Sami Tlemcani may not have a single picture in the Getty Images database, but he does have a call-up from the Morocco national football team at the ripe old age of 17. The Chelsea Academy youngster was a surprise inclusion as a fourth goalkeeper in an expanded, 27-man squad for their three-match slate coming up this break.
And while he’s not expected to actually make his debut, he’s certainly proud of the recognition and happy to have made the choice to represent the country of the maternal side of his family. (He’s also eligible for Algeria as well as France, where he was born.)
“It’s a great pride, a first call-up at 17! My family are proud, and my mother is proud. I can only feel pride around me. They’re all happy for me and my choice of Morocco compared to France or Algeria”.
“[I hope to play as soon as possible but] I’m here to learn and they’ve all been really nice with me. Very nice, I’m like everyone’s little brother. It’s quite cool”.
-Sami Tlemcani; source: Lions de L’Atlas via Sport Witness
Certainly not lacking for ambition, the youngster, who joined the Chelsea Academy last summer from Paris FC though has only played a handful of games since then.
Meanwhile, Morocco head coach Vahid Halilhodžić has not called upon Hakim Ziyech, so evidently their feud is still ongoing. Hopefully the head coach isn’t just using Sami as a way to troll his team’s biggest star and best player.