Barca’s Moriba to swap Spain for Guinea

Barca’s Moriba to swap Spain for Guinea
Barcelona's Ilaix Moriba (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring the 2-0 lead during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between CA Osasuna and FC Barcelona

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Aug 23, 2021. 10:00

Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba will reportedly swap his international allegiance from Spain to the country of his birth, Guinea.

The 18-year-old has represented the European nation at youth level and was expected to continue up to the senior level with La Roja.

However, AS reports that the player has taken the decision this past weekend to represent Guinea. He was born in the West African country’s capital Conakry on June 19, 2003.

In 2017 Moriba received an invitation from the Guinea federation team to join their U-16 side – one he rejected in favour of Spain.

Now, though, the promising player has informed football authorities in Guinea that he will make himself available for the Syli Nationale and he could even feature in their 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Guinea-Bissau and Morocco early next month.

AS clarifies that, “Ilaix Moriba is very affected by all the controversy generated by his non-renewal with Barcelona.

“A few days ago he received a call from the Spanish Federation to inquire about his status. In this talk, the representative of the federative body showed his support and encouraged him.

“Despite this gesture, the young player has decided to change his team and represent his native country.”

Moriba’s future at Barcelona appears to be bleak, as they are unwilling to let Moriba leave for less than €20m and plan to put him in the stands if he is not sold and does not renew his contract.

Club vice-president Rafa Yuste spoke about Moriba before Barca’s match against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night: “If Ilaix Moriba doesn’t change his position, he won’t have a future at this club. I think he is wrong.

“It is very important that this message reaches all the youngsters at the club, at this difficult moment for the club. They must realise money is not everything, and they must be excited to play for FC Barcelona.”

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