Former Palace midfielder Adlène Guedioura was among them, looking out incredulously at the sea of faces that crowded the streets of the city. They were champions, welcomed home as conquering heroes – but in the exhausting, nerve-jangling month prior, there were so many times that fate could have cruelly denied them.
“That Africa Cup of Nations tournament was my third,” says Guedioura. The previous two had seen Algeria knocked out in the group stages despite being among the favourites. “At the other ones I was feeling confident.