Saturday Mar 18, 2023. 13:00
Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar insists he jumped at the chance to switch allegiances to Algeria after representing France earlier in his career.
The 24-year-old, who was born in Lyon and came up though the OL academy, featured for the country of his birth at youth level before going on to earn one cap for the senior national team in 2020.
However, as his debut against Ukraine on 7 October 2020 was a friendly, Aouar still had an opportunity to opt out and he happily accepted the offer from the Algerian Football Federation (AFF) when they made contact.
“I could not see myself taking the first step because I was afraid to be seen as opportunistic. And then, Algeria’s head coach and the Algerian FA president reached out to me,” he said in a video released by the AFF.
“I took it as a sign of fate, a second chance and I jumped at it. I felt I didn’t do the choice that personally suited me [in representing France].”
Aouar will be hoping to receive his maiden call-up before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast next year after being left out of Djamel Belmadi’s 25-man squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Niger later this month.