(Africanfootball.com) AFC Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech may be regarded as one of the best on-field stars of the Eredivisie, but he has come in for criticism in regards to his dealings with the media.
The Moroccan playmaker has been branded dour and sullen for the way he comes across in interviews, which is a strange irony given that his playing style is so exciting.
Yet Ziyech’s teammates at both international and club level have come to the defence of the 25-year-old, insisting that his media persona hides a man with a great sense of humour.
"I sometimes hear people say that he should be happier, he would laugh too little in interviews, for example, then I think he does not have to be a clown, some feel the need to hang the clown in front of the camera. Is not that right?" Morocco teammate Nordin Amrabat told ELF Football.
"In addition, Hakim laughs enough. Believe me. He has a lot of humour," added Amrabat, whose words are echoed by Ziyech’s Ajax teammate and fellow Moroccan international Noussair Mazraoui.
"If you do not know what he is, Hakim will not give in,” explained the 21-year-old right-back.
“If he does not like something, he says so, he does not let himself play with him, and if he is attacked, he defends himself, and not everyone dares [to do this].
"He did, [and] unfortunately people wrongfully applied the label ‘arrogant’."
Ziyech is set to feature for Ajax in their Eredivisie clash away to PEC Zwolle on Saturday night.