Bougherra calls time on national team

With 70 international caps and four goals for Algeria, veteran defender Madjid Bougherra has finally drawn the curtains on his international career.

The 32-year-old announced his decision to end an 11-year stint with the Desert Foxes after their quarterfinal elimination by Ivory Coast at the on-going Africa Cup of Nations.

Algeria were thrashed 3-1 in Malabo on Sunday night.

“It’s a different life for me now,” Bougherra told the RFI after Algeria’s Afcon exit.

“Of course you can never say ‘I’ll never play again’ for the national team. But in my mind I think it’s over. It’s been 11 years and I think the team is ready to be without me. They have experience.”

“I’ve done my job,” he said. “I’m proud of what I’ve done but I think it is enough for me.”

The centre-back has seen nine coaches lead the Algerian team since breaking into the senior squad and has suggested that current coach Christian Gourcuff be allowed to continue his role.

“Of course, it’s not up to me. But we need stability in any job. Stability is very important. We have qualifiers for the next world cup and the next Cup of Nations so it’s not really the time to change,” the retiring Algeria captain said.

Bougherra currently plays in the Middle East and may feature in his last game in an international friendly in March to say proper goodbye to the national team.