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."