11/30/2022
Drawn in Group F alongside Croatia, Canada and Belgium,, Morocco have their task cut at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Morocco coach Walid Regragui had sprung a surprise by recalling Abderrazak Hamdallah after a three-year absence for Qatar 2022.

Achraf Hakimi will continue to be the key player for the Atlas Lions.

The biggest call from Regragui, who took over from deposed predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic on August 31, has been to select striker Hamdallah, who has not featured for the national team since 2019.

Less surprising are the inclusion of star players such as goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, defender Achraf Hakimi and forward Hakim Ziyech.

Despite Halilhodzic successfully guiding Morocco to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, things were not quite as rosy behind the scenes.

Dressing room rifts forced the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation Fouzi Lekjaa to part company with the Bosnian, setting off a frantic search for a coach who could restore unity to the dressing room.

They were looking for someone who could both resolve player disputes as well as integrate Moroccan league players into the team with Regragui fitting in the bill.

The 47-year-old did not have the chance to play in a World Cup during his international career, which spanned from 2002 to 2011, due to the Atlas Lions failing to qualify during that period.

His stand-out achievement on the international stage was in the 2004 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, when they reached the final, falling just short against hosts Tunisia. He is now looking to make amends by masterminding a strong showing from the Atlas Lions in what will be a tough group.

FIXTURES (all times IST)

Vs Croatia, November 23, 3.30pm at Al Bayt Stadium.

Vs Belgium, November 27, 6.30pm at Al Thumama Stadium.

Vs Canada, December 1, 8.30pm at Al Thumama Stadium.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Yassine Bono, Munir, Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti.

Defenders: Achraf Hakimi, Noussair Mazraoui, Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, Achraf Dari, Jawad El Yamiq, Yahia Attiyat Allah, Badr Benoun.

Midfielders: Sofyan Amrabat, Selim Amallah, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Azzedine Ounahi, Bilel El Khanouss, Yahya Jabrane.

Forwards: Hakim Ziyech, Youseff En-Nesyri, Sofiane Boufal, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Ez Abde, Amine Harit, Ilias Chair, Abderrazzak Hamdallah, Walid Cheddira.

PREDICTION

Pitted in a tight group, Morocco will find the going tough. But one match is all it is required to change the fortunes.