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Allez les verts! Benzia playing for Algeria, not France Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Allez les verts! Benzia playing for Algeria, not France

Benzia (R) has agreed to play for the team of his parents' birth country [AFP]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2016

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Striker Yassine Benzia (OSC Lille/France), after meeting with the president of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) Mohamed Raouraoua Wednesday, has announced he will play for Algeria's national team.

Algerian-French footballer Yassine Benzia will wear the colours of the Algerian team, the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) announced on its official website.

FAF will soon begin the administrative procedures at the International Federation (FIFA) to qualify the player with the Greens.

Benzia, who has a similar playing style with Frenchman Karim Benzema, has played for France at under-16, 17, 19 and 21 levels since 2010.

He has scored 26 goals in 43 youth international matches for France, and this season has netted five times for Lille OSC in the French top-flight.

The 21-year-old told BBC Sport last year that he was considering an approach from Algeria.

The Lille striker was born in France and played for them at every youth level from under-16 but is eligible for Algeria through his parents.

Even though FIFA is yet to receive Benzia's request for a switch of nationality, the Algerian football authority is confident of the game's governing body approving the request.

His capture will come as a morale boost for Algeria after they were snubbed by Lyon striker Nabil Fekir last year.

Benzia started his career at Lyon where he progressed from the academy to the senior squad and made his senior debut against Nice in May 2012.

He switched to Ligue 1 rivals Lille in August 2015.

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