Football World Cup: Morocco changing the face of football

Morocco is changing the face of football, this is according to Abderrazak Khairi, the 2-goal hero in the squad defeated Portugal to range another round at the 1986 Football World Cup in Mexico, the initial time that an African nation had ever gone beyond the group phases. Thirty-six years ago, Morocco also won a hard group, with two 0-0 draws against England and Poland, then beaten Portugal 3-1 thanks a lot to Khairi’s double. The adventure was done in Round 16 when Lothar Matthaeus scored 2 minutes from time to give West Germany, the eventual runners-up, a 1-0 success.

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Morocco Vs Portugal Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket
Morocco Vs Portugal Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket

Since the success of the 1986 generation, Morocco has exited the group phase three times and several thought they would face a similar fate in Qatar later being drawn into a tough group and with the departure of Vahid Halilhodzic and the appointment of Walid Regragui just 3 months previously the start of the tournament. The class of 2022 again meets Portugal, seeking to use the former European champions as a stepping stone to a historic semi-final arrival, and Khairi says, I think that the Moroccan national squad is trying to change the map of Football world football now.

They are playing at the main possible level and proving to the world that impossible in nothing. The further we vision of something, the extra ambitious (we are), he added. Morocco displayed a winning mentality and both Regragui and defender Ashraf Hakimi spoke boldly about the vision of winning the title, saying, why doesn’t Africa vision of winning the cup? It will be an important moment for all of us, Arabs and Africans. Let us live the vision and, whatever happens, we have already reached some of our visions in this version, Khairi said.

Morocco’s coach breaking new Football World Cup ground for Africans

Morocco skipper Walid Regragui became the opening ever African trainer to take a squad into the Football World Cup quarterfinals when his side beat Spain on penalties, despite only taking over the reins in August. Regragui was chosen previously for the tournament with Moroccan soccer in turmoil after earlier football coach Vahid Halilhodzic was sacked over “differences of belief” with the state’s soccer federation.

But in 7 competitions since then, the Atlas Lions have been winning, conceding only once an own goal in their final group match against already-eliminated Canada. In just five months since leaving Wydad Casablanca, Regragui has become an international trainer for the initial time and made his home country the first ever North African or Arab state to range the previous eight of the Football World Cup.

One additional success against Portugal on Saturday would make Morocco the initial African squad to reach the semi-finals surpassing the 1990 Cameroon side, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana’s 2010 vintage. If you can do it, you can, if not, not, the 47-year-old said of breaking innovative ground for an African or Arab coach.

Morocco Vs Portugal  Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket
Morocco Vs Portugal Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket

It has zero to do with the existence of Arab or not. I fought for it. Maybe when I’m old, I’ll be pleased with it, but for the instant, I am mostly pleased with my country. And a local trainer, it’s the best thing for me and for my state. Regragui’s side battled ferociously off the ball to close down space against Spain on Tuesday in their opening Round-16 match later 1986.

The trainer has seen several big choices pay off in the new months and his tactics of allowing Spain possession worked as planned. Morocco created the better chances in the game but could not take them, previously Spain missed all three of their spot-kicks with goalkeeper Yassine Bounou the hero. We had decided not to take possession, not out of fear, he said.

No one had managed to steal the ball from them, so I approved not having the ball, I’m not a magician. We worked for 4 days on this game plan. Regragui would possibly have not even been at the tournament if much-traveled earlier superior Halilhodzic had not sidelined star players Noussair Mazraoui and Hakim Ziyech over disciplinary problems. That put the Bosnian in a power fight with the federation and he was surely fired.

Every Moroccan is Moroccan

Regragui was born in France and expanded the popularity of his playing profession there, although he did succeed 45 caps for Morocco. He went on to make his name as a trainer in Africa, spending five years with FUS Rabat previously joining Wydad after a brief spell with Al Duhail in Qatar. I passed my diplomas in France, but it is my state of origin that gave me a chance, Regragui said.

Morocco Vs Portugal Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket
Morocco Vs Portugal Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket

I had to give back to the federation what they gave me, the assurance … to be intelligent to grow in Morocco as a football coach. Fourteen of the players in his 26-man team in Qatar were born outside Morocco, as well as Achraf Hakimi, born in Madrid, who scored the winning penalty against Spain. I consider they all displayed the world that all Moroccans are Moroccan, added Regragui.

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Supporters surge to Qatar as Morocco carries hopes

it was in mid-air on the final leg to Doha that Hassan realised accurately what lay in store. He was traveling from Paris, via Istanbul, with his friends Manal and Zouhair later hours of searching for a ticket to Morocco against Spain finally paid off. I didn’t understand what I was seeing and hearing, he says. There were Egyptians, Jordanians, Iraqis, and Yemenis all of them had left their families and their jobs, just to come and support Morocco.

Hassan pulls up a video on his phone: almost all passenger is on their feet, chanting his homeland’s name. It was Monday night and, within 24 hours, they would witness past. Morocco had never touched the previous eight of a Football World Cup previously; if they lose Portugal on Saturday, they will do what nobody from their continent has ever managed, breaking Africa’s semi-final duck in the past.

Morocco Vs Portugal Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket
Morocco Vs Portugal Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Football World Cup Ticket

Sometimes it senses like Morocco is hosting this tournament, Hassan speaks. He is hardly exaggerating. The three are walking along Doha’s Corniche, a few minutes from what has become the fans’ hub of Souq Waqif. Nowadays three-quarters of the squads have gone home, and the huge Moroccan and Argentinian contingents have the run of the place.

 They were prominent all along but there is a subtle variance today. Those draped in the red flag with the five-pointed green star are almost as possible to come from other states, say in subtly dissimilar dialects, and be steeped in variations of a similar culture. Morocco carries the expectations of the Arab world and everybody is on board.

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