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Africa Cup of Nations

‘Everything is possible’ - Herve Renard eyes Afcon triumph with Morocco

21:05 GMT+4 14/05/2019
Herve Renard Morocco
The Atlas Lions last won the African tournament in 1976 and the Frenchman is optimistic that they can end the title drought this year

Morocco coach Herve Renard believes it is possible for the Atlas Lions to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The French tacticians had previously led Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire to claim the trophy in 2012 and 2015 respectively, thus, emerging as the first coach to win the continental title with different teams.

The Atlas Lions have been drawn in Group C along with Renard’s former team Ivory Coast, South Africa and Namibia.

Despite admitting that his side is in a difficult group, the 50-year-old gaffer is upbeat that they can scale the hurdle.

“I don’t know…. everything is possible in football but first we have to look at our opening game which is the most important, then step by step,” Renard told the Caf website.

“We have a tough group and it will be very important to come to Egypt with an ambition of respect all our opponents.

“We are in a very tough group and we need to come in here very concentrated. We have to be ready from the first game to get a good result which will give us some confidence going forward.”

Although Morocco failed to advance past the group stage in the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, they put in some decent performances.

The Atlas Lions played out a 2-2 draw with former champions Spain in their last group game in the competition after previously losing to Iran and Portugal.

Renard believes this experience will help his side at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

“This experience will be very important because we played very good football. Though we didn’t get the result we wanted, all Moroccans were proud of their team. Now, we have to make them very happy again in Egypt,” he continued.

“We are coming in with ambition and if you come with an ambition you have to beat everyone. We have a very good team and we need to believe in ourselves.”

Morocco will kick off their campaign in the tournament against Namibia on June 23 before playing Cote d’Ivoire five days later and South Africa on July 1.