Morocco’s head coach, Herve Renard, is trying his luck by calling on new football players for the national team to increase Morocco’s qualifying chances for the CAN 2019 qualifier on Friday.
Rabat – The Atlas Lions will take on Cameroon on November 16. Renard’s list features three new names, including two players from the national league. The newly selected local players are Wydad of Casablanca goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti, Achraf Dari of Wydad of Casablanca, Abdelilah Hafidi from Casablanca of Raja.
Renard has also called Oussama Idrissi, a Moroccan football player, who plays as a forward for Dutch football team AZ Alkmaar.
Idrissi also played for Netherlands under 16, 17, 20, 21 teams.
The game will also be marked by the return of the captain and key defender of the national football team, Mehdi Benatia.
Benatia missed the two latest qualifier games against Malawi, and two against Comores.
In September, football fans and Moroccan media speculated that there was tension between Benatia and Renard; however, Benatia has denied the rumors, saying that Renard is not just a coach for him, but also a friend.
Renard also explained Benatia’s absence, saying: “Between Mehdi Benatia and me, there is, of course, no problem. He is someone I really appreciate. When you are a coach, you call your captain, you ask him where he is in his training. You know, like me, he had a training [with Juventus] where he [did] not have all the time to play.”
The list of the 26 players called up for Morocco-Cameroon game is as follows:
Mounir El Kajoui (Malaga, Spain)
Yassine Bounou (Girona, Spain)
Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Casablanca)
Marouan da Costa (İstanbul Başakşehir – Turkey)
Ghanem Saiss (Wolverhampton, UK)
Mehdi Benatia (Juvetnus, Italy)
Achraf Hakimi (Dortmund, Germany)
Achraf Dari (Wydad Casablanca)
Karim El Ahmadi (Ittihad Djeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Youssef Ait Bennasser (Monaco, France)
Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray, Turkey)
Fayçal Fajr (Caen, France)
Amine Harit (Schalke 04, Germany)
Nordin Amrabat (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia)
Hakim Ziyech (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Ayoub El Kaâbi (Hebei China Fortune FC, China)
Khalid Boutaïb (Malatyaspor, Turkey)
Walid Azarou (Al Ahly, Egypt)
Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax Amsterdam-Netherlands)
Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganes, Spain)
Sofiane Boufal (Celta Vigo, Spain)
Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahçe, Turkey)
Oussama Idrissi (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands)
Abdelilah Hafidi (Raja Casablanca)
Oualid El Hajjam (Amiens SC-France)