Football News

“Not even if his name is Lionel Messi!” – Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech to stay out in the cold, says Morocco boss

By Squawka News

Morocco Ziyech Messi

Published: 12:22, 4 February 2022

Morocco head coach Vahid Halilhodzic says there is no chance of him recalling Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech to the national team in a damning critique of the player.

Ziyech has not featured for the national side since their friendly against Burkina Faso back in June 2021, and his exclusion from Morocco’s AFCON squad was a focus among the media following their elimination by Egypt at the quarter-final stage.

The 28-year-old has struggled for game time at Chelsea since arriving at Chelsea, with knee, hip and shoulder injuries hampering his career at Stamford Bridge thus far.

That said, the former Ajax star has scored six goals in 24 appearances for Chelsea this season, including goals in their last two Premier League matches.

But for Halilhodzic it seems, the question isn’t about Ziyech’s ability – but more his attitude.

“The players I have selected are the best in the country,” responded Halilhodzic, when quizzed on Ziyech’s omission from the squad.

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

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“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.

“After the [AFCON] tournament three years ago, he was the most criticised. He was booed. You mustn’t forget that.”