From La Roja to the Atlas Lions: Brahim Díaz’s International Switch

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Real Madrid forward Brahim Díaz has opted to represent Morocco over Spain at the international level, citing a lack of communication from the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), as confirmed by sources to ESPN. Despite being born in Malaga to a Spanish mother and Moroccan father, Díaz has chosen to switch allegiance, with Morocco set to include him in their squad for upcoming fixtures against Angola and Mauritania.

The decision comes amidst disappointment and surprise from sources close to Díaz, who feel the RFEF has not handled the situation adequately, especially compared to their efforts in similar cases. Sources reveal that Morocco’s efforts, including multiple calls and in-person meetings, led by national team coach Walid Regragui, were instrumental in convincing Díaz to choose the north African country. Despite initially prioritizing playing for Spain, Díaz’s dissatisfaction with the RFEF’s handling of his situation ultimately swayed his decision.

The RFEF, however, maintains that they treated Díaz no differently than other players with dual eligibility, expressing confusion over his switch. Spain coach Luis de la Fuente emphasized that player selection is based on eligibility, willingness to play, and the coach’s decision, acknowledging his respect for Díaz despite not directly communicating with him regarding the matter.

Díaz’s journey to international representation has seen twists, having been capped for Spain’s senior side in 2021 during a friendly match against Lithuania, where he scored in a 4-0 victory. However, FIFA’s eligibility rules allow players capped in friendly matches to switch allegiance, providing Díaz with the opportunity to align with Morocco’s national team. With his decision finalized, Díaz looks forward to a new chapter in his international career, aiming to make an impact for Morocco on the footballing stage.