Rabat – The coach of Morocco’s national football team, Herve Renard, is set to meet with Fouzi Lekjaa, the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and the National Selection Committee, next week in order to discuss its lineup for the next phase of the 2018 World Cup.
The Moroccan team will to travel in March to a European country which has not yet been determined. According to Moroccan daily newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia, the Atlas Lions will visit one of the following countries: France, Turkey, England, Italy, Netherlands, or Turkey.
The newspaper added that Morocco will play two friendlies against an Asian and a European team ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
The friendlies will be followed by a training camp, scheduled to take place at the sports center of Maamoura. The Atlas Lions will then travel to Switzerland for a final training camp before heading to Saint Petersburg, Russia for their first game against Iran, which is scheduled to take place on June 15.
The choice of Switzerland for the final training session is due to the fact that the country’s climate resembles that of Russia, added the newspaper.
In an interview with French sports outlet L’Équipe, Renard said that his team needs to defeat their future World Cup opponents – Iran, Spain, and Portugal – in order to develop.
“If we want to grow, we have to beat the best one day. If we are not able to do so, we will stay at the same level,” said Renard. He added that it is “up to us to make sure to pass this round. Let us be lucid, but ambitious.”
The Frenchman added that he is not content with simply qualifying for the World Cup. “If the idea is to be satisfied with being there, it does not make sense.”
The team’s manager has confessed that the Group B is not an easy one. After the final draw, the coach told the press that his team is going to play against “monsters.”
“These are two countries that are not far from Morocco. The championship of Spain is something that people cannot miss in Morocco,” said Renard. “It is an honor for Morocco to play against the Spanish team, which is very strong, and Portugal, the European champion.”
After the final draw, which took place in Moscow on December 1, Morocco was placed in Group B along with Iran, Spain, and Portugal. Many Moroccan and international football figures named the group B “ the deadly group” in the 2018 World Cup.