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'Morocco are 20 years ahead' - Mosimane hails Atlas Lions' 2022 Fifa World Cup run

14:33 SAST 2022/12/07
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Ex-Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he foresaw Morocco’s rise to become a powerhouse in African and global football.
  • Morocco reached the 2022 World Cup quarters
  • Mosimane says he saw it coming
  • Morocco becomes the fourth Caf member to achieve that

WHAT HAPPENED? The Atlas Lions beat 2010 champions Spain on penalties on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the 2022 Fifa World Cup for the first time in their history. With Mosimane having experienced Moroccan football during his visits for matches as well as studying for the Caf Pro Licence, he says he saw the North Africans’ impressive run at the World Cup coming. The former Bafana Bafana coach says Morocco have developed their football to place themselves 20 years ahead of other African countries.

WHAT MOSIMANE SAID: “They asked me about Morocco because I made a statement a few months back when I was in Morocco and I told everybody in South Africa that Morocco is a powerhouse and was going to be the biggest powerhouse in African football and also in global football,” Mosimane said as per iDiksi Times. “Because I spent my last three years more in Morocco, learning with all those African coaches, two of them are in the World Cup, they were with me in the class.

“After that Morocco won the Caf Champions League against me [as Al Ahly coach]. I lost the final of the Caf Champions League six months back to Wydad Casablanca, the Moroccan team and the women’s team beat Mamelodi Sundowns and they’re the champions of Champions League football for ladies and they qualified for the [Women’s] World Cup.

“Now everyone says, asking me ‘did you predict [this Moroccan success]’, I said ‘no, it’s factual.’ It’s how the development of football works in Morocco and what they are doing, nobody else is doing. In fact, a system and coaching structure they have for coach education, players and everything, I said ‘they are 20 years ahead.’”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: By progressing to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, Morocco became the fourth African team to attain that feat. They follow in the footsteps of Cameroon who reached the last-eight in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010. It is yet to be seen if they will go a step further and make it to the semi-finals.

STORY IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MOROCCO? Morocco are now preparing to face Portugal in the quarter-finals on Saturday. They come up against a Portuguese team that thrashed Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday.