Casablanca- December 21, 2013, is a date that will remain indelibly engraved in the memories of all Moroccans. Casablanca’s Raja made history by achieving the impossible. The green team rejuvenated Moroccans’“soccer dream”by exceeding all expectations, and making it to the finale of the FIFA Club World Cup (FCWC) 2013.
Casablanca’s Raja remobilized soccer lovers in all corners of the kingdom even before their first victory in this tournament. Moroccans’love and respect for this team grew bigger and bigger as the Rajawis climbed the ladder of excellence granting their supporters unprecedented performances.
Below are glimpses of the mood that was predominant on the day of Raja’s final FCWC match against the German finalist, Bayern Munich.MWN shares the atmosphere that prevailed both before, during and after Raja’s remarkable match against the German giant at one of Casablanca’s popular cafés, and through the voice of Raja’s faithful supporters there.
Before the Match
Beautiful is the atmosphere that sweeps over Morocco’s economic capital on the day of the final. Cafés, where most supporters in Morocco prefer to watch such decisive games, have “gone green” earlier than expected. Supporters have already occupied their seats in almost all the cafés broadcasting the FCWC 2013 final, at least 3 hours before the match kicks off.
Moroccans from all walks of life are now facing big LED screens whilst chanting the green team’s popular anthems or speculating on the outcome of the impending match. Some supporters have delightfully agreed to share their impressions on the prevailing atmosphere as well as their speculations on Raja’s potential performance against Bayern Munich.
“I am a big fan of Casablanca,”shares Ismail Chaki, one of the numerous green supporters who chooses to watch the match in a café. “I unquestionably want Raja to win, but the match will be anything but a piece of cake for them. I think that Raja is going to lose this match, but I’m sure they will offer us the best performance we could ask for in this FCWC finale. Raja made it to the final, and that’s a big achievement on its own. We’re proud of them!”he added.
“I think that all factors play in favor of Bayern Munich, a European giant by all measures,”Yassine Mernisse, another Raja supporter told MWN. “Yet, we are here to support our team until the end regardless of the results. Dima Raja (Raja forever)!”
“I’m expecting Raja to give a great performance regardless of the final result,”shares Mohammed Ait Messaoud with MWN. “Raja’s focus should be on giving the best performance it can to its supporters, by sustaining a high degree of concentration and sportsmanship.”
“Bayern Munchen is the best team in the world, but Raja will surely try their utmost to give their best performance in this year’s FCWC,”shares Yassine Saadllah.
“Bayern Munchen is my favorite team,”shares Enass Farik, a female supporter of the green team, “but I still support Raja because it is playing for all Moroccans today.”
Khadija, another female supporter stated, “There a collective atmosphere here. Everyone seems to await a historical event today. Despite the lack of space, Moroccans squeeze together to enjoy Raja’s final match.”
After the First half
Bayern Munich is leading 2-2 against Casablanca’s green team. The eagles’supporters, however, do not seem surprised. Discussions on the first part of the final have now broken the silence and reactions to Raja’s performance are echoing everywhere in the café. Some of the supporters who had already shared their speculations prior to the start of the match now share their comments on the first segment of the match with MWN.
“The result is realistically predictable,”comments Ait Massaoud.“We don’t expect Raja to win the match. We just hope that they will try to step up their game to give a much more enjoyable performance in this final. Bayern Munchen are soccer giants, indeed, but Raja has done a remarkable job too.”
“Apparently my speculations were right. Bayern Munchen did it again!”comments Ismail, “I think Raja seems a bit intimidated by the German team, which is normal indeed. Bayern Munchen is an epic team. They have entered history with their unmatchable repertory of achievements. I still think Raja will be able to give a better performance in the second segment of the match.”
After the Match
Raja has lost the match 0-2, but has unquestionably earned the love and respect of millions of Moroccans in all corners of the kingdom. The atmosphere is still one of celebration and cheerfulness both in Marrakech stadium where the final took place, in the cafés where millions of supporters chose to watch the match, and in all the streets of the kingdom.
“Raja has honorably fought for the title,” shares Ait Massaoud with MWN after the match. “We thank the green team for today’s performance as well as all victories that have allowed the team a ticket to the final, making it the first Arab country to reach the final of this international tournament. The result was logical, and we couldn’t have asked for a better match than this.”
“Thank you Raja for the remarkable performance,”comments Yasser Abaragh, a Raja supporter.“Raja has lost the match but has shown us that it has all it takes to achieve what every great team in the world is capable to achieve. We are proud of Raja more than ever before, and wish this exceptional team an outstanding continuation towards international excellence.”