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‘I tried to convince Yamal to choose African giants over Spain’ | KickOff


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FC Barcelona’s 16-year-old star Lamine Yamal was eligible to represent the Morocco national team.

A former FC Barcelona star has revealed he tried to convince teenage sensation Lamine Yamal to choose one of the biggest sides in Africa over the Spain national team.

Yamal has been one of the breakout stars of the current campaign. At just 16 years old, he has made 46 appearances for Barca and registered six goals and nine assists so far this season. 

Read: Stars who’ve proved their doubters wrong in 23/24!

The youngster has also broken several records this term, having become the youngest goalscorer in LALIGA history last October, and in February this year, he became the youngest-ever player to appear in a knockout stage game in the UEFA Champions League, at 16 years, 223 days old against Napoli in the round of 16.

His sensational performances saw him get his first call-up for Spain’s senior national in September 2023, and he has since gone on to win six caps and register two goals and two assists for La Furia Roja.

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However, born in Spain to a Moroccan father and an Equatorial Guinean mother, Yamal was the subject of huge interest from Morocco on the back of their historic fourth-place finish at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and ex-Barca and current Atlas Lions star Abde Ezzalzouli, more commonly known Ez Abde, has now revealed that he tried to persuade Yamal to play for the north African nation.

“I also spoke to Lamine, but he was not convinced,” the Real Betis winger told Spanish outlet AS.

“I was there during Barcelona’s pre-season trying to convince him to choose Morocco, but nothing. His decision must be respected… I hope Yamal will do the best possible because he is a spectacular footballer.”

Someone who did jump at the opportunity to represent Morocco over Spain was Real Madrid attacker Brahim Diaz, and he made his first appearance for the African giants during the March international break.

Moroccan duo, Brahim Diaz of Real Madrid and Ez Ab

Moroccan duo Brahim Diaz of Real Madrid and Ez Abde of Real Betis.

Ez Abde went on to add that Diaz made the best decision by joining him at international level, stating: “If I tell you the truth, I spoke to him when Betis played against Real Madrid [in December] to tell him to come with us. And he admitted to me that he had already more or less thought about what he was going to do.

“I am Moroccan and for me Brahim made the best decision. He’s a great player and I like having the best at my side.”

Read: Transfer Gossip: Five big-name stars leaving their clubs

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