Moroccan football takes height
Moroccan football is living happy days. After having shone on the continental scene by winning the CHAN, Morocco again made headlines during the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, and now in the Arab Cup. Both in selection and in club, Moroccan players have managed to find themselves in the spotlight.
Sweeping national and international teams, Moroccan football continues to shine on the continental and international scene. Thanks to the visibility offered by high-level performances from its players, the Kingdom is gradually making its nest among the most successful nations, starting with a trophy won this year at the African Nations Championship of Football (CHAN).
Indeed, the local Atlas Lions had a superb campaign and once again sat on the roof of Africa, securing a second CHAN title after their home victory in 2018.
At the end of this competition, Soufiane Rahimi who continues to capsize the national team, was elected top scorer of the African Nations Championship with 5 achievements, and named best player of this CHAN 2021.
The Arab Cup for a new dimension
More recently, it was Houcine Ammouta’s team that caught the eye, after qualifying for the Arab Cup quarter-finals. This golden team made up of players playing in Botola and in Arab championships, has shown that it can be formidable.
The selection A ‘, moreover, broke records during this competition and was dangerous, strong of its attack which made sparks, with nine achievements (4 against Palestine, 4 against Jordan and 1 against Saudi Arabia), thus benefiting from two of the three penalties whistled throughout the tournament until Sunday.
Morocco finished in the lead with 9 points, ahead of Jordan (6 pts). Saudi Arabia and Palestine are eliminated. In the quarterfinals, scheduled for next Saturday, Houcine Ammouta’s men will cross swords with the second in Group D, which consists of Egypt, Algeria, Sudan and Lebanon.
Moroccan clubs on the road to success
This is without counting on the determination of the Botola clubs who have also come a long way in the African Cup, namely in the Champions League and the CAF Cup.
In addition, Sunday evening, the Renaissance Sportive de Berkane (RSB) qualified for the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup, after winning 2-0 at the expense of Rwanda Army Club, during the match which brought together the two teams on the municipal stadium of Berkane, making a draw stage of the 32nd final of the African Confederations Cup.
RSB became the third Moroccan club to qualify for the group stage of an African competition, after the sports teams Raja Casablanca and Wydad Casablanca, who will play in the group stage of the LoC.
This African participation of national teams confirms the status of Moroccan football on the continent, and a consolidation of the latest ranking of the African Football Confederation, which considers the Moroccan championship as the best on a continental scale.
A clear round for Vahid Halilhodzic’s A team
We cannot speak of the rise of Moroccan football without mentioning the A team, made up of players playing both in the Moroccan league and abroad in Serie A, Premier League, Ligue 1 or even the Premier League.
This eclectic team led by Vahid Halilhodzic also impressed during their qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup. The Atlas Lions, winners of all their matches, had qualified for the play-offs even before the end.
The career of Achraf Hakimi and his teammates in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup has seduced both nationally and internationally.
Services which also allowed Mountakhab to gain height in the latest FIFA ranking, finding itself at the 28th place in the world and at the 2nd continental.
By winning its 6 matches during this campaign, the Moroccan selection gains a place in the world rankings, accumulating 1525.5 points, and thus becomes the first Arab nation in the ranking. At the African level, only Senegal manages to do better 20th, 1561.68 points).
The Atlas Lions finished first in Group I with 18 points in six games as Ryan Mmaee’s brace and Ayoub El Kaabi’s strike ensured a comfortable victory over their last opponent.
Next March, the national team will therefore come up against one of these teams qualified for the play-offs, namely Egypt, Mali, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or even Ghana, during the decisive round of the Africa zone qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.