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Brahim Díaz selected for Morocco’s national team, ending speculation in Spain

MADRID (AP) — Brahim Díaz was selected in Morocco’s squad on Wednesday for two friendlies later this month, ending speculation about the Real Madrid winger’s possible future with the Spanish national team.

The Spanish daily Marca and other local media reported the move earlier this week. Spanish media said the national team’s lack of interest in Díaz played a role in his decision, with Morocco active in trying to recruit him.

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente responded to those reports by saying he’d respect Díaz’s decision. He added that only individuals who want to play for Spain would be welcomed in his squad.

Díaz was a regular in Spain’s youth squads, including some coached by De la Fuente.

He won his solitary senior cap, and scored a goal, in a 4-0 win over Lithuania in a June 2021 friendly match. The under-21 squad was called up for that game because senior players were isolating due to COVID-19.

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, must process any request by a member federation for a player to change national-team eligibility, although Diaz is a routine case as he has never played a competitive senior game for Spain.

Based on his form for Madrid this season, the 24-year-old Díaz had been touted as a contender for De la Fuente’s squad that will be announced on Friday for friendlies against Colombia and Brazil.

Instead, he’ll be joining Morocco for games against Angola and Mauritania.

Díaz began his senior career with Manchester City before joining Madrid in 2019. He also had a long loan spell at AC Milan from 2020-23.

Morocco beat Spain in a penalty shootout in the last 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


AP soccer: https://ift.tt/Zj8kFMD

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