Karim Benzema has had his hopes of a return to international football with Algeria knocked back after their manager closed the door on the Real Madrid star.
The forward has not appeared for France since 2015 after he was charged with conspiracy to blackmail French team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.
And Algeria, who have just won the Africa Cup of Nations, don’t see the need to bring Benzema into the squad.
“I have (Baghdad) Bounedjah, Islam (Slimani), (Andy) Delort, (Hillal) Soudani. I’m very happy with the players I have,” Djamel Belmadi told Algerian football website DZFoot.
Benzema’s ambitions of an international switch were always going to prove difficult under FIFA rules having made 81 appearances for France
The 31-year-old has missed Euro 2016, which was held on home soil, as well as the triumphant World Cup last year and has hit out at FFF president Noel Le Graet on Twitter .
He said: “Noel, I thought you weren’t interfering with the coach’s decisions! I want you to know that I and I alone would end my international career. If you think I’m finished, let me play for one of the countries that I’m eligible for and we’ll see.”
But Le Graet has reaffirmed the federation’s position that the Real Madrid frontman will not be called up – a decision that is made easier by the quality already available to them in the final third.
He said: “Karim Benzema is a very good player, I have never doubted his qualities,’ he said. ‘On the contrary, he shows Real Madrid that he is one of the best players around. But his adventure with the French National team is over.”
A legal battle led by Benzema was rejected after he looked to have the case dismissed and an appeal has been lodged.
The former Lyon man has also accused Valbuena of trying to smear his name as he attempts to return to the international scene.
“There’s really something wrong with him… it’s all part of his story,” he said.
“For more than a year-and-a-half I’m his worst enemy, a bad guy, a thug, I have to be punished, dragged in the mud, my name and that of my family, in the dirt.”