Sheffield Wednesday: Ex-Owls ace’s World Cup task

Madjid Bougherra on the day he signed for the Owls
Madjid Bougherra on the day he signed for the Owls

It could have been a quiz question.

Which former Wednesday star heads into this summer’s World Cup finals rated as his country’s best player and scored the goal that put them there?

It is Madjid Bougherra, who will add some Hillsborough interest to Algeria’s fortunes when they combat Belgium, Russia and South Korea in Group H.

Bougherra’s goal gave his country a 1-0 win in a World Cup play-off against Burkina Faso to level the aggregate score at 3-3 and they went through to Brazil on away goals.

The centre half, now 31, has just left Qatari club Lekhwiya and attracted interest from clubs in Qatar and Britain. His career took off after his £250,000 move to Wednesday from French club Gueugnon in 2006. Only eight months later Wednesday sold him to Charlton for £2.5m.

The Owls judged it an unrefusable deal as Mark Beevers and Richard Wood were emerging alongside the experience of Lee Bullen and Graham Coughlan. Bougherra could be exciting on the ball but there were also question marks about his defending.

He made a successful £2.5m move to Rangers in 2008 and went to Lekhwiya in 2011 for £1.7m.

He and Algeria face a huge task in Brazil, with the country expected to struggle; they scraped through qualifying and gave a poor showing in the African Nations Cup.