African Cup of Nations - Factbox: Algeria

Factbox on African Cup of Nations finalists Algeria ahead of this year's tournament in South Africa from January 19 to February 10.

Previous appearances in African Cup of Nations finals: 14

Best performances: Winners in 1990; Runners-up in 1980

FIFA world ranking December 2012: 19

Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic is a former Yugoslavia international who moved to France during his playing days and stayed for a coaching career at OSC Lille, Stade Rennes and Paris St Germain. The 60-year-old coached the Ivory Coast at the 2010 Nations Cup and lost his job after they were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Sven Goran Eriksson took his place for the World Cup in South Africa.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: 1-Azzeddine Doukha (USM Harrach), 23-Rais Mbolhi (Kryla Sovetov Samara), 16-Cedric Si Mohammed (JSM Bejaia)

Defenders: 4-Essaid Belkalem (JS Kabylie), 3-Liassine Cadamuro (Real Sociedad), 21-Faouzi Ghoulam (St Etienne), 5-Rafik Halliche (Academica Coimbra), 12-Carl Medjani (AC Ajaccio), 6-Djamel Mesbah (AC Milan), 2-Mehdi Mostefa (AC Ajaccio), 22-Ali Rial (JS Kabylie)

Midfielders: 11-Hameur Bouazza (Real Santander), 7-Ryad Boudebouz (Sochaux), 10-Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), 17-Adlene Guedioura (Nottingham Forest), 14-Foued Kadir (Olympique Marseille), 8-Medhi Lacen (Getafe), 18-Khaled Lemmouchia (Club Africain), 20-Saad Tedjar (USM Alger)

Forwards: 19-Yacine Bezzaz (CS Constantine), 15-Hilal Soudani (Vitoria Guimaraes), 9-Islam Slimani (Chabab Belouizdad), 13-Mohamed Amine Aoudia (Entente Setif)

Key players:

Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia). Age: 23. Position: Midfielder. Named Algeria's Footballer of the Year for 2012 for his performances at club level in Spain and for Algeria, for whom he debuted in late 2011 after first playing for France at U21 level. An attacking midfielder whose career started at Grenoble.

Foued Kadir (Marseille). Age: 29. Position: Midfielder. Signed by Marseille at the start of the month on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Valenciennes. Was among a wave of French-born players called up by Algeria just before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he played all three games for the north Africans.

Djamel Mesbah (AC Milan). Age: 28. Position: Defender. One of 10 players in the Algerian squad born in the country, although he grew up in France and started his professional career across the border in Switzerland. Joined AC Milan from Lecce last January on a four-year deal but has not been able to command a regular first-team place at the club.

Prospects: Algeria have a sparkling generation of talented individuals but the challenge is moulding them into an effective unit. The side have suffered from inconsistency but are beginning to attain more stability and have resultantly risen up the FIFA standings to become the second-best ranked African country. Few give them a chance, however, of verifying that position in South Africa.