New York - Moroccans have been for several years living in a succession of frustrations after the dismal results brought by the national team and its inability to perform well in important competitions, such as the African Cup of Nations or to qualify to the World Cup.
New York – Moroccans have been for several years living in a succession of frustrations after the dismal results brought by the national team and its inability to perform well in important competitions, such as the African Cup of Nations or to qualify to the World Cup.
While the Moroccan people in the past were used to seeing their national teams shine at the international level and always having the lead in achieving outstanding results, the failures over the past decade made us lose confidence in the ability of our athletes to perform at the international level and diminished our faith in our sport in general.
For years Moroccans aspired to seeing their national team regain its place on the international scene, but in vain, in spite of the millions of dollars spent every year.
With the feat you achieved during this tournament, and the astonishing way in which you defended your chances to qualify to the final of the tournament, you allowed Moroccans to dream for a moment and gave them hope that their sport is still alive and their athletes can still compete at the international level in spite of the many shortcomings they suffer from, such as lack of funding and preparedness.
What you have achieved is just another feat that will be remembered for generations to come. While people had written you off before the competition and predicted your early elimination, you proved them wrong and gave them a lesson in courage, patriotism and dedication. You showed the world that everything is possible as long as we believe in our capacities to surpass ourselves and achieve great things.
You made a whole nation proud as you ranked the second best club in the world with a $4 million dollar budget. In contrast, Bayern Munich, the world champion has a $400 million budget. With only a fraction of the money, you were able to play with honor and class against the Germans.
You reminded the entire world that Morocco is still a great nation of soccer and that likes of Timoumi, Badou Zaki, Farass, Naybet, Bouderbala, Salah Eddine Bassirm, Mustapha Hajji and countless others, were not an exception in the history of the country’s soccer.
The amazing achievements of the above legends of Moroccan soccer were extraordinary individual breakthroughs, but this time, the significance of individual efforts translated well into a team effort. That is clearly what has been missing in our soccer of the past decade, and what is prevailing today as the chemistry of the team has kept it alive throughout the grueling competitions against the best. You showed the world that what is rather an exception is the non viable situation in which our soccer has been entangled for a decade now.
Thank you Raja players, you proved that we, Moroccans, can achieve a lot with small budgets, but big hearts and dedication.
Let’s build on this tremendous success and lay the foundations of a new beginning and a new era in Morocco’s soccer and sport, in general. Let’s not make this landmark achievement an exception, but a rule and reference to look to and be inspired by. Let’s build on this historic feat and make our country successful at all levels. By embracing professionalism, patriotism, long-term planning, and dedication, we can make this happen. Raja’s success should be merely emblematic and symbolic of other broader achievements for Moroccan society.
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