The defender and midfielder was, until last week’s loss to the Benin Squirrels, in Egypt representing Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations 2019.
Rabat – Romain Ghanem Paul Saïss is a 29-year-old Moroccan professional footballer who plays for the Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Moroccan national team as a defender or a midfielder.
Born to a Moroccan father and a French mother in the southeastern French city Bourg-de-Péage, Saïss began his journey to becoming an internationally recognized professional at a young age.
Following the example of his father, Redouane Saïss; a former football player in the French amateur club of Espérance Hostunoise, he devoted himself to the sport, eventually joining the regional team AS Valencia.
While training at the AS Valencia, Romain Saïss was discovered by Sébastien Regache who followed his journey for several months. Regache then recommended Saissto Jean-Noël Cabezas, the coach of the Clermont Foot reserve team; a French club that Saïss eventually joined in 2011.
After his remarkable performances with the reserve team, Saïss joined training with the professional team in October 2011. In February 2012, he signed his first professional contract at the request of the team’s coach, Michel Der Zakarian, during a match against LB Chateauroux.
In July 2013, he signed a contract with the French club Le Havre AC in Ligue 2; playing his first match with the team a month later. In January 2014, Saïss scored his first goal a league match against Metz in.
His performances of great skill and endurance led the team’s management to regularize him throughout the 2013-2014 season.
After spending two seasons with the team, Saïss decided to move on. He then committed to two seasons at the French club SCO Angers which was promoted in Ligue 1.
He played his first game with the new team in August 2015 against Montpellier HSC where he contributed to the team’s 28th victory. In May 2016, Saïss played his last match wearing the colors of SCO Angers.
Having already made a name for himself in football, Saïss signed a four-year contract with British club Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 2016, under a $4 million transfer.
He played his first official match with the team in September 2016 against Newcastle United leading to a 0-2 win. Much appreciated by the team’s coach Nuno Espírito Santo, Saïss played every game with the first team. He scored his first goal in September 2017 against Burton Albion.
In 2018, Saïss and Wolverhampton won multiple victories, finishing first in the 2017-2018 season. The team was then promoted to the Premier League for the 2018-2019 season.
Saïss was eligible to play for both the Moroccan and French national teams due to his double nationality. He was approached by Morocco’s then-coach, Rachid Taoussi, in November 2012 to participate in a friendly match between Morocco and Togo.
When Hervé Renard became the coach of the Atlas Lions, he put his faith on Saïss for the qualifying matches of the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) competition.
Since the beginning of 2017, the French coach has positioned Saïss in central defense alongside Medhi Benatia.
Under the Hervé Renard era, Saïss has become a well-known name, regularly cited in match reports. He was among the players pre-selected for the Atlas Lions in both the 2018 World Cup with Morocco and for the 2019 CAN.
Saïss played with the Atlas Lions in the 2019 CAN, marking an outstanding performance alongside his Moroccan team members, before their loss against Benin.
At a press conference prior to the Atlas Lions’ final game, Sais said that the Atlas Lions should not look down on Benin.
“Benin, who qualified from a difficult group, were able to score two goals against Ghana and trouble Cameroon, the defending champions,” Saiss told reporters.
“For all these reasons, we must be vigilant and not underestimate our opponent to claim to achieve a good result,” he added.
Fans of the defender, disappointed with Lion’s exit from CAN, are eager to see what this promising player does next.