The man who offered Algeria a 2010 World Cup spot with his goal against Egypt in Sudan will no longer don the Fennecs kit after deciding to cede his place for the next generation
Less than a week after Tunisia’s Karim Haggui’s decision to step away from the Carthage Eagles, north Africa has lost another Algerian centre-back in Antar Yahia who announced his international retirement on Tuesday.
After 53 caps, including a recent goal-scoring performance during his last outing in Banjul, the Kaiserslautern player has stated that it is time for him to allow a fresh generation of defenders to fill his place and take Algeria to new heights.
“It was a very difficult decision that I thought about for a long time but at some point you need to know how to leave and let a new generation build something beautiful in the national team,” he explained in a statement posted on the Algerian Football Federation’s (FAF) official website.
“It’s a decision that hurts my heart because I have a big love story with the national team and the Algerian public with whom I’ve shared emotional moments throughout my international career.”
With Yahia’s departure, Vahid Halilhodzic has lost an important member of his side ahead of 2014 World Cup qualifying. The 30-year-old will forever be remembered for his unstoppable volley that offered Algeria a 2010 World Cup spot ahead of rivals Egypt. He is also the first player to have benefitted from Fifa allowing dual citizens to play for a different national team than the one they represented at youth level.