After making history by becoming the first African-Arab nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, Morocco host international powerhouse Brazil in a friendly clash at the Ibn Batouta Stadium, Tangier on Saturday evening.
The two teams are planning to take different paths than they did in the winter World Cup. The Atlas Lions, for one, will be full of confidence after their outstanding exploits in the recent showpiece tournament.
The African country captivated hearts as they stormed to the World Cup semi-finals, beating powerhouses like Belgium, Spain, and Portugal in one of the most remarkable underdog stories in tournament history.
Walid Regragui’s men will be greeted with a heroes’ welcome in Tangier for their first game since the third-place play-off defeat to Croatia in Qatar. The hosts will now be looking to build on their historic run, and become a consistent force on the international stage in the coming years.
As for Brazil, their underwhelming exit in the World Cup quarter-finals led to coach Tite’s resignation and they face Morocco under the tutelage of interim Ramon Menezes amid rumours of the anticipated appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in the upcoming summer.
Brazil have shaken things up a little bit. Menezes has to make do without the injured Neymar, but has refused to pick notable names like Alisson, Gabriel Martinelli, Bruno Guimaraes and Raphinha.
Instead, the Selecao has a youthful feel to it, with no less than ten uncapped players in the team as they look to start afresh and rebuild their confidence.
Morocco vs Brazil confirmed lineups
Morocco XI (4-3-3): Bono; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Louza; Ziyech, En Nesyri, Boufal
Brazil XI (4-3-3): Weverton; Emerson Royal, Militao, Ibanez, Telles; Paqueta, Casemiro, Santos; Vinicius, Rodrygo, Rony
Morocco vs Brazil LIVE updates
Morocco and Brazil's next fixtures
This is the only fixture for Brazil in the current international break. Meanwhile, history-makers Morocco will make the trip to Madrid to face Peru in yet another friendly at Atletico Madrid's Cívitas Metropolitano on 29th March.