Amrabat declines Netherlands for Morocco

Xavi, Al Sadd head coach expects a tough game with Al Nassr

Feyenoord midfielder Sofyan Amrabat has turned down the opportunity to represent the Netherlands by pledging his allegiance to Morocco.

The Dutch-born 21-year-old had made a real impression at De Kuip with his composure and versatility, since arriving from Utrecht in the off-seaon for a reported €4 million.

Playing in an unfamiliar right-back role, Amrabat scored his first goal for the club in a 3-1 defeat to Napoli in the UEFA Champions League last month.

Nonetheless, having represented both countries at youth levels, Morocco Football Federation president Faouzi Lakjaa confirmed the youngster's decision in a press conference.

"Amrabat sat with his parents in the stand at the World Championships qualifying match between Morocco and Gabon on Saturday night. He will play for Morocco's first team," Lakjaa said.

Amrabat will now follow in the footsteps of his elder brother, Nordin, who plays for English Premier League side Watford and the Atlas Lions.