Written by Stephen Byrne
The Fifa World Cup begins in Brazil on 12th June and we will be looking at Rovers’ connections with all participating countries.
Whilst no Algerian player has worn the quartered shirts of Rovers, several players with Algerian connections have faced the Pirates. Jack Beby was Rovers’ first-choice goalkeeper in the 1932-33 season and was coach at Blida, a coastal Algerian town during the late 1940s, though details of his time there have proved elusive.
When Rovers reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for only the third time in the club’s history, they defeated Premier League side Fulham along the way.
When Rovers met Fulham on 6th January 2008, the Algerian striker Hameur Bouazza was in their side. Born in Evry, France in February 1985 and numbering Watford, Swindon Town, Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City amongst his clubs, Bouazza has won eight full caps for Algeria, scoring once.
Sofiane Zaâboub, who was sent off playing for Swindon Town against Rovers in the 2006-07 season, was French-born of Algerian heritage and signed for the Algerian side Entente Sportive de Sétif in January 2011, for whom he played nine times.
Mehdi Kerrouche, who appeared against Rovers with both Oxford United and Swindon town in 2011-12, was born in France and played professionally in France, Belgium and Portugal. In August 2007 he signed for USM Alger and scored once in five top-flight Algerian matches.
The manager of Alger between January and October 2011 was Hervé Renard, the French-born manager of the Cambridge United side which faced Rovers in October 2004.
Amine Lingazi, though Congolese, was born in Algiers in November 1989 and played for Accrington Stanley against Rovers in April 2013. Meanwhile, Parisian-born Hamza Bencherif represented Algeria at Under-21 level before hitting a post in Plymouth Argyle’s colours against Rovers in September 2013.