An Algerian international has insisted he finds it “bizarre” that people from his country talk about footballers who have chosen to represent other nations when they are eligible for the African champions.
Olympique Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar made his debut for France in an international friendly on Thursday night, playing a hand in a few goals in Les Bleus’ emphatic 7-1 victory.
However, Islam Slimani, who has scored 30 goals in 69 matches for Algeria, finds it disrespectful to even talk about Aouar, insisting people should no longer consider the 22-year-old an Algerian.
“Aouar made a professional choice,” he told France Football.
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“‘Footballistically’, we should not talk about him as an Algerian player anymore.
“I want to tell Algerians, stop running after players who don’t want to play for Algeria. Respect yourselves.
“I find it bizarre that we continue to talk about a player who did not choose Algeria. Why are we talking about him? It’s a lack of consideration for those who are here.
“We have a history, we are champions of Africa. It’s a lack of respect for us and makes me feel bad.”
Although Aouar, who was born in France, represented Les Bleus at youth level before his senior debut, he was eligible to play for the Desert Foxes through his parents.