Morocco will take on either holders France or England on Wednesday at Al Bayt Stadium with the chance to become the first nation from outside Europe or South America to reach the final.
Morocco trainer Walid Regragui said his side are” the Rocky Balboa of this World Cup” after the Atlas Lions came the first African platoon ever to reach thesemi-finals with a stunning palm over Portugal on Saturday. The injury- hit North Africans held on for a 1- 0 palm at Al Thumama Stadium to set up a last- four clash against either England or France, after Youssef En- Nesyri’s headed thing late in the first half. The palm over Portugal came after knocking out Spain in the last 16 on penalties and beating the world’s second- ranked platoon Belgium in the group stage.
“When you watch Rocky, you want to support Rocky Balboa because of his hard work and commitment and I suppose we are the Rocky Balboa of this World Cup,” Regragui told journalists.
“We are getting the platoon that everyone loves at this FIFA World Cup, because we are showing that indeed if you do not have as important gift, if you show that desire, heart and belief, you can achieve.
“I am sure numerous of you’ll say this is a phenomenon, but we have won without conceding against Belgium, Spain, Portugal and that is the result of hard work.”
Morocco will take on either holders France or England on Wednesday at Al Bayt Stadium with the chance to come the first nation from outside Europe or South America to reach the final.
“We can conjure , why should not we conjure about winning the World Cup?” added Regragui, who only took over as trainer in August.
“It does not bring you anything to have dreams. European countries have been used to winning the World Cup.
“We have played some really top sides, but so far we have not achieved anything.
“Anyone who plays us now will have to be at the top of their game to beat us, it will not be easy for them, that is the communication I am trying to shoot out.”
Morocco had formerly surpassed prospects by getting only the fourth African country and first Arab nation to reach the quarter- tests.
But they managed to go one step further than Cameroon in 1990, Senegal’s 2002 side and the Ghana platoon of 2010.
“We came up against a really great Portugal platoon. We are drawing on all we have, we still have guys injured. We’ve a mindset,” Regragui told France’s TF1.
“I told the guys before the match we had to write history for Africa. I am veritably, veritably happy.”
Regragui, a France- born former Morocco transnational, had formerly made history of his own as the first African trainer to take a platoon into the World Cup quarter- tests.
Morocco were without injured protectors Noussair Mazraoui and Nayef Aguerd on Saturday, while captain Romain Saiss was stretchered off beforehand in the alternate half.
“We are veritably proud because the players who did come in did a fantastic job,” said Regragui.” We are a 26- man team and to get far in this event we’ll need all of them.”
Morocco still have the stylish protective record in the World Cup. The only time they’ve conceded in five matches was an own thing against Canada.
“It’s crazy. We are living a dream and we do not want to wake up. I’ve goosebumps,” said winger Sofiane Boufal.
“Everything we have, we earn. We work hard. It’s not over. There is still thesemi-final and god willing, the final.” Know More FIFA News…