Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech has announced his retirement from international football. The Moroccan has not featured for the national side for over a year and has no plans to return. He reiterated upon the fact that he won’t return even if Morocco qualifies for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Ziyech has recently found his feet at Chelsea scoring 3 goals and bagging 2 assists in the Premier League. He had an underwhelming personal season at Chelsea in 2020. He managed to score only 2 goals throughout the entirety of the season. However, he ended the season on a high by winning the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea.
Reason behind Hakim Ziyech’s retirement :
Hakim Ziyech is still only 28 years old and in the prime of his career, hence, his decision of hanging up his boots has raised some eyebrows. Ziyech was not a part of Moroccos’s AFCON squad and hasn’t featured at the International level for over a year.
The real reason behind his decision is a fallout with the head coach of the Morroco National Team Vahid Halilhodžić. Last season, Halilhodžić accused Ziyech of faking an injury to avoid playing a friendly for Morocco. However, Ziyech dismissed the accusation and hit back at him with harsh words.
The two have since been at a war of words and have not held back. Coach Halilhodžić said recently even if Ziyech was Messi he would not call him up to the team.
Ziyech was interviewed before Chelsea’s Club World Cup semi-final. Here’s how he responded :
“I am focussing 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.”Ziyech
The chances of Ziyech coming out of retirement under the current head coach look bleak. However, one can not rule out the possibility of Ziyech returning under a new coach.
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