The curious case of Yuri Berchiche

Yuri Berchiche is a 28-year-old defender who predominantly features at left-back. Currently at Athletic Bilbao, he has also played for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Sociedad.

As you can tell by his surname, his father is Algerian however his mother is Spanish and Berchiche was born in Spain.

Algeria were unsuccessful in their attempts to get Berhiche to represent the Desert Foxes at international level. “I was offered to play in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations but I refused because I feel Basque.

Berchiche has only played for Spain at U18 level, but has played for the Basque County on several occasions. They are not recognised by FIFA as an official nation.

He will never play for Spain due to the vast defensive options they have in their ranks, however Berchiche does not feel Algerian enough to feature for Les Verts.

The possibility of representing a nation at full international level is not an idea that he warms to, and so he closed the door to Algeria. However, one must question his desire and ambition to win trophies.

Muniain, Aduriz and Illarramendi are just a few names that have also played for the Basque, but they have played for the Spanish national team too.

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