Football: Fekir earns first France call-up after rejecting Algeria

PARIS (REUTERS) - Olympique Lyonnais forward Nabil Fekir was called up to the France squad on Thursday only days after he opted to play for Les Bleus instead of Algeria.

Fekir, who has scored 11 goals and set up seven others in Ligue 1 for leaders Lyon and has dual nationality, said on March 9 that he was choosing the France shirt.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud returns to the squad for next week's friendlies against Brazil and Denmark after injury ruled him out of last November's games.

"I picked him because he has great potential, he brings something different to the team," coach Didier Deschamps told a news conference, adding that said he picked Fekir because of his qualities, "not to prevent him from making another choice".

Midfielder Paul Pogba was left out after sustaining a thigh injury in Juventus' 3-0 Champions League win at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

France, who host the Euro 2016 finals, take on Brazil at the Stade de France on March 26 before hosting Denmark in St Etienne three days later.