Rabat - Morocco is back in the spotlight of world soccer following the qualification of the country’s national team to the 2018 World Cup, scheduled to take place next summer in Russia. Not only did Morocco secure its ticket, it displayed a convincing performance throughout the qualifiers and maintained the invincibility of its defense.
Rabat – Morocco is back in the spotlight of world soccer following the qualification of the country’s national team to the 2018 World Cup, scheduled to take place next summer in Russia. Not only did Morocco secure its ticket, it displayed a convincing performance throughout the qualifiers and maintained the invincibility of its defense.
The qualification, which came 19 years since Morocco played its last World Cup in 1998 in France, has enabled the Atlas Lions to retrieve their lost aura and respectability in Africa.
At the beginning of the World qualifiers, many observers predicted that Cote d’Ivoire would clinch the ticket for Group C, in light of its performance over the past 10 years. Unlike Morocco, who missed out on four previous World Cup tournaments (Japan-Korea 2002, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014), Cote d’Ivoire has qualified for the three previous World Cups. If it qualified for the Russia World Cup, this would have been its fourth consecutive participation in FIFA’s flagship tournament.
However, with their determination, talent and professionalism, and the expertise of their head coach, Hervé Renard, the Moroccan players have succeeded in disproving all the predictions and have shown that Moroccan football is reconciling with its glorious past.
Following a heroic and successful campaign, the Atlas Lions did not only manage to top their group, thus, securing their ticket for the World Cup, but also to achieve a feat that few national teams are capable of achieving.
Among all the national teams that competed for the qualification to the World Cup in the different continental federations belonging to FIFA, Morocco has emerged as the team with the best defense in the world. While it scored eleven goals in six games, the national team did not concede a single goal.
This is the fifth time Morocco qualified to the World Cup after Mexico 1970, Mexico 1986, United States 1994, and France 1998. In Mexico 1986, Morocco became the first African and Arab team to qualify to the second round of the World Cup after they came out as first in their group, which was comprised of England, Poland, and Portugal.