did not play outside Algeria, but I will go professionally to a foreign team.

Praise be to God, he is now in a distinguished football school, and, God willing, his future will be successful.