Spain’s national team coach Vicente del Bosque has called up Barcelona’s rising star Munir El Haddadi to substitute the recently injured Digo Costa in Spain’s next Euro 2016 qualifier game against Macedonia, which will be held next Monday.
At this very time of writing those lines, the 19-year-old player is still eligible to play for both Morocco and Spain, as Munir is still uncapped neither with the Atlas Lions nor with La Roja. But, Del Bosque’s decision will put huge pressure on the young player’s shoulders, especially that he hinted out last month in an interview given to Bein Sport that “I’m not closing the door at anyone. If I have to play with Morocco, I will gladly do it. Why not? I come every year with my family to visit Morocco.”
The Moroccan national coach Badou Zaki made it explicit he is not intending to call up the player to participate in the upcomming African cup of Nations, hosted by Morocco.
He said that “Munir is a very talented player. He is still young I don’t think it would be smart to call him now, especially that he is competing for the starting 11 with FC Barcelona.
“Suarez is absent due to the ban imposed by the FIFA. This means that Munir is an essential piece for Luis Enrique’s squad now.
“Imagine that I call him now for the national team and then I call him for the African cup held in Morocco in January. This will be a serious blow for the player as he is still competing to prove himself with Barcelona and to get to the starting 11.
“If I call him for the African cup, he will be missing a lot of games in La Ligua and this will be a serious blow for him, in my perspective.
“Let him first learn more, improve and find his feet with FC Barcelona. He is still young. The National team will come afterwards. I want him first to find his feet in Luis Enrique’s squad. Then, I will call him later on. This is for his best. We should not ‘burn’ his talent.”
The interesting question now is will Munir opt for La Roja instead of the Atlas Lions? Either way, only few hours are left for an answer to be unveiled.
The Moroccan Times.