the sacred union behind Morocco before the historic semi-final
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The feat of Morocco, which eliminated Portugal to become the first Arab and African country in the last four of a World Cup, leaves fans dreaming. For his fans, the Atlas Lions have become the flag bearers of Africa, the Arab world and all the outsiders of the football planet. Reportage.
Qatar is red with happiness. In the Souq Waqif in the center of Doha, 24 hours have already passed since Morocco’s performance against Portugal which crowned the Atlas Lions as the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. As visitors begin to flock to this nerve center of the city to enjoy one of the rare evenings without a match at the 2022 World Cup, there is only one real topic of conversation: Moroccan performances and the half- final against France.
“It’s exceptional. It’s a first for Morocco and for the Arab world. In fact, I don’t have the words yet. There are too many emotions. “explains a Moroccan supporter still in shock .
Morocco has achieved an exemplary course. The 22e nation in the standings was able to defy all predictions throughout the tournament. First in group E, qualified as a group of death, where she held off Canada and the Croatian vice-world champions before subduing Belgium. Then there were the exploits against Spain (0-0, tab0-3) and Portugal (1-0).
“We are going to win this World Cup”
“We are in the semi-finals and it’s as if it were normal”, savors Amine, who came from Montreal to Canada for the quarter-finals. “Now we are looking for tickets for the semi-final!”
“We are going to win this World Cup because our players are playing really well,” exults Sarah, 38, a crossfit teacher in Agadir. “Walid Regragui, he is magnificent and with our ‘Head of avocado’ we are going to win.”
>> To read also: Walid Regragui, coach of Morocco: “We try to be a locomotive in Africa”
Enthusiasm is contagious. As soon as Sarah is done expressing her joy, another group of fans continues:
“We beat the biggest teams so why not France?” shouts one of them. “We are going to beat France, beat Argentina and go down in history. Finished good evening”, adds his friend who already sees himself in the final.
“Siiir: Siiir!”, the hit of Morocco
In this joyous doldrums, a rallying cry united all Moroccans: “Siiir! Siiir!”. A distant cousin of the famous battle cry “siiiuuuu!” of Cristiano Ronaldo but which is not a theft with the star which they come to eliminate from its last world. In reality, singing has followed Walid Regragui since his time at FUS in Rabat and now follows him on the benches of the national team. In the stands of the World Cup, Moroccans are more than the majority in each of their matches. This should still be the case on Wednesday December 14 during the match against France.
The semi-final will be the first confrontation in an official match between the Blues and the Atlas Lions, the sixth meeting in all with a favorable record for the Blues: three wins, a draw and another won by Morocco on penalties. goal (1998). The match will above all have a particular flavor in view of the common history woven between the two countries between colonization and immigration. This unique feeling is best summed up by Ahmed and Youssef:
“It’s like between the father and a mother”
“We are Moroccans in heart, in blood, but we were born in France”, explains Ahmed, a lawyer in Miami.
“It’s like between father and mother, normally we can’t choose. But France has already won two World Cups: go Morocco! When we are at two cups everywhere, there we will encourage 50/50” , adds Youssef, 38 years old and a doctor in Grenoble.
“We have always been for France, 1998, 2006, But this is Morocco’s first time. We are going to bring the Cup home. Long live Morocco and long live France and may the best win!” friend.
Franco-Moroccans Ahmed and Youssef on #FRAMAR
“It’s like between father and mother, we can’t choose! But since France has already won two World Cups, go Morocco!”
“Long live France! Long live Morocco! And may the best win!” pic.twitter.com/vzvNC4BSeg
— FRANCE 24 French (@France24_fr) December 11, 2022
The Arab world, Africa and the world behind Morocco?
But the joy of Morocco does not stop at the borders of the Kingdom and France, it is shared more globally by the entire Arab world, already celebrating in this first World Cup organized in the Persian Gulf.
“The Arab world, Africa Everyone is behind us. I have Polish, Peruvian colleagues… They are all behind Morocco! We are the surprise, the freshness, everyone loves it in football! is David against Goliath!” Ahmed enthuses.
“It’s phenomenal what is happening to us. What pleases me the most is the adhesion around Morocco of Arabs, Africa, Berbers… Morocco has become a source of pride for everyone”, s enthusiasm”, Ali, Morocco jersey on his shoulders. This native of Agadir now lives in Qatar and is enjoying this exceptional World Cup of the Atlas Lions: “I especially hope that we will not stop there and that ‘we will see more African and Arab teams reach this level”
It is likely that the increase in the number of teams qualified for the next tournament in 2026 proves him right. With the transition to 48 teams, the African continent will see its number of places increase from 5 to 9. This will multiply the possibilities for CAF teams to invite themselves to the last four in the future.
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