By Angu Lesley
Hakim Ziyech has called quit to international football barely weeks after being left out of Morocco’s final squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
A tweet from the 28-year old Chelsea winger this Tuesday marked a sad end to a promising international career that never happened.
“I will not return to the national team, that is my final decision. I am focusing on my club.”
The former Netherlands youth international who won 40 caps and scored 17 goals for the Atlas Lions hasn’t been called up by coach Vahid Halid since after he lasted 75 minutes in the one-nil win over Burkina Faso in an international friendly in June 2021.
A rift between the forward and his country’s Bosnian coach has ocassioned the early resignation of the playmaker who made his debut for his country in 2015.
Late last week, coach Vahid vowed that even a name change wouldn’t help the player’s situation.
“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. He won’t come back.”
Hakim Ziyech has announced his retirement from international duty with Morocco. pic.twitter.com/EFpBSLF8nJ
— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) February 8, 2022
Ziyech who has not been invited in the past 15 international games for his country featured at two AFCON tournaments and the 2018 FIFA World cup in what constitutes the highlight of his international career.
The one-time Moroccan footballer of the year who has scored five goals, provided three assists in 23 games in all competitions this season for Chelsea will now focus on his club career.
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