When Algeria took the African Cup of Nations in 2022, the team felt it was within reach to set a new international football record for the event.
But according to official FIFA statistics, this may not necessarily be the case.
The longest series of national teams without defeat currently lasts 37 matches, recently set by the Italian team, which went from three years without loss in the years 2018 to 2021. Based on its numbers, the Algerian federation claims that its series without defeat is 35 matches after a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone, just three since the new record was set, as it continues its participation in AFCON.
MORE: Updated schedule and results of AFCON 2022
Not so fast. When FIFA contacted Sporting News before the start of Algeria’s AFCON 2022, FIFA confirmed that Algeria was in 24 matches (now 25 matches after the opening draw of AFCON vs. Sierra Leone). what’s in the game? There seems to be a discrepancy around the 3-0 loss to Morocco on October 19, 2019, which the Algerian Federation does not take into account in its series calculations. Except that FIFA has not yet decided to close its eyes before that.
Series Algeria without defeat: 25 or 35 matches?
The October 2019 defeat with Morocco is the only stain attributed to Algeria in more than three years of action since the 1-0 defeat to Benin in the AFCON qualification in October 2018. However, the Algerian Federation does not count as a senior first team record.
This is because the defeat in Morocco came in a competition called the African Nations Cup – popularly known as CHAN, not to be confused with the African Cup of Nations – and CHAN is a tournament that is limited exclusively to players who run their business at home. leagues of each participating country (eg Algerian players who play in the Algerian league). In fact, Fennec Foxes also throws a 0-0 result from the first match of this series against Morocco for the same reason: it did not feature the entire Algerian team, including players from abroad.
Similarly, Algeria does not count the six matches played in the recently concluded December FIFA Arab Cup 2021, because it sent a secondary team to this tournament – top clubs from all over the world did not have to release players to the event. Algeria still won the Arab Cup and did not lose the match (4W-0L-2D). And although these six matches would help consolidate his undefeated series, Algeria will not include them because it did not feature its first team. Fennec Foxes didn’t even send his regular head coach Djamel Belmadi to lead the team.
However, FIFA confirmed to Sporting News that its number is different and pointed to a loss against Morocco. FIFA does not reject CHAN or FIFA Arab Cup results, especially since it was a FIFA tournament.
The table below of Algeria’s matches illustrates how the two organizations do not fully agree in number (asterisks indicate matches at the center of discrepancies):
(number of FIFA)
|October 16, 2018||in Benin||0-1 (lost)||AFCON qualifier||0||0|
|November 18, 2018||in Togo||4-1 (win)||AFCON qualifier||1||1|
|December 27, 2018||in Qatar||1-0 (win)||Friendly||2||2|
|March 22, 2019||vs. Gambia||1-1 (draw)||AFCON qualifier||3||3|
|March 26, 2019||vs. Tunisia||1-0 (win)||Friendly||4||4|
|June 11, 2019||vs. Burundi||1-1 (draw)||Friendly||5||5|
|June 16, 2019||vs. Mali||3-2 (win)||Friendly||6||6|
|June 23, 2019||vs. Kenya||2-0 (win)||AFCON 2019||7||7|
|June 27, 2019||vs. Senegal||1-0 (win)||AFCON 2019||8||8|
|July 1, 2019||vs. Tanzania||3-0 (win)||AFCON 2019||9||9|
|July 7, 2019||vs. Guinea||3-0 (win)||AFCON 2019||10||10|
|July 11, 2019||vs. Ivory Coast||1-1 (draw)||AFCON 2019||11||11|
|July 14, 2019||vs. Nigeria||2-1 (win)||AFCON 2019||12||12|
|July 19, 2019||vs. Senegal||1-0 (win)||AFCON 2019||13||13|
|September 9, 2019||vs. Benin||1-0 (win)||Friendly||14||14|
|September 21, 2019||vs. Morocco||0-0 (draw)||CHAN qualification||14 *||15|
|October 10, 2019||vs. DR Congo||1-1 (draw)||Friendly||15||16|
|October 15, 2019||vs. Colombia||3-0 (win)||Friendly||16||17|
|October 19, 2019||in Morocco||0-3 (lost)||CHAN qualifier||16 *||0|
|November 14, 2019||vs. Zambia||5-0 (win)||AFCON qualifier||17||1|
|November 18, 2019||in Botswana||1-0 (win)||AFCON qualifier||18||2|
|October 9, 2020||vs. Nigeria||1-0 (win)||Friendly||19||3|
|October 13, 2020||vs. Mexico||2-2 (draw)||Friendly||20||4|
|November 12, 2020||vs. Zimbabwe||3-1 (win)||AFCON qualifier||21||5|
|November 16, 2020||in Zimbabwe||2-2 (draw)||AFCON qualifier||22||6|
|March 25, 2021||in Zambia||3-3 (draw)||AFCON qualifier||23||7|
|March 29, 2021||vs. Botswana||5-0 (win)||AFCON qualifier||24||8|
|June 3, 2021||vs. Mauritania||4-1 (win)||Friendly||25||9|
|June 6, 2021||vs. Mali||1-0 (win)||Friendly||26||10|
|June 11, 2021||in Tunisia||2-0 (win)||Friendly||27||11|
|June 17, 2021||vs. Liberia||5-1 (win)||Friendly||27 *||11 *|
|September 2, 2021||vs. Djibouti||8-0 (win)||World Cup Qual.||28||12|
|September 7, 2021||in Burkina Faso||1-1 (draw)||World Cup Qual.||29||13|
|October 8, 2021||vs. Niger||6-1 (win)||World Cup Qual.||30||14|
|October 12, 2021||in Niger||4-0 (win)||World Cup Qual.||31||15|
|November 12, 2021||in Djibouti||4-0 (win)||World Cup Qual.||32||16|
|November 16, 2021||vs. Burkina Faso||2-2 (draw)||World Cup Qual.||33||17|
|December 1, 2021||vs. Sudan||4-0 (win)||Arab Cup 2021||33 *||18|
|December 4, 2021||vs. Lebanon||2-0 (win)||Arab Cup 2021||33 *||19|
|December 7, 2021||vs. Egypt||1-1 (draw)||Arab Cup 2021||33 *||20|
|December 11, 2021||vs. Morocco||2-2 (draw)||Arab Cup 2021||33 *||21|
|December 15, 2021||vs. Catarrh||2-1 (win)||Arab Cup 2021||33 *||22|
|December 18, 2021||vs. Tunisia||2-0 (win)||Arab Cup 2021||33 *||23|
|January 5, 2022||vs. Ghana||3-0 (win)||Friendly||34||24|
|January 11, 2022||vs. Sierra Leone||0-0 (draw)||AFCON 2022||35||25|
The only match that FIFA and Algeria have agreed to exclude is the friendly match against Liberia in June 2021, which, like the FIFA Arab Cup and matches against Morocco, was a secondary team of players and an assistant coach serving as head coach.
This is what the Algerian Federation calls its A ‘team different from its A team (without the apostrophe). Both teams have different sections on the official website, which is a sign that the federation treats them as two different teams.
Algeria was drawn in the AFCON 2022 group with Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea and, based on Algerian figures, would theoretically need only two more positive results to break the Italian record. A draw or victory in the 16th round could lead them to break the record.
Argentine eyes record an unbeaten record
Argentina is also on its own defeat-free series, which includes Lionel Messi’s first major international trophy at Copa America in 2021. Lionel Scaloni’s charges are currently in 27 games and count without tasting the defeat.
Without adding more matches, Argentina has four more South American World Cup qualifiers ahead of it, allowing it to set its own record in the series of invincibility (31) in national team history if it can maintain a flawless record despite a match against. Ecuador March 29. He will need several more matches to catch Italy.
Argentina has already qualified for the 2022 World Cup, with four matches to go. (The Brazil vs. Argentina qualifying match was suspended after 10 minutes by the local health authorities and was not translated.)
The longest series without defeat in international football
So Italy is still at the top of this list, but it is possible that it will be overtaken by Argentina and eventually Algeria. It is remarkable that the three nations are achieving these extended stretches of success at virtually the same time. History has shown that this is not a common phenomenon.
MORE: When will Lionel Messi return from COVID-19?
The list of the longest series without defeat in global football includes some of the world’s largest football countries, including the European and South American powers.
According to the own estimate of the AFCON 2019 champion, Algeria has infiltrated this elite company, although it remains to be seen whether the world authorities will perceive it the same way.
|The lane began||The series is over||Terminated By|
|Italy||37 (30-0-7)||October 10, 2018||October 6, 2021||Spain|
|Algeria||35 (26-0-9)||November 18, 2018||–||–|
|Spain||35 (32-0-3)||February 7, 2007||June 24, 2009||United States|
|Brazil||35 (28-0-7)||December 16, 1993||January 21, 1996||Mexico|
|Argentina||31 (21-0-10)||February 20, 1991||August 15, 1993||Colombia|
|France||30 (22-0-8)||February 16, 1994||June 26, 1996||Czech Republic|
|Italy||30 (24-0-6)||November 24, 1935||November 12, 1939||Switzerland|
|Argentina||27 (18-0-9)||July 2, 2019||–||–|
The question of which matches count and which do not arises for other teams.
The Italian record series in the 1930s, which lasted over 50 years, dropped the match they lost to Austria 2-0 before it was abandoned due to problems with the crowd.
What is controversial about the Brazilian run (1993-96) is that many claim that losing to Mexico in the series should not have been expected because it came in the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup final with what was practically a Brazilian under-23 team. preparing for the match. Olympics.
By eliminating the three wins and one losses that Brazil suffered in this Golden Cup in 1996, Brazil would have achieved 40 games without defeat before the next loss by its full strength. But because FIFA officially included these Gold Cup matches in the FIFA rankings, the loss to Mexico could not be thrown away.
The case of Brazil has failed. We will see if Algeria convinces record holders this time.