Walid Regragui hails Morocco’s World Cup run and reveals who he wants to win Argentina v France final. Morocco boss Walid Regragui has hailed his side’s history-making run in Qatar and revealed who he wants to win the World Cup final between Argentina and France.
The Atlas Lions became the first African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final in Qatar, with their impressive progress halted by defending champions France on Wednesday night.
A semi-final clash with World Cup holders France always looked a tough task but Morocco created several openings after Theo Hernandez’s early goal at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Jawad El Yamiq’s brilliant overhead kick hit the post and Abderrazak Hamdallah went on a bulldozing run but failed to get his shot away before France put the game to bed through substitute Randal Kolo Muani.
While Morocco’s World Cup journey is over, they can take great pride in their fantastic run to the semi-finals and leave Qatar as one of the highlights of the tournament.
Head coach Regragui expressed his pride in his team after their World Cup exit and revealed who he will be supporting on Sunday when Argentina face France in the final.
‘We gave the maximum, that’s the most important thing,’ he said. ‘We have shown the world that football exists in Morocco and that we have great supporters.
‘We had some injuries, we lost Aguerd in the warm-up, Saiss, Mazraoui… but there are no excuses.
‘We paid for the slightest mistake. We didn’t get into the game well, we had too much technical waste in the first half, and the second goal kills us, but that doesn’t take away everything we did before in the tournament.
‘This was one step too far. We had too many players at 60-70% fitness. My players gave everything. They have gone as far as they could. We will support France now.’
If France come out on top in Sunday’s final at the Lusail Stadium, they will become the first team in 60 years to retain the World Cup, following Brazil’s victories in 1958 and 1962.
But they face an Argentina side bidding to win the World Cup for a third time and help Lionel Messi lift the trophy for the first time in his final tournament.
‘It’s never easy but it’s been such a joy,’ France boss Didier Deschamps said after leading his team to a second successive World Cup final.
‘We’re going to go after the title on Sunday. We’re going to enjoy the time. I tell this to my staff and players. Take every moment in the day to really appreciate and savour the moment.
‘In four days we are going to play for a world title. We’ll enjoy it now and get ready for the last match of this World Cup.’