Despite sitting 42nd in the FIFA world rankings, Morocco have a huge potential in their Squad for the fifa World Cup 2018 and could come off as one of the surprise packages in the tournament.
The African team is managed by French coach Hervé Renard who is a highly respected coach on the African continent and since being appointed in 2016 has gone on to win the African Cup of Nations and qualifying the country for their first World Cup appearance in 20 years.
Full Squad :
GOALKEEPERS: Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia), Yassine Bounuo (Girona), Ahmed Reda Tagnouti (Ittighad Tangiers).
DEFENDERS: Mehdi Benatia [Juventus], Romain Saiss [Wolves], Manuel Da Costa [Basaksehir], Nabil Dirar [Fenerbahce], Achraf Hakimi [Real Madrid], Hamza Mendyl [Lille].
FORWARDS: Khalid Boutaib [Malatyaspor], Aziz Bouhaddouz [Saint Pauli], Ayoub El Kaabi [Renaissance Berkane], Nordin Amrabat [Leganes], Mehdi Carcela [Standard de Liege], and Hakim Ziyech [Ajax], Youssef En Nesyri [Malaga].
STARS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
The 31 year old is an experienced campaigner having played for top European teams like Bayern Munich, Roma and currently at Juventus. Don’t go by his age, he is a superb centre-back with great composure and pace, he is also has the reputation of being the best centre back in Serie A in recent years.
The exciting Spanish-born right back is touted by none other than Zidane as the “next big thing”, he has stepped in the limited opportunity provided to him as an understudy to Dani Carvajal. A good show might improve his case for the next season.
The Eredivise player is the major attacking threat in the team, known for his technique and ability from free-kicks. He is already linked to top teams in both premier league and Serie A, with Liverpool, Roma and Everton coveting for signing this exciting midfielder who is only 25 years old.
Ayoub el Kaabi:
He is the Moroccan dark horse, whose rags to riches story can be a rich addition to footballing folklore. The number 9 who can also be deployed as a winger, was working as a carpenter living in slums just four years ago. From the slums of Morocco to the billion dollar global competition, he has certainly come a long way.
HOW FAR CAN THEY GO?
Returning to the global stage after a long time, the team is full of talented Europe based players, and their recent form has been promising, yet according to my predictions a round of 16 finish must be their goal, realistically speaking.
But as they say in football you never know, maybe I might have to eat my words who knows nevertheless hoping they go as far as possible and make history for their nation.
Confirmed Starting Line up vs Iran
Morocco starting XI:
Munir | Hakimi, Benatia (c), Saiss, Ziyach, El Ahmadi, Belhanda, Boussoufa, Ambrabat, Harit, El Kaabi
Substitutes from: rest of the squad
Iran starting XI:
Beiranvand | Hajisafi, Cheshmi, Pouraliganji, Rezaeain, Shojaei (c), Ebrahimi, Amiri, Ansarifard, Jahanbakhsh, Azmoun