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‘Morocco one of the strongest teams at World Cup’ - Mazraoui tips Atlas Lions to ‘make history’

23:42 GMT+4 18/11/2022
Noussair Mazraoui of Morocco is challenged by Sessi Dalmeida of Benin.
Morocco right-back Noussair Mazraoui has described the Atlas Lions are one of the strongest teams at the World Cup capable of making history.
  • Mazraoui counting on 'superior' Morocco
  • Bayern defender confident of history-making run in Qatar
  • The Atlas Lions have never gone past World Cup Round of 16

WHAT HAPPENED? Morocco are making a second straight, and sixth overall, appearance at the World Cup after featuring at the 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998 and 2018 tournaments, with their best performance being a round of 16 in Italy 36 years ago. However, the Bayern Munich defender is tipping them for greatness in Qatar due to the quality they possess.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "With Croatia and Belgium, we will meet the numbers two and three of the 2018 World Cup, so the group stage will be very challenging," said Mazraoui.

"However, I think we have a chance, it depends on our own performance. I am convinced of the quality of our team. We can make history.

“I think we will be one of the strongest teams in the World Cup in terms of technique. We have an excellent mix in the team with many young players and some older players, who already have a great career and can provide the necessary experience.

"We have some big names in the team who play for top European clubs, such as Achraf Hakimi at Paris Saint-Germain and Hakim Ziyech at Chelsea. And then, we also have players like Sofiane Boufal, Abdelhamid Sabiri and goalkeeper Bono.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Morocco are in Group F with Croatia, Belgium and Canada in what will be one of the toughest pools and they will need to be at their very best to advance to the knockout round.

The Atlas Lions lost to Iran and Portugal before drawing with Spain in their group in Russia four years ago and their task will not be made easy this time around given the calibre of the opposition.

WHAT’S NEXT? The Atlas Lions are already in Qatar with their World Cup opener slated for November 23 against Croatia.