Casablanca - This year’s FIFA Club World Cup (FCWC) has been replete with surprises and situational ironies. The least anticipated was Raja’s qualification to the final after a series of subsequent victories during which the green team grew more confident and powerful.
Casablanca – This year’s FIFA Club World Cup (FCWC) has been replete with surprises and situational ironies. The least anticipated was Raja’s qualification to the final after a series of subsequent victories during which the green team grew more confident and powerful.
Mouhcine Iajour, Raja’s young star, was not in his best shape before embarking on this international venture with his green comrades, nor was the team as a whole. Yet, the “green boys’” striker quickly regained shape to surprise Moroccans and the world with his thirst for victory.
Iajour has been a graphic illustration of the idea that everything is possible in sports and he is aware of that himself: “There are always surprises in football, and when you’re out on the pitch there’s no such thing as a strong team or a weak team,” he was quoted as saying by Fifa news outlet.
For the green striker, soccer is fraught with surprises: “We proved that against Monterrey, who have won several Champions Leagues, and then against the Brazilians, who were big favorites to beat us. Yet despite it all, it’s Raja who is going to play the final. There’s no such thing as logic. Even if you’re the favorite, you have to go out on the pitch and prove it,” he added.
During the green eagles’ last match against Atletico Mineiro, Iajour’s performance stood out crystal clear. He was the first to score during the match, with a goal that took back his opponents and plunged the stadium into a hysterical atmosphere of celebration and cheerfulness. He also had a considerable share in the subsequent goals that accorded the green boys their ticket to the final.
Iajour literally stole the spotlight from soccer superstar Ronaldinho, who had been expected to make lots of difference during the match. Raja’s front man did not even give Ronaldinho enough time to relish his beautiful goal that equalized the score in the first segment of the match. The green striker earned his team a free kick that restored Raja’s hopes in moving on to the final.
In an interview with Fifa.com, Iajour acknowledged the Moroccan supporters share in the subsequent achievements that Raja has reached so far.
“We are all aware of the hopes people have in the team thanks to our performances in the Club World Cup. You only have to look at the celebrations in the streets to see how much it means to them,” Iajour told Fifa.com.
Iajour also expressed his gratitude and recognition towards the green team’s coach, Faouzi Benzarti, who raised the bar higher for his team and allowed his players more freedom in their performances. The new coach’s conceptualization of Raja’s playing tactics, as a team that can strike to win, rather than defend to stay safe, has shown considerably fruitful.
The green boys are now more determined to make history and win the title despite the big challenge facing them in their final match against the German giants, Byern Munchen.
“The players are very motivated at the prospect of playing another massive game against top-class rivals. Bayern are a legendary club with a philosophy of their own,” Fifa.com quotes Raja’s coach Faouzi Benzarti.
“We’re not going to be intimidated though, and we’ll be looking to make the most of our opportunities. The pressure is on them, not us. I hope we can conjure up a wonderful finale to this adventure and win the title,” he added.
For its part, the German giant now takes Raja more seriously than ever. The fact that the green team made it to the final is, on its own, an illustration of how determined the Moroccan representative in this tournament is.