The coach of the Moroccan national football team, Walid Regragui, confirmed, on Tuesday, that his ambition and his players is to reach the final match of the Qatar World Cup 2022, stressing that his players will fight for that when they face France, Wednesday, in the semi-finals, at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor.
Rekragui said in a press conference, on the eve of the France match, that his main goal in this tournament is to change the mentality of the players and their view of their participation in the World Cup, “and this is what I told the players.”
He said, “If we keep in mind that our participation is successful in reaching the semi-finals and we are happy, then we will not continue our journey and we will lose tomorrow. This is not my opinion. We are among the four best teams in the world, and this is no coincidence, and we will have the word tomorrow in order to reach the final match.”
Morocco topped a strong group that included Croatia and Belgium, before overcoming Spain on penalties in the final price, then Portugal with the goal of Youssef Al-Nusairi in the quarter-finals, to become the first African and Arab team to reach this advanced stage.
And he continued: “We hope that our opponents will not respect us tomorrow, because if they respect us as the teams we have faced so far in this tournament did, and they were at the top of their level, then our task will be difficult. We are confident in ourselves and excited thanks to our difficult journey in this tournament. Before every match, you consider that we will leave the competition.” But we are still here with our values and we will go into the semi-finals.”
The key is the soul
And he added, “As we progress in the competition, we will play more difficult matches. We will face France, the world champions, with players with global competence and a high-quality coach, and we will continue to do what we do well with ambition, in an attempt to create a surprise, and why not reach the final match of the World Cup.”
Regragui stressed that the key to winning the match is the spirit.
And while he hoped that ambition and thirst for victory would be enough, he expressed his confidence in the qualifications of Morocco, which wants to rewrite history “and put Africa on top of the world. But I am not crazy, I know that it will be difficult, and I know that all this spirit, morale and motivation will be important tomorrow.” It will also make France’s job difficult to beat us.”
Expectations are against us
He added, “I know that all expectations are against us, but we are confident. We may be crazy, but it is good to be crazy. If they will think that we are tired, and this is what other teams have said previously, they will be wrong. I want to say that we are not tired and ready for tomorrow’s match.”
And he added, “We will fight to achieve this dream. This is not joking. Rather, I am serious about what I say. I am ambitious. We are ready to win the title and enter history for the sake of Morocco, Africa and countries (..) for the sake of our Algerian, Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan brothers, all those who dreamed.” Seeing an African team in the semi-finals and the final, this is our chance and we should not miss it, we should not wait 40 years to achieve this, tomorrow we will do it, I may be crazy, but I am also here and we have our chance and we face France, the best team in the world.
We will not make a plan for Mbappe
And about the confrontation between the two friends, Ashraf Hakimi, and Kylian Mbappe, he said: If there is a player who knows Kylian better than me, he is Hakimi because he trains with him daily and has an accurate idea about this player, but that will not change much for us and we will not resort to a tactical plan for Kylian.
And he continued, “We should not focus on Kylian, but rather on the French national team, which includes many good players such as (Antoine) Griezmann, (Olivier) Giroud, and Osman (Dembele). We will play in a collective way, and Ashraf is the best player in the world in his position and will do the best He has, they are two heroes and neither will give a gift to the other.
Rekragui spoke about the fans who come a lot from his country to attend the semi-final match: “We have the best fans in the world, with Argentina and Brazil. I am very happy that the world knows who the Moroccan fans are. At least to encourage us, and I am happy that the World Cup presents this image to the Moroccan public.”
And on his dual legacy after being born in France: “Yes, I was born in France, I hold French citizenship, and it is an honor and a privilege for me to face France. It does not matter who we face, we want to reach the final. It is a challenge to play against the best team in the world. It does not matter who We face when we defend the colors of Morocco – we are Morocco. It’s a football match, a football party. If France wins we will congratulate them and support them and vice versa”.
The injured recover
Regragui expressed his regret over the large number of injuries among his team, and said: “As everyone knows, we have injured people, but we are recovering well quickly, and we have a high-level medical device that brings us good news every day.”
He added: “Like our previous matches: we always wait for the last moment to make a decision, no one is out of the squad, no one guarantees his presence in tomorrow’s match. We will wait until tomorrow to make the final decision, and generally only those who are at the top of their level will enter, and I will push the best squad.” 100 percent possible and ready.