It was not an easy decision for Eliesse Ben Seghir to make, but the exceedingly talented offensive midfield player trained at the AS Monaco academy has chosen to represent Morocco on the international stage, putting aside his birthright to play for France.

Born in nearby Saint-Tropez, the promising young player of French and Moroccan nationality quickly found his feet on the football pitch, before joining AS Monaco’s first team in 2022 and the French Under-19s team in 2023. Still 19 years-old today, Ben Seghir had to make one of the toughest decisions of his career ahead of the international break.

Off the back of two injuries in the first half of the season, Ben Seghir was finally able to make the difference with a goal of his own to win the match against Strasbourg at the Stade de la Meinau on Sunday, March 10. A first call up to the Moroccan national team, also known as the Atlas Lions, followed.

Morocco coach Walid Regragui selected Ben Seghir for friendly fixtures against Angola on Friday, March 22 and Mauritania on Tuesday, March 26, an honour which was accepted by the midfielder after some careful consideration.

“I am lucky to be able to apply for two great footballing nations. The choice was complicated but carefully considered. I made this decision a little over a month ago, but with my injury it was a little complicated. Now that I feel very well, I decided to make this choice. No longer thinking is a bit of a relief,” Ben Seghir told L’Equipe at an ASM press conference.

I made this choice based on my roots, both my parents are Moroccan. The choice was not easy but the choice of roots won out. It’s a choice that may seem daring at my age, but why wait when you know what you want. I know what I want, I made this choice and I accept it. Joining the Morocco team is a great opportunity. When the coach calls you, it’s very difficult to refuse,” Ben Seghir concluded.

Regular club football will resume after the international break, with the first Monaco match being against Metz away on Saturday, March 30.

Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco: Eliesse Ben Seghir at the AS Monaco training centre in La Turbie