Sofyan Amrabat Morocco Portugal World Cup 2022Getty

'Amrabat the Gattuso of Morocco' - Former England coach Capello praises Atlas Lions midfielder

  • Capello praised Amrabat for offering Morocco great balance
  • Former England coach also in awe of midfielder’s work rate
  • Amrabat has played a pivotal role in Atlas Lions’ run to the semis

WHAT HAPPENED? Amrabat has been the midfield anchorman for Morocco in their run to a historic World Cup semi-final and the former Real Madrid and Juventus coach has lavished praise on the Fiorentina star, comparing him with combative former Italy midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "I like Morocco because they give the impression of being a close-knit team,” Capello told Il Messaggero as quoted by Voetbal.

“They are alert in defence and quick in attack. Under the new national [team] coach Walid Regragui, they only conceded one goal and have not lost yet. Several factors indicate that you have to take this team seriously."

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"If I have to name one name, besides the well-known Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi, it would be Amrabat. He is essential for balance and a great runner. I read that he covered more than fourteen kilometres against Spain. I see him as the Gennaro Gattuso of Morocco."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Amrabat has been an ever-present figure in the Atlas Lions’ starting XI in all their five matches as they marched on to the semi-final.

The midfielder is the conductor of the Morocco orchestra, linking up defence and attack with his experience and calming presence key to their good defensive record, which has seen them not concede from an opposition player.

His ability to slot in defence while starting attacks from deep has earned him great praise, managing over 70 per cent pass completion rate while averaging three tackles per game.

WHAT’S NEXT? Barring a late injury, Amrabat will slot in at central midfield again, as Morocco seek to add defending champions France to their list of casualties in Wednesday’s semi-final.