Thursday 30 May 2024

2023 AFCON: ‘Playing as One of the Favorites Is an Asset’, Morocco’s Head Coach

Salé – Morocco’s head coach, Walid Regragui, said that the country’s football team will have the advantage of playing the final phase of the Africa Cup of Nations (2023 AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire as one of the favorites, underlining that the Atlas Lions have all the assets to have a good tournament.

“Being underdogs at the World Cup and favorites at the AFCON is an asset. We’ve acquired a new status not only in Africa but also at world level, with a position in the Top 15,” said Walid Regragui, at a press conference held at the Mohammed VI football complex in Salé to present the twenty-seven players selected.

According to him, “the players have to adapt to this new status. It’s always nice to be a team that is feared, and it’s a status we need to get used to, as we aim to become a nation that ranks among the favorites.”

“We have a well-balanced group made up of experienced players and talented youngsters whom we are also preparing for the future of the national team,” he pointed out.

The national team has been drawn in Group F alongside DR Congo, Zambia and Tanzania, following the draw for the group phase of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Atlas Lions will play their group-stage matches in the town of San Pedro. They will face Tanzania in their first match.

MAP

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Morocco’s football team head coach, Walid Regragui, unveiled the 27-man squad selected to take part in the two upcoming matches of the Atlas Lions against Zambia and the Republic of the Congo in the FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers (African Zone).

The Atlas Lions will face Zambia on 7 June in Agadir, and the Republic of the Congo on 11 June in Kinshasa, in the 3rd and 4th rounds of Group E respectively.

Here follows the list of players called up:

 Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal/Saudi Arabia), Mounir El Kajoui (Al Wehda FC/Saudi Arabia), El Mehdi Benabid (AS FAR).

Defenders: Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain/France), Mohamed Chibi (Pyramids/Egypt), Abdelkabir Abqar (Deportivo Alaves/Spain), Achraf Dari (Royal Charleroi S.C./Belgium), Nayef Aguerd (West Ham United/England), Ghanem Saïss (Al Shabab/Saudi Arabia), Chadi Riad (Real Betis/Spain), Yahya Attiat Allah (PFC Sochi/Russia), Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich/Germany).

Midfielders: Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United/England), Oussama El Azzouzi (Bologna FC/Italy), Bilal El Khannouss (Genk/Belgium), Ibrahim Diaz (Real Madrid/Spain), Ismael Saibari (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Oussama Targhalline (Le Havre/France), Amir Richardson (Stade de Reims/France), Azzedine Ounahi (Olympique Marseille/France).

Forwards: Hakim Ziyech (Galatasaray/Turkey), Ilyas Akhomach (Villarreal/Spain), Ayoub El Kaabi (Olympiakos/Greece), Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla FC/Spain), Soufiane Rahimi (Al Ain/United Arab Emirates), Amine Adli (Bayern Leverkusen/Germany), Eliesse Ben Seghir (AS Monaco/France).

U-20 Moroccan national football team defeated DR Congo 2-0 in a friendly game, held Wednesday at Mohammed VI Football Complex in Sale.

The national team’s goals were scored by Adam Boayar (6th minute) and Mouad Dahak (43rd minute).

The second match of this double friendly against DR Congo is scheduled for Saturday at Mohammed VI Football Complex at 6:00 pm.

Both matches are part of the U-20 national team’s preparations for the North African qualifying tournament for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Moroccan beach soccer team won the El Salvador Beach Soccer Cup 2024 tournament on Saturday, after beating its American counterpart (5-4).

Morocco’s goals were scored by Amine Bidouri, Zouhir Jabbari, Badr El Kraichly and Reda Zahraoui.

Morocco had beaten El Salvador in their opening match, before losing to Switzerland in their second game.

On the final day, the Moroccan squad took advantage of Switzerland’s defeat by El Salvador to take first place with 6 points and win the title.

Morocco’s national football team failed to score as they drew 0-0 with Mauritania in a friendly game, held Tuesday at the Grand Stadium of Agadir.

   From the outset of the game, the national squad faced a strong Mauritanian defensive block, pushing Walid Regragui’s men to maintain their pressure to create chances, notably through Soufiane Rahimi and Brahim Diaz, but in vain.

   The changes made in the second time by national coach Walid Regragui, with the exit of Soufiane Rahimi and Hakim Ziyech, replaced by Ilias Akhomach and Youssef En-Nesyri, did not make the expected difference.

   Last Friday, the Moroccan squad bested Angola 1-0 in a friendly game at the same stadium.

The Moroccan U17 football team beat Tunisia 1-0, Friday in Tunis, in a friendly game.

The Moroccan squad goal was scored by Aniss El ghizizal in the 79th minute.

The two teams will play a second friendly on March 25 in Tunis.

Morocco’s national football team beat Angol 1-0 in a friendly game, held Friday evening at the Grand stadium in Agadir.

The Atlas Lions dominated the game from start to finish, but they had to wait until the 71st minute for the opening goal, after Angolan defender David Carmo accidentally put the ball into his own net.

Despite this small win, the national squad, slightly reshuffled with the entry into play of Real Madrid star Brahim Diaz and AS Monaco player Eliesse Ben Seghir, played a great game against a well-organized Angolan defense.

Morocco will play another friendly against Mauritania on March 26 in the same city.