The Lyonnais Houssem Aouar chooses the Fennecs, the Lille Jonathan Bamba for the Elephants of Côte d'Ivoire… On the occasion of the international break, several dual nationals made a choice which sometimes surprises.
It looks like a failure for France and a choice of reason, rather than heart, for the players involved. On the occasion of the publication of lists for international matches, we have learned in recent hours the selections of Houssem Aouar for Algeria and Jonathan Bamba for Côte d'Ivoire, who had nevertheless been called up 17 and 21 times respectively. among the French hopefuls. This route, from the selection of Blueberries to that of an African country, is quite frequent.
Less recently, Andy Delort had decided to join Algeria. Other players, who have never worn a blue jersey, have also gone abroad, like Jérémy Morel. The Malagasy player, born in Brittany, did not really imagine playing one day for the selection of the Big Island. But after discussions with the Malagasy Federation, Morel, who could not apply to the Blues, was tempted.
Nationalism or careerism?
If Delort and Morel have clearly made a career choice not linked to family or personal convictions, others have one day taken the step towards the country of origin of their parents despite a promising future that was offered to them. Like when Riyad Mahrez, born in Sarcelles and passed through Brittany, chose in 2014 to wear the colors of Algeria. “I could also have chosen France, but in memory of my father and because of my attachment to Algeria, I decided to wear the Greens jersey,” he said then.
Mahrez had however never evolved in the youth categories of the France team, unlike Aouar and Bamba. The choices of the latter raise questions in any case. As we know, binationality allows many footballers to choose the national colors they want to defend. They can make their choice as long as they have not evolved into the national team A, in an official match. Abdou Diallo, Sébastien Haller, Maxwell Cornet or even Sofiane Feghouli opted for their countries, knowing that the doors of the France team would be closed to them.
Consequence: coaches sometimes have to deal with "foreign" players. In 2018, only three players from Morocco had been trained in the kingdom. Senegal and Tunisia, they had thirteen players trained in the country. But football fans know it: if Aouar and Bamba hoped for the France team, they will give everything for their new selection. Hoping to play their first ever Africa Cup of Nations.