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My World Cup - Nabil Bentaleb

Posted on 13 June 2014  - 10:05

Nabil Bentaleb - at the World Cup with Algeria - tells us about his memories of football's biggest tournament.

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What was the first World Cup you can recall watching?

I watched the last one when Spain when crowned champions but I have a couple of memories from 2006 as well, so that would probably be the first one for me. Italy were the winners and I remember they had a close game with France in the final.

Who were the stars you remember from that tournament?

Zinedine Zidane for me was the main player in 2006. Remember the chip he did from the penalty spot against Italy? How could you do that in the final of a World Cup? There’s not many players who could have pulled that off.

Have you ever been to a World Cup match as a supporter?

Unfortunately not. It’s something I wish for. It must be an amazing experience to go to the biggest stage of them all.

If there was one World Cup game you could have gone to, which one would it be and why?

It would have to be West Germany against Algeria in 1982 when Algeria won. It was the first ever World Cup for Algeria and it would have been amazing to have been around to see them shock everyone and win the game 2-1.

What are the best memories you have of your own country at the World Cup?

To be honest it would have to be in 2010, when Algeria drew with England. Algeria gave England a good test and prevented them from scoring.

What has been the best match you’ve ever seen at the Finals?

I didn’t see it live but I’ve seen the 1998 final between Brazil and France many times on television. There were some incredible players involved in that game. It finished 3-0 to France, Zidane scored two in the final and the other scorer was Emmanuel Petit.

And what has been the best goal?

For me Zidane’s goal against Italy in the 2006 final is up there, even if it was a penalty. It was early in the game and he just stepped up and chipped it in off the crossbar. It wasn’t just a chip though – it was a chip against Gianluigi Buffon in the final of a World Cup. Amazing!

Who do you think will have a big impact at the 2014 World Cup?

I think Uruguay have a good chance this year. Spain and Germany are always strong and I think Belgium will be as well. It’s a good time for Brazil with the tournament being held there – any of those nations could lift the trophy.

Which two teams do you fancy to make it to the final, and who will lift the trophy?

I think Brazil will be there and then it’s a choice between Germany or Spain. If I had to pick one it would be Germany, with Brazil to beat them in the final.