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Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech makes major decision over Morocco international future

Sam Collins

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Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech makes major decision over Morocco international future

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech has made a massive decision to return to the Moroccan national team just seven months after retiring from international football.

The 29-year-old has not played for his national team in over a year due to a falling out with former head coach, Vahid Halilhodzic.

Despite purely focusing on his club career, last season was a tricky one for Ziyech at Chelsea.

Having joined in 2020 under the management of Frank Lampard he penned a five-year deal Stamford Bridge from AFC Ajax.

The move has not gone as hoped, with Ziyech unable to nail down a consistent starting spot in the side since he arrived.

While there have been some fantastic moments from the winger, such as his wonderful curling strike against Tottenham Hotspur and his Super Cup goal against Villarreal, he has been hampered by injuries.

Hakim Ziyech receiving treatment against Southampton. (Alamy)
Hakim Ziyech receiving treatment against Southampton. (Alamy)

Last year he appeared 44 times for the Blues, scoring eight times and registering six assists.

During his time with the west London side on top of the injuries he has had to contend with problems with his national team.

The relationship between himself and Halilhodzic was one that fell apart despite the attacker being one of the stars of the squad.

69-year-old Halilhodzic believed that Ziyech faked an injury to avoid playing in friendly matches and therefore left him out of the side for World Cup qualifying and the Africa Cup of Nations.

Following this, Ziyech announced his decision in February that he would be retiring from the international team.

Hakim Ziyech in Champions League action against Dinamo Zagreb. (Alamy)
Hakim Ziyech in Champions League action against Dinamo Zagreb. (Alamy)

However, in August the Bosnian was sacked due to tension with the football federation over his player selection, largely because of his dealings with Ziyech.

Walid Regragui has now taken the reigns, and as quoted by BBC Sport, he has made the decision to recall the Moroccan to the squad.

He said: "When I spoke to him, he accepted immediately and told me that he couldn't wait to return to the squad."

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He continued: "I know he's quite a strong character, for example he can raise his hand in protest if I replace him and his a player who does everything to assert himself on the pitch to play.

"We will wait for the Hakim that all Moroccans love, the one who fights on the pitch and who gives everything to his team."

With the Qatar World Cup rapidly approaching Ziyech will be trying everything he can to restore his status as Morocco's leading man.

As well as the national team, there will also be an opportunity for him at club level again.

He looked likely to be on his way out of Chelsea this summer, but has remained in England, with new head coach Potter replacing Tuchel, he has a chance to impress.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Chelsea, Hakim Ziyech, Football

Sam Collins
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