FC Porto will hope that midfielder Yacine Brahimi can prove as inspiring as the first Algerian to represent the Dragons, 1987 European Cup talisman Rabah Madjer.
FC Porto's €6.5m signing of midfielder Yacine Brahimi from Granada CF is bringing back memories of the first Algerian international to pull on the club's blue-and-white-striped shirt – a man who scored one of the most famous goals in European history.
It was in the 1987 European Champion Clubs' Cup final that Rabah Madjer etched his name into Porto folklore with an audacious back-heeled effort that levelled things up against FC Bayern München in Vienna. Madjer then set up the clincher for Filho Juary with ten minutes remaining, inspiring the Dragons to the first of their two continental titles.
"Every time someone scores a back-heel goal they say it is a 'Madjer goal', like the 'Panenka penalty'," said the Algiers-born striker, who won two league titles, one Portuguese Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and the 1987 European/South American Cup during two spells with Porto.
One of Brahimi's first aims will be to help the Estádio do Dragão club into the UEFA Champions League group stage. Now under the guidance of former Spain Under-21 coach Julen Lopetegui, Porto will enter the competition in the play-offs as a result of a third-place Liga finish last term, their lowest end-of-season position since 2010.
Signed on a five-year contract, the 24-year-old Brahimi will link up with compatriot Nabil Ghilas, who joined Porto 12 months ago from Moreirense FC. A product of the Stade Rennais FC academy, Brahimi enhanced his reputation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scoring in a 4-2 win against South Korea that was instrumental in the Desert Foxes reaching the knockout phase for the first time.
His two seasons with Granada, the first of them on loan from Rennes, yielded three goals. His parting gift to the Andalusian side was a memorable one – the winner in a 1-0 victory against FC Barcelona on 12 April.
"The goal came about from a very quick move," Brahimi said. I saw that there was a player to my left and I then saw [goalkeeper José Manuel] Pinto – I put it to his left and scored." He added that the Camp Nou side were "pretty much the best team in the world"; Brahimi can only hope that he will be making a mark against teams of a similar standard in the UEFA Champions League this season.