Former French youth team and AS Monaco player Sofiane Diop has expressed his honor and eagerness to join the ranks of the Atlas Lions as they gear up for crucial World Cup 2026 qualifiers.
The Moroccan national team recently received a boost with the inclusion of Sofiane Diop, a player who until recently donned the colors of France’s youth teams.
The 23-year-old, faced with the choice of representing either Senegal or Morocco –the birthplace of his parents– opted to align himself with the Atlas Lions.
Last night marked Diop’s first training session with the Moroccan squad as they prepare for the upcoming qualifiers.
“I am deeply honored to be part of the team today,” he said. “It represents a lot of hard work and sacrifice. I am very happy to be here.”
Diop, a familiar face in the French Ligue 1, expressed his excitement about joining the team, stating: “I have been following the team’s journey, and today, I am honored to join them.”
“It’s a source of pride for my entire family, and I can’t wait to demonstrate it on the field. Dima Maghrib,” he concluded.
Moroccan head coach Walid Regragui, who met with the squad on Thursday, praised Diop’s decision, emphasizing that it had been long-standing.
“He could have chosen other countries, but he chose Morocco,” stated the coach, underscoring the timing of Diop’s decision and highlighting the player’s complete recovery from a previous injury, reaffirming his status as a “talented player.”
The unexpected addition of Diop added an intriguing twist to Regragui’s revealed squad, intensifying the anticipation surrounding Morocco’s performance in the upcoming qualifiers.
The squad is set to face Tanzania this month, in Group E alongside Congo, Niger, and Zambia.
They were also set to play against Eritrea, but the team announced its withdrawal from the qualifiers.
Morocco is one of the favorites to qualify for the competition from Africa, especially following an impressive showing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where they finished in a historic fourth place.
Source: Morocco World News