MALABO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra has retired from international football after his country’s elimination from the African Nations Cup finals on Sunday.
“That was my last official match. In football, you have to turn the page. I thank the coach for trusting me, I thank the national team,” he told reporters as Algeria prepared to go home after being beaten 3-1 by the Ivory Coast in their quarter-finals.
“With (coach Christian) Gourcuff, we have a future in my view,” the 32-year-old added after winninng his 70th cap.
“We have many regrets about losing the match (against the Ivorians), we deserved better. We had opportunities, we unfortunately could not capitalise. This team is young with an average age of 23-24 years and it will return for many Nations Cups in the future,” he added.
French-born Bougherra made his debut for Algeria in 2004 and played at the last two World Cups and at two Nations Cups.
Formerly on the books of home town club Gueugnon and later Rangers in Scotland, he now plays for Foujairah in the United Arab Emirates. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Ed Osmond)