Morocco seek to extend Africa’s fairy-tale to final
Morocco will attempt to continue their surprise ascent to football heaven when they take on the defending champions, France, in the second semifinal of the tournament today. Morocco has emerged as the favorite among neutral supporters to win the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The Atlas Lions, who were mostly unheard of and unrated by top analysts before the competition started on December 20, have captured the hearts of neutral supporters at this Copa du Mundo by their performances against Spain and Portugal.
No other African or Arab country has ever advanced this far in a competition than the 22nd-ranked squad in the globe. They still need two victories to win the World Cup of football.
At this year’s competition, the Atlas Lions are unbeaten and have only given up one goal—an own goal against Canada in the group rounds.
Belgium, which placed third at the most recent World Cup in Russia four years ago, 2010 champions Spain, and 2016 European champions Portugal are among the teams that have been eliminated. In the group stage, they drew with Croatia, the 2018 champions.
They will compete against France, the current champions and one of the top teams still in the game, today.
Coach Walid Regragui’s team will be one win away from becoming one of a select few nations to win the World Cup if they can defeat France.
There have only been eight nations to win the World Cup since its establishment in the 1930s. These include Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and the United States of America.
Regragui’s crew is filled with hope that they will be able to join this exclusive club.
Morocco will use the same strategies they have used throughout the campaign against France, according to Regragui.
With the Atlas Lions allowing only one goal in five games, defense has been one of Morocco’s finest suits.
The only back-to-back World Cup champions since Brazil in 1962, France, will be up against them.
France has a striker at the World Cup who can through any defense in the swift Mbappe. He is the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals. Oliver Giroud, whose head is the most threatening among the competition’s forwards, is another frightening option outside Mbappe. Then there is Antoine Griezmann for France, a veteran who has added artistic midfield play to his repertoire.
Regragui is convinced that his team will not only make it to Sunday’s final but also have the talent to win it despite the threat posed by France.
“I was asked whether we could win the World Cup in a news conference a few games back. I responded, “Why not?” We can fantasize. Why can’t we have dreams? After his team’s triumph over Portugal, Regragui observed, “If you don’t dream, you don’t get anywhere.
“Having dreams doesn’t cost you anything. European nations are accustomed to winning the World Cup, he said, referring to his team as this year’s “Rocky Balboa” of the competition.
The kingdom has given nine free planes to take spectators to the game while Moroccan players toil to bring honor to their nation.
Prior to the Atlas Lions’ match in the last 16 and once again prior to the quarterfinal, tens of thousands of fans had arrived in Qatar.
For the North African team, today’s play at the Al Bayt Stadium is anticipated to feel like a home game because, according to Aljazeera, they produced a boisterous environment during the matches.