Atlas Lion of Morocco head coach, Regragui, in an interview said that they have given a good image of Morocco and African Football as a whole. Morocco’s historical journey ended yesterday after they lost 2-0 to defending Champion France. Morocco against all odds became the first African team to reach the semi-final stage of the FIFA World Cup.
France reached a back to back FIFA World Cup and could be the first nation to defend the prestigious trophy after Brazil sixty years ago.
“We’re disappointed for the Moroccan people tonight,” said Regragui, a new national hero. “We wanted to keep the dream alive. Of course, we’re pleased with what we achieved, but we felt we could have gone even further.
“I told my players I was proud. We made His Majesty proud. The Moroccan people are proud. We showed the values we wanted to show on the football pitch. We’ve given a good image of Morocco and African football. We represented our country and our continent. People already respected us, but maybe more so now. We went as far as we could, but we’ll have to do even better in the future.”
“We did everything to get a goal, but we didn’t [score],” Regragui said. “In spite of all the injuries we had and tiredness, we pulled out all the stops and gave everything on the pitch. That’s quite an achievement. At a World Cup, this was perhaps one step too far. Not in terms of quality or tactics, but physically, we came up short tonight. We had too many players who were 60-70% and have for a few games now.
“Congratulations to France. We are going to support them now. Our players gave everything. They really wanted to rewrite the history books. But you can’t win a World Cup with miracles. You have to do it with hard work, and that’s what we’re going to keep doing. We’re going to keep working.”
“They’ll be back,” Regragui said of his team. “The top footballing nations always come back. In Africa, we need to show that regularly if we want Morocco to be on the world footballing map. We may never be as good as Brazil, France, or England, but we want to qualify for every World Cup.
“Then people will think it’s normal when Morocco reaches this stage in the World Cup. We’ve achieved a lot because we’ve shown Africans we are capable of going toe to toe with top sides.”
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