Wednesday 12 June 2024

French Media Outlet Links Mohammed VI Academy to Morocco’s Soccer Success

Paris – In a journey spanning almost fifteen years since its inception, the Mohammed VI Football Academy has elevated Morocco to new heights on the global football stage, according to a report by Ouest-France on Wednesday.

Established in 2009 and situated in Salé, near the capital Rabat, the academy has become a breeding ground for Moroccan talent, boasting state-of-the-art facilities that rival those of the world’s top football clubs, as highlighted by the French media.

The academy, with its modern and avant-garde approach, offers a diverse range of playing surfaces, including grass, synthetic, indoor, and even beach soccer fields within its expansive 18-hectare complex. Ouest-France notes that the academy’s facilities are on par with, if not superior to, those of European football powerhouses.

Beyond its focus on football development, the Mohammed VI Academy takes a comprehensive approach by providing education to its young talents. Two dormitories and ten classrooms supplement the football training, reflecting a commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals.

Nasser Larguet, the inaugural director of the academy, emphasized the significance of families entrusting their children to an institution that, despite its nascent stages, displayed promising signs not only in football but also in overall personal development.

The fruits of the academy’s labor are now ripening, with one of the most significant achievements being Morocco’s presence in the semi-final of the 2022 World Cup. Ouest-France points out that among the 23 Moroccan heroes, four honed their skills at the Mohammed VI Academy, including three who secured starting positions—Azzedine Ounahi, Reda Tagnaouti, Youssef En-Nesyri, and Nayef Aguerd.

Not only has the academy contributed to the success of local players, but it has also played a pivotal role in attracting members of the Moroccan diaspora to represent their homeland. The likes of Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, Sofyan Amrabat, Noussair Mazraoui, Sofiane Boufal, and Amine Harit have all chosen to play for the Lions of the Atlas, thanks to the academy’s influence, as reported by Nasser Larguet.

Larguet notes a significant turning point where the academy showcased the growing potential of Moroccan football. The allure of representing Morocco has led the best Moroccan players born in Europe to eagerly join the national teams, creating a domino effect of talent funneling back to the country.

In a recent trend, promising players of Moroccan origin have opted for their country of origin over their birthplaces. Examples include Oussama El Azzouzi, born in the Netherlands, and Ilias Akhomach, born in Spain.

While the spotlight is currently on Morocco’s impressive journey to the World Cup semi-final in Qatar, Ouest-France highlights that this accomplishment is just one among many recent successes for the country. The U17 team’s historic qualification for the World Cup and the U23 team’s already secured spot in the Olympic Games underscore Morocco’s rising prominence on the international stage.

Former Technical Director of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation emphasizes, “We have results on the world stage. It pushes players to choose Morocco. Today, Morocco presents a very beautiful showcase,” attributing this success to the foundation laid by the Mohammed VI Football Academy.

MAP

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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.

The head coach of the Moroccan Olympic team, Tarik Sektioui, has called up 26 players in preparation for the friendly game against Belgium, scheduled for June 4 at Moulay El Hassan Stadium in Rabat, as part of the preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The national team will play Argentina, Ukraine and Iraq in the group stage of the Olympic tournament.

List:

– Goalkeepers: Alaa Bellaarouch (RC Strasbourg/France), Walid Hasbi (RC Strasbourg/France), Rachid Ghanimi (FUS Rabat), Mohamed Reda Asmama (Union Touarga).

– Defenders: Omar El Hilali (RCD Espanyol/Spain), Zakaria Elouahdi (KRC Genk/Belgium), Mohamed Jaouab (Amiens SC/France), Mehdi Boukamir (R Charleroi SC/Belgium), Ayman Elwafi (FC Lugano/Switzerland), Adil Tahif (RS Berkane), Ayoub Amraoui (Amiens SC/France), Adam Aznou (Bayern Munich/Germany), Akram Nakach (Union Touarga), Haytam Manaout (Union Touarga). 

– Midfielders: Benjamin Bouchouari (AS Saint-Etienne/France), Yassine Kechta (Le Havre AC/France), Mohamed Nassoh (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Amine Souane (MC Oujda).      

– Forwards: Montassir Lahtimi (Wydad Casablanca), Salim Eljebari (Atletico de Madrid/Spain), Amine Elouazzani (EA Guingamp/France), Yanis Begraoui (Pau FC/France), El Mehdi Maouhoub (Raja de Casablanca), Tawfik Bentayeb (Union Touarga), Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Real Betis/Spain), Ibrahim Salah (Stade Rennais FC/France).