Le capitaine de la sélection algérienne, Riyad Mahrez

Algeria: Vladimir Petkovic justifies the absence of Riyad Mahrez from his list

Algeria's national coach, Vladimir Petkovic, was in front of the press this weekend. And the Bosnian technician gave the reasons for the non-call-up of Riyad Mahrez for the FIFA days in March.

Since his recent appointment as head of the Algerian national team, Vladimir Petkovic has continued to attract attention, particularly after the publication of his first list devoid of several usual executives. Among the most notable absences, that of Riyad Mahrez, emblematic captain of Algeria, sparked questions.

Facing the journalists this Sunday, during a press conference, the Fennecs coach lifted the veil on the reasons behind this decision. “ Mahrez called me. We talked for a long time. He lacks energy, has not yet regained his level. It was he who asked for time to think about his future. He does not have enough energy to be able to play a big role in the selection », explained the technician.

Despite this initial exclusion, Petkovic was keen to reassure supporters that the door remained open for Mahrez, as well as other talented players such as Islam Slimani and Youcef Belaïli. He highlighted the growing competitiveness within the national team: “ For Slimani, for Belaïli, for Feghouli, the door is open, but they face very significant competition. There are other players, in their positions, who deserve to be there. »

Petkovic also shared his strategy aimed at integrating new players into the Algerian selection. “ I want to take a tour of Algeria, see its football, see the players. The objective is to have a maximum of players, whether in Europe or Algeria, who are attached to the selection and who ensure its level “, did he declare. As a reminder, Algeria will face Bolivia and South Africa in friendly matches on March 22 and 26.