HomeSportsHakim Ziyech retires from Morocco national team

Hakim Ziyech retires from Morocco national team

Chelsea forward, Hakim Ziyech, has ruled out Morocco return and announced his retirement from international duty at 28.

His decision comes after he was left out of Morocco’s squad for their Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Cameroon.

The Champions League winner has endured a stern relationship with Atlas Lions boss, Vahid Halilhodzic saying the young talent would not be welcomed back into the squad ‘even if his name was Lionel Messi,’

Halilhodzic accused the midfielder of faking an injury to escaped a friendly game and criticized the player’s behaviour.

“The players I have selected are the best in the country,” Halilhodzic said quoted by Goal.com.

“I don’t select a player who can unbalance the group. Not even if his name is Lionel Messi.”

“Ziyech’s behaviour does not fit the selection. He doesn’t want to train, doesn’t want to play. He doesn’t take it seriously. I’m not going to beg him to come back.”

The former Ajax player, who has 40 caps and 17 goals for Morocco, has not featured for his National side since June 2021 and has now opted to hang his boots.

“I understand them [the fans], but I will not return to the national team. That is my final decision,” he said in an interview with Abu Dhabi Sports.

“I am focusing on what I am doing with my club. It was a decision he [Halilhodzic] made and you have to respect it. 

“But then if all the lying comes with it, for me it is clear and I will not return to the national team. I feel sorry for (the fans), but that’s the situation right now.” 

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Ziyech represented The Netherlands at youth level before making his Moroccan national team debut in 2018.

He is currently in the United Arab Emirates with Chelsea preparing for their Club World Cup semi-final against Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

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