World Cup 2022: Morocco, its supporters and the end of the Qatari adventure
Ziyech fouls Modric.
Croatia-Morocco REUTERS - MOLLY DARLINGTON
Text by: Farid Achache Follow
Defeated 2-1 by Croatia in the third place match, the Moroccans end this historic 2022 World Cup, once again in front of their still very large audience.
From our special envoy to Qatar,
From our special envoy to Qatar,
He got down on his knees, stared into space.
What could Hakim Ziyech think at the moment of the final whistle on the lawn of the Khalifa International Stadium?
Did he already remember all the emotions experienced here in Qatar?
Or did the attacking midfielder think that a third place could have rewarded a valiant team, and incredible supporters?
This red wave that swept through the stadiums of Qatar will remain one of the strong images of this
2022 World Cup
The Palme d'Or for the most fervent public
For the small finale, Moroccan fans never stopped singing, shouting, dancing, still just as agitated ten minutes from the epilogue of this adventure that they will be able to tell their children, their grandchildren, despite this second defeat in a row,
after that against France in the semi-finals
They were still the most numerous among the 44,137 people in the stands.
The Palme d'Or for the most fervent and assiduous public for this remake of the group stage is once again awarded to Moroccan fans.
2022 World Cup: it will be fourth place for Morocco
The Atlas Lions defeated Luka Modrić and the vice-world champions in their first group match (0-0).
It would be nice to bring home a medal
,” conceded the young Moroccan coach, Walid Regragui, who will remain one of the stars of this World Cup, the first to have carried an African team to the semi-finals.
All this while eliminating several big names from the competition: Belgium, Spain and then Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.
Sometimes, if envy increases your strength tenfold, reality quickly returns at a gallop.
Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou no longer had the grinta, and this impressive collective, which had conceded only one goal in the first five games, was starting to falter.
We went to the end of our strength physically
, comments Walid Regragui.
We wanted to please the public.
We gave a good show and a good image.
We will continue to work.
From now on, we are expected
Croatia had placed their country on the podium of a World Cup for the first time in 1998. Morocco dreamed in their heart of hearts to imitate it.
Croatia deserves third place.
It was a complicated match, there was fatigue.
The step was too high, you had to be 100%
,” admits Regragui.
We managed to unite a people for a month
What will remain as a striking image in the head of the former coach of Wydad Casablanca at the end of this epilogue?
With each of our victories, the Moroccan people have taken to the streets.
We had an extraordinary impact in Morocco, we managed to bring people together for a month
,” says Regragui, who would never have believed that he would experience such a journey.
Now, we must win an African Cup of Nations for this generation, if it wants to enter for good in the history of Moroccan football
", he announces.
Despite the defeat, for the Moroccan supporters, the poster was really worth its weight in bronze.
Hakim Ziyech can look his fans in the eye, and promise that this is just the beginning of a great story for the Atlas Lions.
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World Cup 2022