Boufal out as Benatia, Ziyech & Belhanda make Morocco's World Cup squad

Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech and Mehdi Benatia are among the star names in Morocco's World Cup squad, but Sofiane Boufal is left out.

Southampton's Sofiane Boufal in action for Morocco   -  Getty Images

Sofiane Boufal was not included in Morocco's squad for the World Cup after the Southampton playmaker lost his spot at the Premier League club.

Boufal, a club-record signing from Lille in August 2016, has not played in the Premier League since March following a dispute with Saints boss Mark Hughes.

And the 24-year-old appears to have paid for that lack of action by missing out on a place in Herve Renard's squad for the World Cup.

Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech and Mehdi Benatia are among the stars included in the 23-man final selection, with Renard naming Oualid El Hajjam, Noussair Mazraoui and Youssef En Nesyri as reserves.

Real Madrid's teenage right-back Achraf Hakimi, who started eight LaLiga games in the 2017-18 season, is in Renard's final squad.

Morocco is hoping to host the 2026 World Cup, but are up against a joint-bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Morocco's final 23-man World Cup squad:

Yassine Bounou (Girona), Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia), Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger); Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Badr Benoun (Raja Casablanca), Manuel Da Costa (Istanbul Basaksehir), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (Lille), Romain Saiss (Wolves); Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Mbark Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke); Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Aziz Bouhaddouz (Saint Pauli), Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Mehdi Carcela (Standard Liege), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax).

Reserve list: Oualid El Hajjam (Amiens), Youssef En Nesyri (Malaga), Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax).

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