Defender Adam Masina has said he is "really happy" and "excited" as he prepares to make his bow in senior international football later this week.

The left-back has been called up by the Morocco national team for the first time this break and has taken up the invitation to represent his country of birth.

The Atlas Lions are five points clear at the top of their African Cup of Nations qualifying group, with two matches remaining against Mauritania (March 26, 7pm GMT) and Burindi (March 30, 8pm GMT).

“I’m really excited, I’ve thought about this for a long time,” the defender told the club's website.

“I’m really happy now, I’m happy to try to help the team and I can’t wait. We have a target, and we have to try to achieve it, that’s it. In this moment we have to work a lot to achieve our goals.”

Masina was born in Khouribga, Morocco, but moved to Italy as a child, came through the ranks at Bologna and made six appearances for Italy Under-21s while playing in Serie A.

Speaking about Morocco's upcoming games against Mauritania and Burindi, the 27-year-old said: “These games are really important, we’ve already achieved qualification, but we have to work on it as always and try to do our maximum as always to win the game.

“I know the level will be really high. I’ve already seen the kind of players who are there, and the level is unbelievable. I’m really happy to be a part of this team and I’m really proud to be there. I’ll do my maximum for sure.

“I don’t know them personally, but I know of every single one because they play in high-level football, so of course I know of them. They’re really top players.”

One familiar face to Masina will be Achraf Lazaar, his Watford teammate and fellow left-back.

Lazaar, who was born in Casablanca, similarly moved to Italy as a child. He already has 11 caps for Morocco and was on the bench for two friendly matches last October.

“As a kid I was wishing to be in the national team,” said the 29-year-old, who joined Watford in February.

“Putting that shirt on is something you can’t describe, it’s something unbelievable. I’m so proud to be part of my national team and I hope to give something to the people. The people of Morocco wish to win the Africa Cup of Nations, and also to qualify for the World Cup in 2022.”

Masina and Lazaar will head back to Watford after the games ahead of another important fixture next weekend against Sheffield Wednesday.

“I have some goals, now I have this opportunity I’m really happy to try to achieve my aim. In this moment I think I’m at a good level. I can’t wait to challenge myself,” said Masina.

“I won’t forget about our situation in this moment though. It’s too important for our club, for our team. I’ll be ready when the national team break is finished, and we have to keep giving great performances.”