Playing for one’s country is an honour, and having the option to choose between two countries is a luxury.
Atlético Madrid youth-team player Salim El Jebari was called up for the Spanish U19 squad which is set up to play two friendlies against Norway. However, Mundo Deportivo report that at his request, he was dropped from the team to be replaced by club team-mate Adrián Niño, who is having a spectacular season.
El Jebari turned down the offer to play for Spain as he wishes to be eligible to play for Morocco, the country from which his parents hail. He had played on three occasions for Spain’s youth teams, but on consideration, he heard his heart’s call.
Achraf Hakimi of PSG and ex-Barcelona player Munir El Haddadi, currently at Getafe, chose the same path. The two exchanged the chance to play for La Roja to represent the North-African country, a country that stunned spectators around the globe with an incredible 2022 World Cup, where they even eliminated Spain.
Nicolás Antúnez de Mayolo | GSFN