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Friday, 24 May 2019

Morocco coach admits Ziyech's mistake

Karim Farouk , Tuesday 23 Apr 2019
Ziyech
File photo: Soccer Football - International Friendly - Serbia vs Morocco - Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Turin, Italy - March 23, 2018 Morocco's Hakim Ziyech scores their first goal from the penalty spot REUTERS
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Morocco coach Herve Renard has shouldered the blame in Hakim Ziyech's row that put him away of the Atlas Lions for almost a year.

The Ajax flamboyant winger had a fall out with the French tactician as he was dropped from a 2017 AFCON qualifier game against Cape Verde before being given a few minutes in the return leg.

He has dropped, later on, from the squad and said he would not join Morocco again under Renard.

"I was appointed coach. I start training on Monday. We play on Saturday in Cape Verde on a synthetic field with a lot of wind; a typical African game with the characteristics that I know. I put Hakim in the stands, we start on a difficult base, we play the return to Morocco three days later, he returns for 25 minutes, but he was certainly not satisfied with the stage in its entirety,” Renard said on Le Vestiaire, a RMC Sport show.

“I made a mistake here. Do not talk to him, everyone is on his side, the situation is tense, he's coming back, the third time he's a little hurt... until I do not pick him anymore,” Renard added.

The Frenchman revealed how they reconciled resulting in Ziyech called back to the team.

"There is nothing about it. He has never shown bad character, he never reacted badly, on the contrary, he remained impeccable, even if, of course, he was not satisfied. And after a year, my president told me, 'We need to go see him, you see the season he's doing.'

"I said 'yes, on his qualities, there is nothing to say, that's what we need,” he said.

"We went to Amsterdam and after three minutes of conversation, everything was settled, he wanted to come back, he is very attached to the national team, I needed him and I recognised my mistakes," he concluded.

Since then Ziyech became one of the best performers for Morocco scoring 7 goals and signing 4 assists in 14 appearances.

The 26-year old talented winger is becoming one of the hottest prospects in Europe after leading Ajax to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.

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