March 10 (Reuters) – Werder Bremen defender Mitchell Weiser has confirmed he wants to switch allegiance to Algeria after previously playing for Germany’s youth teams.
Weiser is eligible to represent Algeria because of his mother’s origin, German magazine Kicker said last Tuesday.
He has played 40 games with Germany’s youth teams, winning the European Championship title with the under-21 team in 2017, but has never been called up at senior level for Germany.
“I have always had the option in my mind. It’s an important goal of mine to play in a big tournament and with Algeria I think I have a better chance of achieving that,” Weiser told a news conference on Thursday.
Weiser, the son of former player Patrick Weiser, made an impressive start to the season, making seven assists in his first 14 games before the World Cup in Qatar.
But that was not enough for coach Hansi Flick to include him in the Germany’s squad for the tournament.
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The Algerian Federation has already contacted the 28-year old right back, but his switch depends on national team coach Djamel Belmadi’s plans and how fast he can obtain citizenship.
Belmadi led Algeria to their second African Cup of Nations title in 2019, but his team were eliminated in the first round of the tournament in Cameroon early last year.
Algeria also failed to reach last year’s World Cup finals and Belmadi has promised to rebuild the team to compete for the Nations Cup title in the Ivory Coast next year and qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
Algeria top Group F in Nations Cup qualifiers with six points from two matches and will face Niger on March 23rd and 27th.
Reporting by Shady Amir and Mohammed Cheikhi in Algeria, writing by Ahmed Mostafa, editing by Simon Jennings and Toby Davis
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