The newly capped Moroccan international Ilias Akhomach (19 years old, 2 caps) revealed insights into his decision to join the Lions of the Atlas.

In March, the Moroccan national team witnessed the debuts of several newcomers, notably Brahim Diaz and Eliesse Ben Seghir. In the shadow of the Real Madrid player and the Monégasque, Ilias Akhomach also made his debut, albeit quietly. The Villarreal winger was introduced for the final two minutes against Angola (1-0) and played fifteen minutes against Mauritania (0-0).

For the native of Hostalets de Pierola, it was the realization of a long-standing dream. According to his account, his long-term goal was to join the semi-finalists of the 2022 World Cup. Having represented Morocco at the U15 level in 2018, the left-footer explained that he played for Spain’s youth teams (from U16s to U21s until September 2023) solely to gain experience before opting to represent Morocco’s U23s last year.

How Akhomach Leveraged Spain
“I played in the Spanish youth teams to gain experience and continue improving, but everyone knew my final decision,” he said in an interview with beIN Sports relayed by Sport media. “Hakimi’s penalty against Spain (in the 2022 World Cup Round of 16) was the happiest moment for me with the national team; I felt a lot of happiness,” he added, while expressing gratitude towards Spain.

In the end, it proved to be a wise decision for him, as he was subsequently called up by Walid Regragui after playing for the Moroccan Olympic team last November (a 3-0 loss against Denmark’s U21s). It remains to be seen whether the left-footer has impressed the coach ahead of the upcoming June fixtures (2026 World Cup qualifiers against Zambia and Congo).

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