World Cup 2022: Morocco Coach Compares Ziyech to Neymar and Mbappe

World Cup 2022: Morocco Coach Compares Ziyech to Neymar and Mbappe

Elijah Odetokun
  • Morocco coach Walid Regragui has compared Hakim Ziyech to Neymar and Kylian Mbappe
  • Regragui says Ziyech is Morocco's best player and should be treated differently to others
  • Ziyech played 120 minutes and scored a penalty to help Morocco progress to the knockouts

Hakim Ziyech returned to the Morocco national team squad for the World Cup under new coach Walid Regragui, after being left out by former coach, Vahid Halilhodžić.

Ziyech has repaid Regragui's faith by stepping up for Morocco in Qatar and he has been hailed by the coach as the country's best player.

Neymar Jr, Hakim Ziyech, Kylian Mbappe, Morocco, France, Brazil, World Cup
Morocco Coach likens Ziyech's impact to that of Neymar and Mbappe. Photos by Jean Catuffe/Alex Livesey/Eric Verhoeven.
Source: Getty Images

Regragui says Ziyech is not just another player and should be loved. He further compared him to what Neymar is for Brazil and what Kylian Mbappe is for France.

Ziyech compared to Neymar, Mbappe

Regragui hailed the Chelsea attacker as an important player in the Atlas Lions squad after the win over Spain, as quoted by GWFN.

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“What he’s doing is tremendous. The Moroccan people wanted to see him and were encouraging him and he responded to that. We need to give him responsibility and he needs to be loved. It’s like Neymar for Brazil, Mbappé for France,” he said.
Hakim Ziyech, Walid Regragui, Morocco, World Cup, Qatar, Spain
Hakim Ziyech and Walid Regragui embrace after Morocco defeated Spain. Photo by Jack Guez.
Source: Getty Images

Ziyech thrives on love, respect

Regragui disagrees with coaches who think every player should be treated alike, and says Ziyech thrives when he is loved and respected.

“You can’t just see him as another player; he’s your best player. Some coaches say all players should be treated equally, but that’s not the case. Hakim is not just another player; I show him love and respect, because it’s what he deserves.”

Ziyech has been underwhelming for Chelsea and it is believed he will leave the club in January, as he feels let down by the club's hierarchy.

Different shades of Ziyech

Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are two Chelsea players who have stepped up for their countries in the World Cup, despite poor form at the club.

Sports Brief wrote on why the attackers of the Blues play better at the national team and underperform for the London club, despite high expectations.

According to Football London, both players are expected to leave Chelsea in January after the World Cup, with Hakim Ziyech inching closer to a move to Serie A giant AC Milan.