Rabat – Fernando Santos, head manager of the Portuguese national football team acknowledged on Friday the strength of Group B after the World Cup final draw. The international former footballer warned that the Moroccan squad, which is placed in the same group, is a powerful team.
Santos told beIN Sports that Portugal “faced the Moroccan team before and it was not an easy match,” referring to the World Cup game played on June 11, 1986.
In 1986, the Moroccan team defeated the Portuguese team with a 3-1 victory to qualify for the second round of the competition. The Moroccan generation that witnessed the Portuguese defeat still talks about the match and the great performance of the former Atlas Lions continuously.
Santos added that Portugal has strong opponents, including the Moroccan team, which qualified to the World Cup after beating Cote d’Ivoire. The Atlas Lions has “many footballers who are very active in European leagues. They are very strong opponents.”
After the final draw, the Portuguese press recalled Morocco’s win in 1986, which caused the exclusion of the Portuguese team.
Portugal Digital acknowledged the Moroccan team power and how it finished unbeaten in the World Cup qualifiers. For Maisfutebol, “the Atlas Lions are roaring again.” The sports outlet provided speculations and analysis over Morocco’s chances in the 2018 World Cup. It also talked about Moroccan footballers, who did their utmost to reach the next level of the tournament.
“The experience of Karim El Ahmadi, M’barek Boussoufa, and Mehdi Benatia combines well with the intelligence of Hakim Ziyech and the strength of Nordin Amrabat.”
Correio de Manha believes that after 20 years of absence from the tournament, Morocco qualified undefeated with the help of their French coach, Herve Renard who helped their team to qualify for the World Cup. “Renard has a group of players who play in almost every league in Europe,” wrote the website.