Regragui excited to play 'worst game' against Croatia - Morocco have mental hurdles to overcome

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Morocco Hakimi react post-match France World Cup
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Walid Regragui suggests Morocco might not be at their best when they play Croatia on Saturday in World Cup's third-place playoffs.
  • Morocco to play Croatia
  • They are first African nation to go this far
  • Regragui disappointed they couldn't reach final

WHAT HAPPENED: Morocco fell against the World Cup defending champions France 2-0 on Wednesday to drop out of the race for the title.

They will now play Croatia - who lost 3-0 against Argentina in the first semi that was played on Tuesday. The Atlas Lions and the European nation will now meet on Saturday in a third-place playoff.

However, Regragui could not hide his disappointment in not making it to the final.

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WHAT HE SAID: "I guess it's the worst game that we have to play. But we're still excited to play it despite the disappointment," Regragui told the media ahead of the game

"We obviously would have liked to be in the actual final but there is the third place we play for. We want to finish on the podium.

"It is going to be quite difficult with fatigue, but there are also mental hurdles that we need to overcome. We know that Croatia will also want to finish third. We played them in our first game so it will be a nice finisher. It will be no walk in the park."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Morocco is the first African nation to have ever made it to the last four of the World Cup. Previously, Ghana, Cameroon, and Senegal reached the quarter-final.

France will have an opportunity of making history by winning back-to-back World Cup titles against Argentina on Sunday.


winner_3rd_croatia vs morocco

20221213 Walid Regragui

WHAT NEXT: After the World Cup, Morocco will turn their attention to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers. They currently top their pool with maximum points after wins against South Africa and Liberia respectively.