ALGIERS (Reuters) - Karim Ziani loves living in the fast lane but that experience is unlikely to match the adrenaline that will course through his veins when he runs out for Algeria at next month's World Cup finals.
"If you are Brazilian, French or Argentine and among the best in your country you know you will go to the World Cup regularly," said Ziani, who is often snapped driving an array of fast cars.
"But if you are Algerian this is not something that comes around every day," he added in an interview with France's L'Equipe newspaper after his country booked their ticket to the finals for the first time in 24 years.
The 27-year-old has built a reputation of being a crafty winger and is arguably the most gifted player in the Algerian squad.
His low center of gravity allows him to twist and turn with pace down the wing or cut in from the right side of midfield, leaving opposing defenders mesmerized.
After a promising start, the winger found himself out of the playing squad once Veh was dismissed in January.
It is in contrast to when he first emerged at Lorient, winning the award as the best player in the French second division in 2006 and then moving on to Sochaux and Marseille in quick succession.
Marseille paid a reported $11 million for his transfer in 2007 and he responded with a debut goal and dribbling performances which quickly made him a fan favorite.
Ziani is also among the more experienced members of the Algerian squad, having debuted in 2003.
He might have had a chance to play for 'Les Bleus' later on as he was born in France but he has gone on record to say he has no regrets over his international career. His father is of Algerian descent.
"It is in the blood. When you hear the anthem you think of your parents, your country," he said as he prepared for the tournament which kicks off on June 11.
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)