Jamal Sellami hints at World Cup hope for Ayoub El Kaabi
Morocco coach Jamal Sellami has paid tribute to African Nations Championship top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi and believes the striker is in Herve Renard's consideration ahead of the World Cup.
El Kaabi has been one of the CHAN's outstanding individuals so far, breaking the record for goals scored in a single edition of the competition after netting eight goals en route to the final.
He has the opportunity to add to his tally in Sunday's final against Nigeria in Casablanca, while Sellami also believes he has the opportunity to impress Renard ahead of the Atlas Lions' World Cup campaign.
"For El Kaabi, tomorrow is the big moment for him he has to show he is ready for the future," Sellami told journalists on Saturday. "Herve Renard is here and looking at him, he has a chance.
"Many didn't know him before now, and we are glad to have found a player like him," Sellami added. "El Kaabi has guided us to the final, he is our strength but he is supported by the team."
The RS Berkane frontman netted twice in Morocco's opener against Mauritania in the group stage, and scored a hat-trick as Guinea were dispatched 3-1.
In the knockouts, he broke the deadlock in the 2-0 victory over Namibia, and then went on to net twice - including in extra time - as the Atlas Lions beat Libya 3-1 in the semi final.
"We believed that he was just a poacher who waited for the right moment to shoot," continued Sellami, "but in fact, he's a generous player who does well for his teammates and knows to keep his head on his shoulders.
"He's evidence that we have immense potential here in Morocco, we just have to find and nurture the talent."
Goalscoring hasn't been an area of strength for Morocco's senior national side under Herve Renard, with 30-year-old Khalid Boutaib only emerging as a viable option for the Atlas Lions during 2017.
El Kaabi is one of several home-based Moroccan players who have impressed on home soil during the CHAN, and will surely be harbouring hopes of gatecrashing the party in Russia.