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

Sofiane Boufal Southampton's Sofiane Boufal in action for Morocco (source: 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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