Rabat - After the World Cup final draw, speculations have begun to swirl over different teams’ chances in the tournament’s next phase. And after Daniel Riolo, a French-Italian journalist, asserted that Morocco has no chance to win or score against Spain, Moroccan team captain Mehdi Benatia had much to say.
Rabat – After the World Cup final draw, speculations have begun to swirl over different teams’ chances in the tournament’s next phase. And after Daniel Riolo, a French-Italian journalist, asserted that Morocco has no chance to win or score against Spain, Moroccan team captain Mehdi Benatia had much to say.
Commenting on the Group B, which comprises Spain, Morocco, Iran, and Portugal, Riolo said with full confidence that the Morocco-Spain game will finish with a 3-0 win in favor of the Spanish team, considering this result the “minimum gap.”
Riolo’s remarks were made during a TV show called After Foot, which was broadcast by RMC.
The journalist’s comments angered Benatia, who took to Twitter to respond to Riolo’s speculation. “Why does not he shut up […] He has never even played football,” wrote the Moroccan key defender.
Pourquoi il la ferme pas celui la putain de guignol il a jamais joué au ballon il fait que l’ouvrir espèce de fachau de merde va
— MBenatia5 (@MedhiBenatia) December 2, 2017
In response to Benatia’s strong response, the journalist took to his own Twitter account and wrote, “I discover that thinking that Morocco might be defeated against Spain is a crime! Ohlalalala I hope that this is not serious but…”
Ah oui je decouvre que penser que le maroc peut prendre une rouste vs Espagne c’est un crime ! Ouhlalalala j’espere que c pas serieux mais..
— Daniel Riolo (@DanielRiolo) December 2, 2017
While Riolo may underestimate the Moroccan squad and its strength, international coaches had different opinions regarding the Atlas Lions. After the final draw, which took place on December 1 in Moscow, coaches of Morocco’s future opponents, including Spain’s manager, acknowledged that their teams will face a strong squad in the second round of the 2018 World Cup.
Julen Lopetegui, a former Spanish footballer and current manager of Spanish national football team, said that Spain will face “one of the most toughest teams, including the Moroccan squad, who excluded the Ivorian team in the World Cup qualifiers.”
For Carlos Queiroz, the head manager of Iranian football team, told beIN Sports that Morocco has a “great” team, recalling its course during the qualifiers.
For his part, Fernando Santos, head manager of the Portuguese national football team told beIN Sports that Portugal will face 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,” he said.
The Moroccan team will play against Iran in their first game, scheduled to take place on June 15 at Saint Petersburg. After Iran, the team will face Portugal on June 20 and Spain on June 25 in Moscow.