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Hakim Ziyech Quits Atlas Lions

Hakim Ziyech has just retired from international football just a month before the 2022 World Cup qualifier against DR Congo.

The 28-year-old, who had represented the country of his ancestry more than 40 times, announced his decision on Tuesday after a training session with his club Chelsea in Abu Dhabi.

“I will not return to the national team, and this is my final decision,” Ziyech said.

“I am focusing on what I am doing with my club.”

Ziyech decision means he will not be part of coach Vahid Halilhodzic’s men again after missing the recently concluded 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Coach Halilhodzic has been involved in war of words with the Moroccan star before AFCON finals, which is believed to have triggered the player decision.

The winger has not featured for Morocco since June last year when he played two matches between Ghana and Burkina Faso,

Ziyech was born in the Netherlands and was a junior international for that country, but switched allegiances to Morocco in 2015.

He started his professional career at Dutch club Heerenveen in 2012. He had spells at ASV Dorten and spent two seasons with Twente before joining Dutch Football League giants Ajax Amsterdam where Chelsea snapped him from.

He  played with the Atlas Lions during their three World Cup games in 2018 and many expected him to play in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.




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