Saturday 22 June 2024

AFCON-2023: Mohammed VI Academy, Jewel in Crown of Training Serving National Football

Rabat – The Mohammed VI Football Academy, set up in 2009 in Salé, has stood out over the years as a jewel in the crown of training to promote the national football, which in recent years has achieved numerous continental and international successes.

The Academy, which came into being thanks to the farsighted leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, has become a benchmark in sports training and the detection of young talent.

The historic feats achieved by national football in recent years confirm, if need be, the considerable efforts made by the Kingdom in the field of sports training, embodied by the Mohammed VI Academy as a key to the success of national teams on the continental and international stages, thanks to the emergence of a new generation of high-caliber players, some of whom now form the backbone of the national “A” football team that will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON-2023), scheduled for January 13 to February 11 in Côte d’Ivoire.

Following on from their unprecedented success at the 2002 World Cup in Qatar, the graduates of the Mohammed VI Football Academy are still a strong presence in the national team squad, with Youssef En-Nesyri, Azzedine Ounahi, Nayef Aguerd and the promising Abdelkabir Abqar, attesting to the quality of the training provided by this sports facility at all levels.

After the outstanding performance of the Atlas Lions at the Qatari World Cup and the good results achieved by the men’s and women’s national football teams in all age categories, the AFCON-2023 will once again be an opportunity for Moroccan players to shine and show the full extent of their talent, writing a glorious new chapter in the history of national football.

As well as being a benchmark in player training and an incubator for budding young footballers, the Mohammed VI Academy is a Royal project that aims to promote national football and develop its level, by spotting young talent and honing their skills.

Covering an area of around 18 hectares, the Academy, which has mobilized investments of the order of 140 million dirhams, illustrates the High Solicitude with which HM the King never ceases to surround sport in general and football in particular.

This hub of excellence has been built and equipped according to the standards in force in world-class European training centers, with a view to providing young Moroccans with the ideal conditions to benefit from high-quality training, enabling them to play for the biggest clubs in Morocco and Europe.

The Academy is also the driving force behind a strategic football training policy that includes talent spotting and detection projects in the various regions of the Kingdom, as well as capacity building for national technical staff.

Like the Mohammed VI Football Academy, which reflects the enormous efforts made in the area of training, the dazzling success of the national football is by no means the result of chance, but rather the outcome of long-term efforts and good governance to promote the most popular sport in the country and strengthen its competitiveness, in keeping with the enlightened Royal vision in this area.


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In the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday, Morocco has ascended to the 12th position globally. With a tally of 1669.44 points, the Atlas Lions maintain their leading position in Africa, surpassing Senegal, which now holds the 18th rank with 1623.34 points.

At the regional level, Morocco continues to dominate, holding the top spot among Arab nations, with Qatar trailing behind at 35th place with 1504.06 points.

On the global stage, Argentina remains firmly at the summit of the FIFA rankings, followed closely by France and Belgium in second and third place, respectively.

The current FIFA Top 10 standings as of June 20, 2024, are as follows:

1. Argentina

2. France

3. Belgium

4. Brazil

5. England

6. Portugal

7. Netherlands

8. Spain

9. Croatia

10. Italy

he Moroccan National Football Team secured a large victory against Congo Brazzaville 6-0 on Tuesday at the Agadir Grand Stadium in the 4th round of Group E (African zone) qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

The Atlas Lions’ goals were scored by Azzeddine Ounahi (8’), Chadi Riad (16’), Ayoub El Kaabi (20’, 39’, 53’) and Soufiane Rahimi (62’).

Morocco beat Zambia 2-1 on Friday at Agadir’s Adrar Stadium in the 3rd Day of Group E (African zone) qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

The Atlas Lions won thanks to goals from Hakim Ziyech (6th) and Eliesse Ben Seghir (67th). Edouard Chilufya (80th) scored for Zambia.

With this victory, Morocco consolidate their position at the top of Group E with six points from two matches.

The game against Congo Brazzaville, part of matchday 4, will be held on June 11 at Agadir’s Adrar Stadium (8pm), instead of the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Moroccan national football team will play Congo Brazzaville, on June 11 at the Grand Stadium of Agadir, for the 4th day of the African qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced.

FRMF had received a letter from FIFA informing it that the Congo Brazzaville-Morocco match will be held at the Grand Stadium of Agadir on June 11 (8 p.m.) instead of the Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, FRMF pointed out in a press release.

Atlas Lions will play Zambia tonight in Agadir for the 3rd round of these qualifiers.

Morocco tops Group E with 3 points, following their away victory against Tanzania (0-2) on November 21. Zambia, Niger and Tanzania, who have each played two matches, also have 3 points. 

Head coach of the Moroccan national team Walid Regragui said, on Thursday in Agadir, that the Atlas Lions’ objective is to win their match against Zambia and stay top of Group E of the African qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2026.

“We will do what is necessary to get the three victory points to stay ahead in our group,” he told a pre-match press conference before the Morocco-Zambia game, scheduled for Friday at the Adrar Stadium in Agadir for Matchday 3 (Group E).

“Zambia are a team we know well, having played them at the last Africa Cup of Nations, but Friday’s match will be held in front of our own fans and will certainly be different from AFCON,” he said.

In this regard, he noted that the Moroccan national team “can do better than their recent performances. In the last two games, we scored a goal (against Angola in a friendly), but the important thing is to have chances which we need to convert”, he added, noting that “it’s not a question of attacking play, because the national team creates a lot of chances, but we’re still lacking in goal-scoring efficiency”.

“We have talented players. But working at club level is different from working for the national team. With the succession of matches, I think the players will be more at ease and therefore more effective,” he said.

“Playing at home means we have to win, but the important thing is to qualify for the World Cup,” stressed Regragui, explaining that “qualification is a marathon with several matches, and we’re well prepared for this marathon. Our ambition is to give Morocco a third consecutive appearance at the World Cup”.

For his part, Zambia coach Avram Grant noted that his team would be facing a Moroccan side packed with stars who play in the world’s top leagues, with the ambition of winning the game, adding that Friday’s encounter would be different from that of the last AFCON.

Morocco lead Group E with 3 points, after their away win over Tanzania (0-2) on November 21. Zambia, Niger and Tanzania, who played two matches, also have 3 points.

Morocco’s national beach soccer team on Monday started a training camp at the Mohammed VI Football Complex in Maâmora (suburbs of Salé), the Royal Moroccan Football Federation said.

Fifteen players have been called up by national head coach Gilberto Da Costa de Souza to participate in this training course, which runs until May 7th.

The players called up are Yasser Abada, Manar M’hamed, Anouar Al Abbasi, Ibrahim Abagli, Reda Zahraoui, Adnane Oubahri and Radouane Ennaciri.

They also include Mustapha Tais, Amine Al Bidouri, Zouhair Jabbary, Driss Ghannam, Badr Al Kraichly, Mohamed Essahli, Ali El Khdym and Mourad Youssef.