Morocco could have the backing of a whole continent once they try to develop into Africa’s first World Cup semi-finalists by beating Portugal on Saturday, stated coach Walid Regragui.
The North Africans will tackle Portugal at Al Thumama Stadium as the primary Arab nation to succeed in the final eight after beating Spain on penalties within the final 16.
A World Cup semi-final in opposition to both England or France is up for grabs, alongside a spot within the historical past books.
Cameroon in 1990, Senegal’s 2002 aspect and the 2010 Ghana workforce all fell on the quarter-final stage.
“We have nothing to lose. The challenge is to do as well as we did in the previous games,” Regragui stated on the eve of the match in opposition to Portugal.
“We wish to present that Africa deserves to be right here, Morocco deserves to be right here.
“Now we have an entire individuals behind us, a continent behind us and the Arab world behind us. That’s a variety of power behind us. We’re going to try to do every thing we are able to.
“We can do it, we can make history again. It (the support) can push us, help us actually to play with this pressure, not to make any mistakes.”
Morocco have the very best defensive document within the match, having conceded just one aim of their 4 matches.
However Regragui warned: “We can’t rest on our laurels. We haven’t got carried away, we’ve just surprised a few people and a few algorithms who expected Belgium or Spain to be in the quarter-finals.”
Ronaldo factorCristiano Ronaldo was a shock omission from Portugal’s beginning XI for his or her match in opposition to Switzerland within the final 16, along with his alternative, Goncalo Ramos, scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 win.
However Regragui would favor to see the Portuguese teamsheet with out the title of worldwide males’s soccer’s biggest goalscorer.
“They’re going to be fresh,” he stated. “I don’t know if Ronaldo’s going to play, but I hope he doesn’t. I know he’s one of the best players in history so I don’t want him to play.”
Morocco’s success in Qatar has sparked celebrations again house, but additionally in a number of European international locations the place the Moroccan diaspora reside.
Fourteen of Regragui’s 26-man squad had been born outdoors the African nation.
“People are identifying with us and we’ve managed to unite Moroccans behind this football team,” he stated. “I feel that’s value greater than something, it’s value greater than cash, it’s value greater than titles.
“We’ve made people happy, we’ve made people proud but that’s not the only reason we’re here — we’re here to win matches and go as far as we can in this tournament.”
Morocco have had a sequence of damage issues, with full-backs Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui taking part in regardless of not being absolutely match.
Centre-back Nayef Aguerd hobbled off injured within the Spain match however could possibly be able to play on Saturday.
“Lots of injuries, people sick. We’ve played lots of games without people 100 per cent,” stated Regragui.
“I’m happy with that as a result of no one has seen Morocco at 100laptop energy. Aguerd is ready tomorrow to see if he can play or not. “