Morocco can have the backing of a whole continent after they try and develop into Africa’s first World Cup semi-finalists by beating Portugal on Saturday, stated coach Walid Regragui.
The North Africans will tackle Portugal at Al Thumama Stadium as the primary Arab nation to achieve the final eight after beating Spain on penalties within the final 16.
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A World Cup semi-final towards both England or France is up for grabs, alongside a spot within the historical past books.
Cameroon in 1990, Senegal’s 2002 facet and the 2010 Ghana workforce all fell on the quarter-final stage.
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“We don’t have anything to lose. The problem is to do in addition to we did within the earlier video games,” Regragui stated on the eve of the match towards Portugal.
“We wish to present that Africa deserves to be right here, Morocco deserves to be right here.
“We have a complete individuals behind us, a continent behind us and the Arab world behind us. That’s loads of power behind us. We’re going to try to do all the pieces we are able to.
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“We can do it, we are able to make historical past once more. It (the help) can push us, assist us truly to play with this strain, to not make any errors.”
Morocco have the very best defensive file within the match, having conceded just one objective of their 4 matches.
But Regragui warned: “We can’t relaxation on our laurels. We haven’t received carried away, we’ve simply shocked a couple of individuals and some algorithms who anticipated Belgium or Spain to be within the quarter-finals.”
Cristiano Ronaldo was a shock omission from Portugal’s beginning XI for his or her match towards Switzerland within the final 16, together with his alternative, Goncalo Ramos, scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 win.
But Regragui would like to see the Portuguese teamsheet with out the title of worldwide males’s soccer’s biggest goalscorer.
“They’re going to be recent,” he stated.
“I don’t know if Ronaldo’s going to play, however I hope he doesn’t. I do know he’s probably the greatest gamers in historical past so I don’t need him to play.”
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Morocco’s success in Qatar has sparked celebrations again house, but in addition in a number of European nations the place the Moroccan diaspora reside.
Fourteen of Regragui’s 26-man squad had been born exterior the African nation.
“People are figuring out with us and we’ve managed to unite Moroccans behind this soccer workforce,” he stated. “I believe that’s value greater than something, it’s value greater than cash, it’s value greater than titles.
“We’ve made individuals glad, we’ve made individuals proud however that’s not the one cause we’re right here — we’re right here to win matches and go so far as we are able to on this match.”
Morocco have had a sequence of harm issues, with full-backs Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui enjoying regardless of not being absolutely match.
Centre-back Nayef Aguerd hobbled off injured within the Spain match however might be able to play on Saturday.
“Lots of accidents, individuals sick. We’ve performed a number of video games with out individuals 100%,” stated Regragui.
“I’m proud for that as a result of no one has seen Morocco at 100% energy. Aguerd is ready tomorrow to see if he can play or not.”
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