Morocco’s head coach, Herve Renard, has welcomed the decision by Dutch-born winger Oussama Idrissi to represent the Atlas Lions despite having played at youth level for the Netherlands.
Idrissi, 22, who plays for Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, was called-up by Morocco in November 2018 without featuring in the team, but has now decided to compete for the country of his parents.
“Congratulations. Oussama Idrissi has decided to play with Morocco national team,” Renard tweeted.
“His skills and professionalism will be an additional asset for the Atlas Lions,” Renard said.
By choosing the Atlas Lions, Idrissi joins a host of other Morocco internationals who were also born in the Netherlands including Hakim Ziyech, Karim El Ahmadi and Nourdine Amrabat.
Speaking to Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, the striker explained his reasons for choosing Morocco whilst respecting the Netherlands, the country of his birth:
“I was born and raised here with the standards and values of this beautiful country. I am a footballer and I had to make the decision with my parents. I wanted to make the most of myself,” said Idrissi.
Morocco, who have already qualified for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, play their final qualifier away to Malawi on 23 March when Idrissi could make his debut for the team.
Idrissi has played 22 games with AZ Alkmaar this season in the Dutch top league, scoring seven goals with six assists.