The unassailable Tower of Babel by the Moroccan team, Walid Regragui

Walid Regragui, at least not as tall as Gerard Butler’s Leonidas in the film. 300 (2007). But we’d see the Moroccan coach adapt the Greek king’s iconic response to his sauce: “We are Spartans! » His Atlas Lions do not come from the Peloponnese. Nor directly from the Cherifian kingdom, moreover, for most of them. But the Franco-Moroccan coach repeats it: “Every Moroccan is Moroccan! »

Also read: France-Morocco: “If France passes, we will not be disgusted. “We would rather lose against them than against any other team.”

Everyone will feel right at home on Wednesday, December 14, when it’s time to face the French team for a place in the World Cup final (20:00). Partly because there is a Bedouin tent at the Al-Bait Stadium planted in the desert in northern Qatar; and most of all because the territory of Qatar will be filled with a noisy and colorful crowd, winning their cause.

Also read: The article is reserved for our subscribers ‘We are the Rockies of this World Cup’: Morocco destroy Portugal to reach World Cup semi-finals

Vahid Halilhodzic was parachuted in to replace him – three months before the World Cup he landed because he couldn’t get along with several stars, he was kicked out of the team – Valid Regragui brought several stars back into the fold. The Atlas Lions were criticized for not participating in the selection. He instilled in his troops the same conquering and collective spirit as returning Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech and stepped up to help his side beat Portugal on Saturday to become the first African nation to reach the quarter-finals. – the final.

“I’m making a milkshake with all these”

Since his appointment on August 31, Walid Regragui has been working on rebuilding Morocco’s Tower of Babel. Originally from the Montconseil district, the ex-footballer in Corbeil-Essonnes (Essonne) is close to his players and can express himself in French, Arabic, Spanish and English. It is not useless to run the “Spanish Inn” option. Only 12 of the 26 squad members selected for the World Cup were born in Morocco – the lowest figure among the 32 competing teams, according to FIFA’s calculations. Others, all members of the diaspora, were born in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and France.

Also read: The article is reserved for our subscribers Walid Regragui, Atlas Lions’ new signing

And not all of them speak the same language, it shows video Features an interview with Sofiane Boufal, who grew up and trained in Angers, on the sidelines of the 2021 African Cup of Nations. After a long question in Arabic, the embarrassed midfielder asks the journalist: “French please.” “In Morocco, I wrote a sports document like a statute, a summary describing the identity of the team in defense, attack. (…), everything is there, all automatisms. It has been translated into five languages ​​because there are Moroccans everywhere.”he summarized in an interview with Vahid Halilhodzic before the competition SoFoot.

Youth training in Morocco has progressed, particularly since the establishment of the Mohammed VI Academy in the early 2010s, which produced Qatar standout striker Youssef En-Nesyri, midfielder Azzedine Ounahi and defender Nayef Aguerd. World Cup. Again, like Tunisia, the space reserved for home-grown players has dwindled over the years and this has been blamed on Walid Regragui, like his predecessor.

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However, the current coach rejects the criticism and acts as one. “Whether he comes from France, Belgium, Morocco or anywhere else, the boy wants to fight for the Moroccan jersey from the moment he wants to die., claims the former defense attorney. I was born in France, but no one has a Moroccan heart more than me. You have to give 100 percent when you come to nationals. I have players born in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland and I make milkshakes with all of them. »

Worlds Rocky Balboa

And the cocktail collides. In Qatar, the Moroccan team presents a united front of the team, one of the discoveries of the competition and the metronome of Morocco, one of the discoveries of the metronome, the midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.

After his Belgian teammates, then his Spanish teammates, it’s the turn of the Atlas Lions from France to face the country of their birth, where they trained on Wednesday. Sofiane Boufal will be involved if captain Romain Saïss, son of Drom, is ruled out after suffering an injury against Portugal and will be determined to extend their Qatar ambitions after a difficult start to the season with Angers in Ligue 1. Ounahi’s performance in the World Cup did not escape the attention of recruiters.

Also read: Qatar 2022: The “unofficial” Moroccan team sheet

Having grown up in the suburbs of Madrid, Achraf Hakimi will cross paths with his Paris Saint-Germain partner and great friend Kylian Mbappe. At the beginning of the year, the two are inseparable had made an appointment While practicing in the World Cup, Doha.

Walid Regragui admitted before facing the Belgians in the second game of the World Cup “We want to change the African mentality a little” in football. The continent saw the teams representing it “Having great matches in the World Cup but losing the first match”. Assuming a limiting game and “European State of Mind”The head coach warned: “If we pass by the chickens, we will be very dangerous. » Not a lie: After Croatia – also a semi-finalist – Belgium, Spain and Portugal came up against the Moroccan defence.

Also read: The article is reserved for our subscribers World Cup 2022: African football wants to reach higher goals

During the reaction to the quarter-final win over the Portuguese, Regragui spoke jokingly of Ile-de-France. “Sympathetic team of the World Cup”identified by the whole world, “This is the Rocky Balboa of the World Cup, coming from below”. But in the name of Africa and the Arab world, everyone should consider himself a “ambitious technician” he dedicates each of his victories to this first World Cup organized in the Arab world.

Former African football star Samuel Eto’o before the start of the race « Morocco qualified for the final after victories over Spain [en huitièmes]Portugal [en quarts] and reigning champions France [en demi-finales] ». At the moment, the progress of the Atlas Lions is based on the predictions of the current president of the Cameroon Football Federation. Sofiane Boufal’s partners will be keen to make the mark if the Blues can console themselves by remembering that Eto’o saw Cameroon reach the final on the other side of the table.

Our selection of articles on the 2022 World Cup

Find all our content on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.

  • Know everything: Schedule, results, standings, “unofficial” guide to the 2022 World Cup
  • Studies: France-Qatar, a friendship full of resources; World Cup award to Qatar: Sarkozy, Platini and PSG takeover at center of French judicial investigation; An event at a critical stage for the environment
  • Report: France is very grateful to the Mbappe-Giroud duo against Poland
  • Editorial: Extreme World Cup; FIFA is in the blind phase
  • Unlocking passwords: Football players’ subtle speech on human rights; Reasons for concern; A very political “World Cup”
  • Reports: In the “engine room” of Qatar, where immigrant workers live, which Doha does not want to see; Pan-Arab festival atmosphere in Qatar; “When we play Senegal, we forget all our problems” at Dakar University
  • Tribune (Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International) : Gianni Infantino tries to absolve FIFA of any responsibility by calling for ‘focus on football’
  • Portraits: Walid Regragui, Atlas Lions’ new signing; Harry Maguire, a defining figure of English football
  • Chronicle: “Changing the method of calculating the extra time of a match is to take the risk of disrupting the game”; “Goals are a condition in video refereeing, and so are emotions”
  • Podcast: Environment, human rights, corruption: why the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a problem
  • Video: A “carbon neutral” World Cup? What is behind Qatar’s unacceptable promises; For the first time, the match will be managed by women

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