Mohamed Ihattaren is the latest player who needed to make a decision about his international career. The Dutch-Moroccan player had to make a decision between playing for the Dutch national team and the Moroccan national teams. Ihattaren is currently seen as the biggest talent in the Dutch Eredivisie. Unsurprisingly both the KNVB and FRMF were trying to convince him to play for their national team. Last weekend Ihattaren announced he will play his international career in the orange of the Dutch national team.
Mohamed Ihattaren a big talent
The first time I saw Ihattaren play was in May 2018, when he won the Euro Championship U17 with the Dutch team. It took me a few moments to see this guy is going to be a very special player. I wasn’t surprised at all that he made his first team debut for PSV not even a year later. Mohamed Amine Ihattaren is from Moroccan descent, but born in the Netherlands. Like every talented player with a double nationality, he had to choose for which national team he would like to play. From both sides the signals were very strong that they would like him to select their country.
Dutch national team manager Ronald Koeman talked with him, as did representatives of the Moroccan football association. Mo decided to go and play for the Dutch team, which is a huge boost for the orange machine. He joins a talented squad with the likes of Matthijs De Ligt, Frenkie De Jong, Donyell Malen and Calvin Stengs. Add the experience of Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum, Daley Blind and Memphis Depay and the Dutch national team is going to be a serious contender for trophies in the next couple of years.
Problems for Fédération Royale Marocaine de Football
Mohamed Ihatarren’s father passed away recently, which is of course an extremely sad moment in the live of a 17-year-old boy. The KNVB decided to give him the time to mourn. At the same time the Moroccan federation saw an opportunity to persuade the player to pick them. The FRMF chairman attended the funeral of Ihatarren’s father, and rumours are they even paid for it. Now he picked the Dutch national team, people are starting to criticise the actions of FRMF. The French newspaper Le Matin believes FRMF should give Ihatarren the time to mourn just like the KNVB did. The manager of the Moroccan national team, Vahid Halilhodzic, is also under fire, because he sent his assistant to talk with the player, instead of doing the talks himself.