Hakim Ziyech’s name was nowhere to be found in the Morocco squad announcement for the current international break, which was certainly surprising given that he’s pretty much their best player and he had seemingly already fully recovered from the shoulder injury he picked a few weeks ago.
Bit of a strange claim from Morocco national team coach Vahid Halilhodžić that this is the first time he’s ever seen this, considering that a very similar situation played out for him at Nantes with Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga, whom he also accused of faking an injury before falling out with him
Halilhodzic explained the omission at a news conference on Wednesday, saying Hakim Ziyech had a poor attitude in June when called up for home friendlies against Ghana and Burkina Faso
Ziyech refused to play the first game against Ghana, maintaining that he was injured according to coach Halilhodzic.
“For the first time in my coaching career, I have seen behaviour that disappoints me. A player who refuses to play a game, admittedly a friendly, on the pretext that he is injured.
“The medical staff made several examinations and said he could play. He then refused to warm up in the second half because he was disappointed to be a substitute.
“For me, that type of behaviour is unacceptable. You can’t cheat with the national team. You are 100% there or you are not,”
As many reports point out, Ziyech did fall out with former Morocco head coach Hervé Renard once as well, back in 2017, though they eventually cleared the air, with Renard taking responsibility as well. Communication is key in any relationship!. We’ll see if that happens with Halilhodžić, who certainly comes across as bit of an old-school hard-ass.