The Atlas Lions made fans proud during the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in its last games against Spain and Portugal.
Rabat – The head coach of Morocco’s national football team, Herve Renard, has discussed all the recent developments regarding his Atlas Lions.
Renard also spoke about the future and Morocco’s friendly game against Argentina this month.
“We are going to have to do the same things as we did against Portugal and Spain at the 2018 World Cup,” said Renard in an interview with CAFOnline.
Renard is expecting his Atlas Lions to give the same performances they did during the 2018 World Cup. In the group stage of the World Cup, the Moroccan team played two decisive games against Spain and Portugal.
Moroccans showed determination and high spirit during the two games, even after their unexpected defeat in the first game of the 2018 World Cup against Iran.
“If we are at our level, we can compete. While knowing that they have an alien named Lionel Messi who makes everything change. It is an exceptional match in a career and for Morocco. I am sure the players will all be motivated,” the coach said.
Renard also talked about Moroccan-Dutch footballer Oussama Idrissi, who recently announced his decision to represent Morocco instead of the Netherlands.
“My greatest satisfaction is to have met a very professional player during our last internship. I was impressed by his rigour and his sense of collective spirit,” said Renard of Idrissi.
He added that Idrissi’s decision was “very good news.”
“It is up to him to impose himself now,” Renard added.
Speaking about the Morocco-Malawi qualifier game for the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN), Renard said that the game will be an opportunity for field time for “some players who have not worn the national team jersey much.”
He added that the game might be also an opportunity to “collect points for the FIFA ranking. It is always difficult to play in Malawi.”
The Atlas Lions have already qualified for the continental championship. However, the latest monthly FIFA ranking showed Morocco losing three places, now sitting at 43rd place out of all national football teams, with 1,440 points.
Renard still would not bet on Morocco winning CAN 2019.
“By showing humility, it’s very difficult to win a CAN and I know what I’m talking about. Statistically, football lovers know that Egypt is a great country.” Renard previously won CAN in 2012 when he was coaching the Zambian national team.
He added that he would rather “not be a braggart for Morocco but make the opponents fall on the field.”
Renard also expressed gratitude for receiving the Confederation of African Football Coach of the Year Award.
“It’s an honor because it is the third time I’ve won it since 2008.”