Lamine Yamal has been one of the most discussed young prodigies recently. The 16-year-old has been on a record-breaking spree since his debut for Barcelona’s first team. He has become both the youngest starter and goal-scorer for FC Barcelona and the Spanish National team. Even after aligning with La Roja, Morocco remains keen on gaining the youngster’s services.
The winger was called up to the Spanish National team again for their fixture against Scotland and Norway. But he pulled out of the squad because of an injury he suffered against Granada whilst playing for his club. This put Luis de la Fuente in a tight spot as he called up Ansu Fati and Bryan Zaragoza as backups.
As per Diario AS, The Royal Moroccan Football Federation is still interested in the youngster. Yamal was born in Spain to a Moroccan father and an Equatorial-Guinean mother. This makes him eligible to represent Morocco. The Moroccans also tried to lure him through financial means but failed as the player had already decided to opt for Spain.
According to FIFA rules, a player can switch their allegiance before playing for a country thrice if they are eligible to represent multiple nations. Yamal has currently made two appearances for Spain and is still eligible to represent Morocco, but the 16-year-old is dead set on representing La Roja. The Royal Spanish Football Federation was excited for the winger to reach his third appearance, which would have made him a permanent Spanish player.
The Moroccan Federation allegedly tries to convince eligible players through financial offers. Despite allegations, the Federation claimed they respected eligible players’ decisions in a recent statement,
"The Royal Moroccan Football Federation fully implements what was reported by the Spanish newspaper AS Sports in its article published today by Joaquin Maroto, in which he touched on the pressures that the Spanish player of Moroccan origins, Lamine Yamal, is subjected to by trying to entice him financially to join the Moroccan national team.The Royal Moroccan Football Federation confirms that what is stated in this article is false and not based on any evidence, especially since it respected the choices of the player Lamine Yamal, like other Moroccan players of Moroccan origins who chose other teams, despite the great efforts made by the concerned authorities around the world to convince Emerging players in legal and legitimate ways by submitting future projects and goals determined by the technical departments of the national teams in all their categories."