Born: Feb. 7, 1975, in Alger, Algeria
Nickname: The Algerian Eric Cantona
Clubs played for: Saifi has plied his trade in Algeria, with MC Alger, France's lower leagues, with Troyes, AC Ajaccio and FC Lorient, and the Qatari league, with Alkhor; now he has returned to the club of his youth: Ligue 2's FC Istres on a loan from Alkhor. In a 17-year club career, Saifi has scored more than 150 goals.
International career: Saifi does not have a prolific scoring record with the Algerian national team, but has been a regular since 1998 and has taken part in African Cup of Nations tournaments in 2000, 2002 and 2010. The man known as the Algerian Cantona brings panache to the Les Fennecs, and has made 60 appearances and scored 19 goals.
Why is he so special? Saifi loves to score dramatic, beautiful goals, even if he often misses finishing easy chances, thereby upsetting his teammates and coaches. Nevertheless, Saifi is extremely skilled with excellent balance and co-ordination.
His most famous moment: Saifi took the captain's armband a few times during World Cup qualifying and scored three goals during Algeria's run back to the tournament; particularly important were the two goals he scored in two games against Zambia.
He said it: "The day the body lets go, I think about it. Because even if you're technically correct, the top level today requires optimal physical condition. And when I no longer have the desire, I'll stop."
What they're saying about him: "One trick would never be enough for him. He would have to do it twice or three times. If he was through on goal, a simple side-footed finish was not his style. He'd have to go for something spectacular." — Mecha Bazdarevic, former Istres manager
Here's an interesting fact: Before the tie-breaking playoff between Algeria and Egypt, Saifi reportedly gave a speech to his teammates pertaining to the damage Egypt fans inflicted on the team's bus after Egypt's 2-0 win: "I said my piece to the boys, so did our coach [Rabah Saadane]," says Saifi. "But after the violence in Cairo, no one in our camp really needed motivating for the playoff."