Buidling Dreams Together


Inside Brahim Diaz’s Choice: What Drove Him to Represent Morocco?

The decision of Brahim Díaz Abdelkader, a striker for Real Madrid, to play for Morocco in light of Spain’s passivity in calling him up, garnered widespread support for the player from Malaga. Even in Spain, a country theoretically disadvantaged by his decision, many sided with Brahim. They couldn’t comprehend the Spanish Federation’s lack of initiative in summoning him or presenting a compelling case regarding their current or future plans.

There was never any display of affection or genuine interest from the Spanish Federation. Brahim had waited seven years for an opportunity with La Roja, despite being called up by the U21s and included in Luis Enrique’s senior team list in November 2021 (for matches against Greece and Sweden), where he did not play at all. Seven long years, since 2017, when he was already being pursued by Morocco, following his departure from Manchester City in 2015-16.

In the following points, we will explain the story of a decision that was made over a few days and is expected to culminate in Diaz’s call-up next Thursday for the upcoming friendlies Morocco is scheduled to play at the end of the month against Angola and Mauritania.

A well-considered decision. There is no turning back. Brahim’s decision is firm. Yesterday, many wondered if there was any possibility of regret, but no. Brahim deliberated for many days on this decision. Meanwhile, the lawyers diligently worked on finding legal solutions so that the boy could obtain dual nationality, a possibility under Spanish law. The legal machinery had been set in motion.

Brahim Diaz in an Instagram post

Spain’s ‘no’. Except for the friendly match amidst the pandemic, where Brahim, who was part of the U21 squad, played due to Covid affecting the senior team, the Spanish Federation never called Brahim, nor, worse still, informed him of their present or future plans regarding his inclusion. Was it Luis de la Fuente’s responsibility to do so? He wasn’t obligated, but the Federation had done so with other players in the past. Faced with this passivity from Spain, the young man, who always harboured the desire to represent his country, grew desperate and responded to the call of his other nation, Morocco, where his paternal grandmother was born.

At that point, the fact that the Federation made gestures with other players (such as Abel Ruiz, Lamine, Ansu, Yeremi, Nico Williams, Riquelme, and Zaragoza) but not with him, convinced the player even more that he had to leave for Morocco; it seemed that Spain did not want him. The case of Lamine, who was pampered by the Federation, is symptomatic. Both he (with a Moroccan father and Equatoguinean mother) and Brahim could have chosen another national team, but the disparity in treatment, despite the age difference, was evident. It was yet another sign that some players received favourable treatment, while others, like Diaz, did not.

The Moroccans persistently reached out to Brahim, continuously showing their support and belief in the Malaga-born player from a young age. The African Federation also honoured Diaz’s journey. Eventually, when opportunities arose, they presented him with an impressive proposition encompassing the present and future, notably featuring the Africa Cup 2025 (to be hosted by Morocco), the World Cup 2026, and the World Cup 2030, which would be co-hosted by Morocco alongside Spain and Portugal. At the highest echelons of the Moroccan Federation, they crafted a comprehensive plan tailored to Brahim’s aspirations, demonstrating a profound respect for his time—an aspect highly appreciated by the player from Malaga.

These reasons led Brahim Díaz to choose to play for Morocco instead of his birth country, Spain. With this decision, Diaz bids farewell to “La Roja” and embraces the “Atlas Lions”.