The statement of the head coach of the Moroccan national team, Walid Regragui, that he will take the B team to the match for third place against Croatia was misinterpreted, that is, the meaning and point was lost in the translation. Not that Morocco will not play with the B team in the bronze medal match, but everyone who is ready will play and will throw themselves at the head from the first minute to the last. The opportunity to return home with a bronze medal around their neck is unique not only in the history of Morocco, but also in the history of the African continent, which so far does not have a single medal from the World Cup.
True, Regragui has a lot of problems with injuries and player fatigue, Moroccan colleagues assure us that the pillars of the defense captain Roman Saiss and Nayef Agures have definitely dropped out of the competition for Saturday, and Noussair Mazraoui is also a big question mark. This would also mean that their defense will undergo a complete redesign. And the question is whether he will play with three or four in the back line.
– We played six games that exhausted our players to the limit, we also have a lot of injuries, so we are forced to change, but the game for third place is a special motive, being third and fourth is not the same. Everyone wants to play in the starting line-up, but I will not take risks with injured and insufficiently fit players – said Regragui.
The experts we talked to confirmed what we ourselves have seen in Morocco’s performance so far. It is a team of fanatical fighters that many compare to Atletico Madrid, and their main strength is not only Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech, as could be expected, but above all the two midfielders, Fiorentina’s Sofyat Amrabat and Angers’ Azzedine Ounahi, who are the heart and soul. this team. They cover a large part of the field, they arrive both in defense and in attack, which was also seen in the first game against Croatia, and the easiest thing would be to threaten them by playing on the flanks….
The Moroccans are tough, they play on the edge of fouls, they often cross that line, and they also have fanatical support from the stands.
– My players do not need an additional motive, the bronze medal and the opportunity to make our fans happy is enough in itself. We wanted to go all the way, we didn’t succeed and now we have another goal. Two teams are playing, disappointed because of the defeat in the semi-finals, but also two teams that want bronze. Honestly, I’m not the type who would be satisfied even with losing in the final, losing is never good.
The coach of Morocco is aware that on the other side he has a better, more experienced and rested Croatian national team.
– We have nothing but respect for Croatia, it is a country of only 4 million inhabitants and they have players of impeccable talent who play in the best clubs. They have great club football, they have a great mentality, they have Luka Modrić who is incredible, his performance in the first game was monumental. We are aware that Croatia wants to win a medal again after Russia, but we also have our own plans. We also want to make our nation happy, which is sad after the defeat in the semi-finals. And no, we will not play with the B team, we will play with the best who will be able to perform – concluded the coach of Morocco, who could still send a mixed team to the field against Croatia, but still a team that has the possibility to surprise you.