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African Cup Of Nations

Hakim Ziyech announces Morocco retirement after AFCON snub

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech has made a shock announcement, revealing that he will not return to Morocco duty as he retires from the national team.

The 28-year-old did not travel to Africa Cup of Nations 2021 with his side, instead remaining at Chelsea.

And now, speaking to the press in Abu Dhabi via Zach Lowy, he revealed he has retired from national duty.

In the surprising revelation, Ziyech said: Obviously I understand them but I will not return to the national team. It’s my final decision. It’s all clear for me how things are going over there, it’s all clear for me.

“I’m focusing on what I’m doing, and that’s my club. At the end of the day it’s a decision he (the manager) makes. You have to respect it but if all the lying comes with it, it’s clear for me. I will not return to the national team. I understand (the fans upset), I feel sorry for them.”

The Blues forward was left out of his nation’s squad due to his poor relationship with Vahid Halilhodzic, having not been played since June 2021.

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“The players I have selected are the best in the country,” he said. “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.”

And it looks like he wont have to beg him, as Ziyech has made his decision. Perhaps this can be overturned if Halilhodzic leaves his post.

The Moroccan has been on fine form for Chelsea in the past month, winning the Goal of the Month award at the club for his strike against Tottenham Hotspur.

Credit: Sports Illustrated

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