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Can the Atlas Lions break the hegemony of Europe and South America at the 2022 World Cup? The task will be complicated. However, Morocco have already created a surprise: first by arriving at the top of group F in the group stage, then by beating Spain in the round of 16.
Morocco invites itself to the feast as a big surprise in the “top eight” of the 2022 World Cup. The historic penalty shootout victory on Tuesday December 6 against Spain (0-0 ap, 3-0 tab ), upset a final table where until then the big nations had held their rank, from Brazil to Argentina via France or Portugal.
This is a historic achievement for Morocco, which equals the best performance of an African nation at a World Cup and can now hope to join an unprecedented last four.
« It’s historic for Morocco, it’s historic for Africa. We said we had come to represent Africa, we saw that our level had increased “, savored the Moroccan coach Walid Regragui at the microphone of beIN Sports.
► To read also: World Cup 2022: the magical evening of Walid Regragui’s “family”
In line with the early eliminations of the Belgium (2nd nation in the world ranking) or theGermany (11th) in the group stage, the exit of Spain (7th) confirms that this atypical World Cup in its calendar, its programming and its geography still has surprises in store.
The Old Continent still very present in world football
At the 2018 World Cup, the quarter-finals came down to a showdown between Europe and South America. Four years later, Morocco broke this duopoly, even if the number of qualified European nations (5 out of 8) fuels the risk of seeing the stranglehold of the Old Continent continue, as in each edition since 2002.
In the last four of the competition, we find in particular the two finalist teams of the 2018 edition in Russia: Croatia and France. The latter has been overflowing so far in the tournament thanks to the goals of her star Kylian Mbappe23 years old, and ghost Olivier Giroud, 36 years on the clock. More muted, the Netherlands, guided on the bench by the “old man” Louis van Gaal, are in the process of charting a brilliant course in Qatar and will no doubt be able to give Argentina a hard time.
Brazil and Argentina gain momentum
Carried respectively by Neymar and Lionel Messi, the Seleção and the Albiceleste believe in their chances in this tournament, which is undoubtedly the last opportunity for the two stars of Paris Saint-Germain to win the Grail. ” The World Cup in Qatar is a great opportunity to break European dominance “, told AFP Cafu, former defender and captain of the Brazilian world champions in 2002, before the tournament. We will see if Brazil will succeed in its endeavor to bring the trophy home, twenty years later. The team coached by Tite impressed with its offensive strength and defensive rigor. Argentina, meanwhile, are gaining momentum after their initial and unexpected setback against Saudi Arabia (2-1).
But beware of their opponents in the quarters: the Croatiavice-world champion 2018 and still guided by her master to play Luka Modric, remains a very big piece on the road to Brazil.
Same for the Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal, a disciplined and consistent team capable of outsmarting the selection of Lionel Scaloni. ” It will be a very good match between two historic selections. Unfortunately, one of them will have to leave commented the Argentine coach.
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