Not every footballer has the right to choose which national team to play. Hakim Ziyech, who was born in the Netherlands, had the courage to refuse to wear the 'Oranje' shirt and decided to play for Morocco.
"Choosing a national team is not done with your head, but with your heart. I was born in the Netherlands, but I've always felt Moroccan. I know that many people will never understand this feeling," said the Chelsea player.
The former Ajax player led the team to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar 36 years later despite having resigned from the Netherlands national team.
Otherwise, the Dutch side are not hiding their regret: "He is standing out at the World Cup. Every time I see him I think: 'It's a pity he's not playing for the Oranje. We don't have a player like that," Van der Vaart said.
Thanks to his goal against Canada and the assist to Aboukhal against Belgium, Ziyech became the third Moroccan to score and assist at a World Cup after Mustapha Hadji and Abdeljalil Hadda.