Sports

Mbark Boussoufa retires from internationals after Morocco exit

RABAT, Morocco – Morocco’s international soccer star Mbark Boussoufa is retiring from international and professional soccer.

The striker said it is time for a younger generation to have a chance after announcing his retirement from international football.

The Moroccan national team the Atlas Lions lost to Benin during penalty kicks in the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The game ended a 13-year international career for the midfielder, who scored eight goals in 70 games for his country.

“I had my time. I had a good time I think that’s been enough from me,” the 34-year-old told BBC Sport.

He added: “I have had enough time and I think it is time for the young players that are coming. There are enough good players.”

Boussoufa was born in the Netherlands and was in line for a Dutch national team call-up before opting in 2006 to play for Morocco, where his parents are from.

The midfielder – who spent the past six months at Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia before his contract expired – was playing at his third Cup of Nations, having appearing in 2012 and 2017.

He scored the winner against South Africa that helped Morocco win Group D on July 1 this year.

The midfielder also played every minute of Morocco’s World Cup campaign in Russia in 2018, and was his country’s captain for the 2-2 draw with Spain as they bowed out of the tournament.

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