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Morocco’s Ultimate Dream Team: Who would make an all-time Atlas Lions World Cup squad?

6:31 PM GMT+4 30/11/2022
Morocco Dream Team
Who would make a dream Morocco 23-man World Cup squad?
  • Badou Ezzaki Morocco National Team

    Badou Zaki

    One of Africa’s greatest ever keepers, Zaki was African Footballer of the Year in 1986—the same year that he starred at the World Cup, as Morocco became the first team from the continent to reach the knockouts. He played in Spanish football with Real Mallorca, and has since coached the Morocco national side.

    He finished fourth in IFFHS’s African Goalkeeper of the Century award.

  • Yassine Bounou Morocco 2022

    Bono

    The current No. 1 between the sticks, Bono has established himself as one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe while with Sevilla, ensuring the Spanish team have an immense defensive record both domestically and in the Champions League.

    He previously won the Europa League with the Rojiblancos, and will be hoping for further glory with Morocco at the ongoing World Cup.

  • Allan Ben Kassou

    Respected keeper who made over a century of appearances for the national side, and represented Morocco at the 1970 World Cup.

  • Medhi Benatia

    Medhi Benatia

    Emerged as one of the finest centre-backs in the European game while at AS Roma, and subsequently won five consecutive league titles with Bayern Munich and Juventus between 2014 and 2019.

    At international level, he played his part in Morocco’s re-emergence under Herve Renard.

  • Mustapha Bettache

    One of the grand old names of Moroccan soccer, Bettache excelled at Wydad Casablanca before moving to French football, where he starred for Nimes Olympique during the late 50s and early 60s.

    He enjoyed a reputation as one of the best defenders in the French top flight, celebrated for his rigour, tenacity and aggression.

  • Noureddine Naybet of Deportivo La Coruna

    Noureddine Naybet

    Composed and elegant central defender, who won the Spanish title with Deportivo La Coruna and represented the Atlas Lions 115 times.

    He represented Morocco at eight major tournaments, and also represented Tottenham Hotspur at the tail end of his career.

  • Mahjoub 1976 African Cup of Nations - Morocco

    Larbi Aherdane

    The first member of the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations-winning squad to make our Dream Squad, Aderdane also captained the dominant Wydad Casablanca side of the late 70s.

  • Achraf Hakimi Morocco.

    Achraf Hakimi

    The current star of the Morocco national side, Hakimi may only be 24, but he’s already enjoyed great success in his career to date.

    A Champions League winner with Real Madrid, he developed his game at Borussia Dortmund, and as has subsequently won league titles with Internazionale and Paris Saint-Germain.

  • Salem Ben Miloud

    A Ligue 1 champion with Olympique de Marseille, Ben Miloud spent a decade with the French giants having spend his early 20s with Wydad Casablanca.

    Ben Miloud would start on the left side of the defence for our Morocco dream team.

  • Abdelkrim El Hadrioui of Tunisia, Marc Degryse of Belgium

    Abdelkrim El Hadrioui

    Making the cut as back-up left-back to Ben Miloud, El Hadrioui learned his trade at AS Far before signing for Benfica in 1997.

    He represented Morocco at the World Cups of 1994 and 1998.

  • Mustapha El Biyaz

    Defender who was part of the 1986 World Cup squad, proving to be a rugged presence in the heart of the Atlas Lions’ backline.

    El Biyaz was a long-term servant of KAC Marrakech—only narrowly missing out on a domestic double in 1987.

  • Abderrahmane Mahjoub

    A classic midfield general of the 1950s—before Moroccan independence—Mahjoub represented France at the ’54 World Cup, and then went on to play for the Atlas Lions.

    He was a French Cup-winner with OGC Nice, earning the nickname the ‘Prince of the Park’.

    Mahjoub was later head coach of the Morocco national side.

  • Driss Bamous

    Long-term servant of FAR Rabat, Bamous also captained Morocco to their first World Cup in 1970.

    He was a professional soldier alongside his footballing career.

  • Moroccan midfielder Abdelmajid Dolmy collides with Portuguese Magalhaes 11 June 1986 in Guadalaraja during the World Cup

    Abdelmajid Dolmy

    One of Morocco’s true maestros, Dolmy amassed almost a century and a half of caps, and represented the Atlas Lions at the 1986 World Cup.

    He dazzled at the base of Morocco’s midfield during that tournament, as the Atlas Lions reached the knockouts, and is arguably Raja Casablanca’s greatest player.

  • bouderbala

    Aziz Bouderbala

    One of Dolmy’s midfield partners at the ’86 World Cup, Bouderbala finished runner-up to Zaki in the ’86 African Footballer of the Year award.

    By that point, he was on the books of Swiss side FC Sion, but also represented heavyweights such as Wydad Casablanca and Olympique Lyonnais.

  • Mohamed Timoumi of Morocco vs. Lothar Matthaeus, Hans-Peter Briegel, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge of Germany.

    Mohamed Timoumi

    Africa’s Footballer of the Year in 1985, Timoumi was yet another member of the ’86 World Cup side to make the cut here.

    He inspired FAR Rabat to the African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1985—the first time a Moroccan club had conquered Africa—having won a domestic treble the year before.

    Creative, with a delightful left foot.

  • Tahar El-Khalej of Southampton, Man United's Andy Cole

    Tahar El Khalej

    Played the delightful through-ball for Mustapha Hadji to score a delightful goal against Scotland at the 1998 World Cup, and would be a versatile option in this squad, able to feature either in defence or at the base of midfield.

    He played in England for Southampton and Charlton Athletic, and also represented Portuguese giants Benfica.

  • Hakim Ziyech of Morocco

    Hakim Ziyech

    Another current member of the Morocco side to make the cut, Ziyech is possibly fortune to make the squad here after losing his way recently at Chelsea.

    The Wizard, nonetheless, has excelled at the pinnacle of the world game, finishing in The Guardian’s Top 30 players in the world in 2019.

    He was a Dutch champion with Ajax in 2019, and clinched the Champions League in 2021—the second Moroccan after Hakimi to win the title.

  • Mustapha Hadji Dunga Morocco Brazil

    Mustapha Hadji

    Another Moroccan maestro of the late 90s and early 2000s, Hadji was African Footballer of the Year for 1998, following a star turn at the World Cup in France.

    He memorably netted a wondergoal against Scotland, and later signed for Premier League Coventry City, despite reported interest from AC Milan.

  • Ben Barek, Atlético de Madrid

    Larbi Ben Barek

    Footballing sensation of the 30s and 40s, Ben Barek was nicknamed the ‘Black Pearl’ before Eusebio was later given this particular moniker.

    He represented France at senior level—having been active before Morocco were an independent nation—but later managed the Atlas Lions.

    He was given the Fifa Order of Merit for his services to the sport, and won back-to-back Spanish titles as part of a fine Atletico Madrid side in the early 50s.

    Pele once declared that if he was the King of Football, then Ben Barek was the God.

  • Social Media

    Ahmed Faras

    Morocco’s greatest striker, Faras would lead the line for our Dream Morocco World Cup XI.

    He was named ninth in the IFFHS African Player of the Century rankings, having won the African Footballer of the Year award in 1975.

    Part of the 1970 World Cup campaign, he was a one-club man with Chabab Mohammedia, winning their sole league title in 1980 and scored three times as Morocco won the Afcon in 1976.

  • Salaheddine Bassir morocco

    Salaheddine Bassir

    Morocco’s second highest scorer of all time—behind only Faras—Bassir was a member of the Atlas Lions squad that reached the World Cup in 1998, going on to score twice against Scotland.

    He was part of the Deportivo La Coruna team that won a Spanish league and cup double in 2000, but featured sparingly that season.

    Began his career with Raja Casablanca.

  • Hassan Akesbi

    His goalscoring form in his homeland took him to France, where he featured for the likes of Nimes, AS Monaco and Stade de Reims.

    He’s the eleventh highest scorer in the history of Ligue 1—having netted 173 top flight goals—and only two foreigners have scored more than Akesbi in the division.

    No African has ever scored more, and the attacker also won the title with Reims in 1962.