Premier League rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are among the candidates to win the Best FIFA Men's Coach award, while Jill Ellis heads up the Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees after she led the United States to World Cup glory.

Guardiola guided Manchester City to the Premier League, EFL Cup and FA Cup in a glittering 2018-19 campaign that saw Klopp's Liverpool push them all the way for domestic glory.

The Reds won the Champions League for the first time in 14 years, beating Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham in the final, and the Spurs boss is also in the running for the FIFA award.

There is no place on the shortlist for Massimiliano Allegri despite the former Juventus coach having clinched his fifth consecutive Scudetto with the Bianconeri, and his successor Maurizio Sarri missed out even though he won the Europa League, reached the EFL Cup final and secured a Champions League spot with Chelsea.

Ellis, meanwhile, is up against Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman whose side the USA beat in the World Cup final. The coaches of both semi-finalists, England's Phil Neville and Sweden's Peter Gerhardsson, are also on the shortlist.

Italy's Milena Bertolini is also in contention along with Lyon's Reynald Pedros, Japan Under-20s' Futoshi Ikeda, and Arsenal's Joe Montemurro.

The Best FIFA Men's Coach nominees:

Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Didier Deschamps (France)
Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate)
Ricardo Gareca (Peru)
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
Fernando Santos (Portugal)
Erik ten Hag (Ajax)
Tite (Brazil)

The Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees:

Milena Bertolini (Italy)
Jill Ellis (USA)
Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden)
Futoshi Ikeda (Japan U-20)
Antonia Is (Spain U-17)
Joe Montemurro (Arsenal)
Phil Neville (England)
Reynald Pedros (Lyon)
Paul Riley (North Carolina Courage)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

Djamel Belmadi revelled in Algeria's "extraordinary, historic" Africa Cup of Nations final victory over Senegal.

Algeria became champions of Africa on foreign soil for the first time - adding to their 1990 success as hosts - thanks to Baghdad Bounedjah's decisive, deflected second-minute strike.

Belmadi believes his side deserved their triumph but deflected praise onto his players.

"It's extraordinary. It's historic," he told beIN Sports. "This is the first Cup of Nations we have won outside our borders.

"Since 1990, it has been a long, empty passage. We are a football country. We deserve it, I think.

"It was a very complicated match, very difficult. We knew that it was going to be decided on a small detail. And the boys held on.

"With the tournament we had, with better attack and better defence, what more? But without the players, I am nothing.

"We tend to forget that they are the main protagonists. They are the ones who play, who apply the instructions. They did it wonderfully - if not better."

Old friends Aliou Cisse and Djamel Belmadi go up against each other for a shot at history as the two coaches take centre stage ahead of Friday's Africa Cup of Nations final.

There is little doubt Cisse's Senegal and Belmadi's Algeria have been the two standout sides at the 2019 AFCON, suffering just one defeat combined.

That single loss came in the group phase when Algeria defeated the Teranga Lions 1-0, with Senegal now having the opportunity for revenge.

But do not expect vengeance borne out of animosity to be on the mind of Cisse, as he and Belmadi know each other well having been former Ligue 1 adversaries.

The two coaches grew up in the same Paris suburb, Champigny-sur-Marne, while Senegal-born Cisse is just a day older than his counterpart.

Having had numerous tussles in their youth, in domestic French football and also at the AFCON as players, the two now do battle again with historic achievements on the line; Senegal hope to win the tournament for the first time, while Algeria have never lifted the trophy without being hosts.

"I haven't spoken to Aliou," Belmadi told reporters on Thursday. "It's not the time to talk right now, but we will talk after the game. Before the game also, there will be no problem.

"It's extraordinarily ironic that the two kids who grew up together in Champigny-Sur-Marne are now facing each other in the final. We should check if anything like that ever happened in the past.

"We used to play together as young boys in Paris. We grew up in the same city.

"It's amazing that we are now the head coaches for our national teams. Fate brought us to this final. It has a special taste."

Cisse remained entirely fixed on the task at hand, however, and is convinced the early defeat to Algeria has served a purpose by allowing Senegal to learn more about themselves.

"The second group match was a misstep on our part and this defeat allowed us to regroup, to be even stronger," Cisse said.

"Friday is a final, it's a special match, but it's not a question of holding a speech like going to war. We stay in football. We are very calm and focused."

Senegal will be without the suspended Kalidou Koulibaly, though Cisse insists he has a plan to cope without the Napoli star.

"Kalidou is one of the best in his position in the world, but we have the solution to replace him. We are ready," Cisse added.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Senegal – Cheikhou Kouyate

With key man Koulibaly absent, extra responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Kouyate. The experienced midfielder, who has featured as a centre-back at the AFCON, will likely be the senior figure in a defence that needs to stay alert – Algeria's forward options have been lively and potent throughout the tournament.

Algeria – Riyad Mahrez

While he has not necessarily lit the tournament up consistently, Mahrez's glorious late free-kick secured Algeria's spot in the final. It was his third goal of the competition, proving that even when he is not at his very best, he can still be an inspirational figure.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Algeria are unbeaten against Senegal in four AFCON encounters (winning three, drawing one). Moreover, the Teranga Lions are the team the Fennec Foxes have faced most without losing to in the AFCON.
- Senegal will play their second AFCON final, after 2002 (defeat to Cameroon). The Senegalese have won their last four games, their longest winning streak in the competition.
- Algeria will play their third AFCON final after 1980 (a 3-0 defeat to Nigeria) and 1990 (a 1-0 win, also against the Super Eagles). They have conceded two goals in the 2019 AFCON, only in 1984 have they conceded fewer in a single edition, whey they finished third, letting in one goal.
- Senegal forward Sadio Mane is the player who has attempted (34) and completed (20) the most dribbles.
- Nine Algeria players have been involved in at least one goal (excluding own goals) during the 2019 AFCON: Youcef Atal, Youcef Belaili, Ismael Bennacer, Ramy Bensebaini, Baghdad Bounedjah, Sofiane Feghouli, Riyad Mahrez, Adam Ounas and Islam Slimani. That is more than any other team.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi recognises his team are just two steps from "history" ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final with Nigeria, but reminded his players it will take their very best to lift the trophy.

The Fennec Foxes have been the standout side in the tournament, avoiding a single defeat in their five matches and conceding just once, that goal coming in the 1-1 quarter-final draw with Ivory Coast that they went on to win 4-3 on penalties.

Sunday's clash with Nigeria will be only Algeria's second semi-final since winning the competition as hosts in 1990, when they last contested the final.

While most coaches would look to deflect talk of such historic achievements and demand absolute focus, Belmadi reminisced about the 1990 victory and believes success this time around would be even more impressive as they are not playing on home soil.

"The one that we won was in 1990, a long time ago when it was at home. We've never won since. This is away from home, it's more difficult, of course," Belmadi told reporters.

"This is our target, we want to write our history and the players want to write their history as well.

"It's not far — two more steps, but two very difficult steps to this great achievement. We will try our best."

Nigeria have, for the most part, enjoyed a solid tournament as well, with their only hiccup coming in a surprise 2-0 defeat to minnows Madagascar in the final group match.

Since then the Super Eagles have seen off defending champions Cameroon and South Africa, the conquerors of Egypt - the hosts and one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Nigeria beat Algeria 3-1 and also drew 1-1 with them in World Cup qualifying, but coach Gernot Rohr is adamant the Fennec Foxes are in much better shape now under Belmadi.

"He's done a very professional job," Rohr said of Belmadi in his pre-match news conference on Saturday. "They were shaky at the time. We beat them 3-1 and they made lots of individual errors and defensive mistakes that made it easier for us to win. They were also fragile in the draw.

"Now I see a solid Algeria side with a good balance between attack and defence. They're still physical, but they have come on since and it will be a much harder match than in World Cup qualifying."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Algeria – Youcef Belaili

One of Algeria's form players at the AFCON, Belaili was particularly lively in the quarter-final against Ivory Coast. The attacker created five goal-scoring opportunities, more than anyone else on the pitch and has already proven himself to be decisive, having netted twice in the tournament.

Nigeria – Samuel Chukwueze

His goal in the 2-1 win over South Africa in the last round made 20-year-old Chukwueze the youngest goalscorer at the tournament. Possessing a dazzling combination of blistering pace and fine dribbling, the Villarreal star is an explosive talent and will surely be key if the Super Eagles are to get past Algeria.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Algeria and Nigeria will face each other for the ninth time in the AFCON, becoming the most regular encounter in the competition for both teams. The record between them is perfectly balanced, with three wins apiece and two draws.
- Algeria will play their seventh AFCON semi-final, their first since 2010, having qualified only twice in their previous six. Three of their AFCON semis have gone to penalties (winning once in 1980 and losing in 1984 and 1988).
- Nigeria will play their 14th AFCON semi-final, more than any other team. However, the Super Eagles have qualified for the final only once in their past five semis. It was against Mali in 2013 (a 4-1 win).
- Algeria midfielder Adam Ounas has been involved in a goal every 30 minutes in this year's tournament (three goals, one assist in 121 minutes played), the best ratio in the competition.
- Nigeria midfielders Peter Etebo (46) and Wilfred Ndidi (41) have won possession more times than any other outfield players at the AFCON.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi said his side will settle for nothing less than a first Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 29 years as they prepare to face Guinea in the round of 16.

The Desert Foxes have been the tournament's outstanding team so far, winning all three of their matches without conceding a goal to top Group C.

Belmadi is aiming to become the first coach to guide Algeria to AFCON glory away from home soil, with their only taste of glory coming in 1990 when they beat Nigeria in the final in Algiers.

The coach said Morocco's shock defeat to Benin on penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra-time gave his side a reminder of the precarity of the knockout stages.

"The group stage is like a little tournament, which we did well in," said Belmadi. "Each game now is a final.

"Morocco's loss surprised me. We have to be prepared mentally so that we don't follow. We didn't exactly need a wake-up call. If we do lose, it'll be because Guinea are the better team.

"We did not come to be the first of the group, we did not come to reach the semi-final, we came for a very different goal that we have not achieved for a very long time."

Opposite number Paul Put praised Belmadi's achievements so far and said his side's mental strength would be pivotal if they are to reach the quarter-finals.

Guinea have reached the AFCON final once, finishing as runners-up to Morocco in 1976, and they have won one of their three matches so far, beating debutants Burundi 2-0 last time out.

"We know we can perform against Algeria," said Put. "We have to be realistic in the game and stay focused throughout.

"Belmadi is an excellent manager, and tomorrow the difference [between the two sides] will be decided by how well we prepare mentally. Facing Algeria, we need to be 200 per cent focused."


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Algeria - Ismael Bennacer

Empoli midfielder Bennacer was Algeria's key player in the group stage. His energy and craft on the Algeria left will be vital as they seek to expose Guinea's defensive flaws.

Guinea – Mohamed Yattara

Goals in either half from Mohamed Yattara against Burundi revived Guinea's ailing AFCON campaign and Put will be relying on the Auxerre forward to bury any chances that fall his way in Cairo.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- It will be the third AFCON encounter between Algeria and Guinea. The record is balanced: Algeria won 3-2 in March 1980, Guinea 1-0 in February 1998, each time at the group stage.
- Since their only AFCON title (1990), Algeria have won just once in their last six games in the knockout phase of the tournament (L5 – excluding third place games). That was against Ivory Coast in the 2010 quarter-final.
- Algeria have won their last three AFCON games (2-0 v Kenya, 1-0 v Senegal, 3-0 v Tanzania); the Desert Foxes have done better only once in tournament history - the 1990 edition (five) when they lift their only continental trophy.
- Islam Slimani has been involved in five of Algeria's last eight goals in the Africa Cup of Nations (three goals, two assists).
- Guinea's defender Issiaga Sylla is the player with the most touches in the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 (257).

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