Morocco’s Ziyech says goodbye to the Atlas Lions

Ahram Online , Tuesday 8 Feb 2022

Chelsea’s Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech said on Tuesday he will not return to Morocco’s national team as he is now focused on his club career with Chelsea.

Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech. AFP

The 29-year-old fell out of favor with Morocco’s coach Vahid Halilhodzic since their rift during a friendly against Burkina Faso in June.

The Bosnian coach accused Ziyech for being undisciplined during the team’s camp while the Chelsea player accused his coach of lying.  

Ziyech was excluded from the Moroccan squad that was eliminated from outgoing Africa Cup of Nations quarters.

Asked about the probability of calling-up the Chelsea star in the future, the Bosnian coach said that Ziyech will not be welcomed back into the team even if his name is Lionel Messi.

“I will not return to the Moroccan national team and this is my final decision," Ziyech told ADSports TV on Tuesday.

"It's all clear for me how things are going over there and I am focusing on what I am doing with Chelsea.”

"At the end of the day, it's a decision he makes and you have to respect it. All the lying that comes with it, it's, for me, clear and I will not return to the national team.

"I understand and feel sorry for the fans, but that's the current situation."

Ziyech, who has earned 40 caps while scoring 17 goals, has featured 25 times for Chelsea this season, scoring six times.

Ziyech scored 17 goals in 40 appearances with Morocco

He played 25 matches, scoring six times with Chelsea this season, so far.

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