Boudaoui - The pearl of the Sahara

Hicham boudaoui

He is the only Algerian player selected by head coach Djamel Belmadi to the Total Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019 squad from the local Algerian league. Hichem Bouadoi wasn’t lucky enough to play the first two games against Kenya and Senegal, but he clocked the entire 90 minutes in the final group game against Tanzania.

The young midfielder who turns up for Paradou AC who finished third in the 2019 Algerian championship made a claim for a starting role with his performance against the Tanzanians.

He completed 93.6% of his passes (44 successful including 2 key passes). He also added depth to the Fennecs charge from midfield with his decisive passing.

More so, against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania, Bouadoui won five out of 13 duels in a solid performance especially in the first half.

The native of Béchar has, in any case, been able to celebrate his first selection with the first team in official match with a performance worth noting.

Set to celebrate his 20th birthday in September, Bouadoui is one of the youngest players at the AFCON 2019 and also one of the youngest Algerians to play in the tournament. Before him, Tarek Lazizi (18), Mohamed Rahem and Messaoud Ait Abderahmane (19) were part of The Fennecs squad during the 1990 edition.

The possibility of him earning more minutes in the tournament are however minimal, noting that he has to compete for a starting role with Ismael Bennacer, Mehdi Abeid and Adlene Guedioura. But his quality will come in handy is he is needed as a second half substitute.

And yet he felt grateful to his coach Djamel Belmadi who gave him confidence to be among his teammates in Egypt. "Belmadi revived this team. All the players love him. He is very near to us and never stops giving us his precious advices”, he said.

Boudaoui admitted he feels proud to be part of Les Fennecs team in Egypt, whether he gets more chance of playing or not. “We want to go all the way till we raise the trophy. I’m happy with what my team is doing, whether I’m playing or not is not a problem at all for me”, concluded Boudaoui.