Algeria's winger Sofiane Feghouli
Saturday Nov 05, 2016. 08:30
Sofiane Feghouli has revealed he had a chance to team up with France at full international level, but rather chose to feature for Algeria because his heart has always been there.
The West Ham forward has dual nationality after he was born in Paris, France, by Algerian parents and he has played for France at U18 and U21 levels.
The winger was first contacted by Algeria in 2010, before he finally made his full international debut in 2012.
“I could have played for France full international team. Didier Deschamps told my team that had I been a little more patient, he would have capped me for the France ‘A’ team,” Feghouli said in a magazine interview.
“But my heart was always Algerian. When I was a little boy, I had a jersey of Algeria even if they were not winning matches.
“And when I finally opted for Algeria, other Algerian players with dual nationality were inspired to also come down.
“And today, Algeria is respected in world football.”
The 26-year-old Feghouli also revealed he was inspired by compatriot Riyad Mahrez to take the big plunge in the Premier League from Spanish La Liga club Valencia.
“His story can make for a Hollywood movie – from playing in a regional league to becoming the best player in England,” Feghouli said.
“What he achieved played a part in my decision to move to England.
“He opened the door for North Africans to the Premier League.”