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World Cup. place in the quarters with seven regulars … and a surprise guest from Morocco

Morocco invites itself to the table of many elders. If the favorites took the lion’s share of the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday and Saturday with tantalizing clashes such as England-France or Holland-Argentina, the Atlas Lions played a disgraceful game, qualifying for the first time in their history. for this round of the competition.

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Morocco’s historic penalty shoot-out victory over Spain (0-0, 3-0) on Tuesday upset a final table previously dominated by big nations from Brazil to Argentina. Through France or Portugal who defeated Switzerland. (6-1). At the beginning of the game, on Cristiano Ronaldo’s bench, it was Benfica’s young striker Gonzalo Ramos who shone with a hat trick.

It is historic for Morocco, historic for Africa.

Walid Regragui

In line with the early exits of Belgium (world No. 2) or Germany (No. 11) in the group stage, Spain’s exit (No. 7) confirms that this atypical World Cup still holds surprises in its calendar, programming and geography. It’s a historic achievement for Morocco, equaling the best ever performance by an African nation at a World Cup, and can now hope for an unprecedented last-four berth. “It is historic for Morocco, historic for Africa. We said that we came to represent Africa, we saw that our level has increased“, Moroccan coach Walid Regraghi enjoyed at the microphone of BeIN Sports.

In 2018, the quarters came down to a showdown between Europe and South America. Four years later, Morocco broke this duopoly, even if the number of qualified European countries (8 to 5) increases the risk of seeing the Old Continent choke, as in every edition since 2002. Argentina certainly disagrees. The Canaries and Albiceleste, led by Neymar and Lionel Messi respectively, believe in their chances in what is undoubtedly their last“or for”Leo:reach the grail.

The World Cup in Qatar is a great opportunity to break the European dominance.


The World Cup in Qatar is a great opportunity to break the European dominanceCafu, former defender and captain of Brazil’s 2002 world champions, told AFP ahead of the tournament. After three weeks of competition, Brazil have certainly impressed with their attacking prowess and defensive solidity, despite Neymar missing ten days with an ankle injury. Argentina are gaining momentum after their initial and unexpected defeat against Saudi Arabia (2-1). But beware of their rivals in the quarters. Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup and still led by their playmaker Luka Modric, remain a very big piece on the road to Brazil on Friday (4pm).

Ditto for Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, a disciplined and consistent side capable of outplaying Lionel Scaloni’s side. “It will be a very good match between two historical teams. Unfortunately, one of them will have to leavecommented the Argentinian coach. Van Gaal, who reached the semi-finals on Oranie’s bench in 2014, already sees more.For one year, I say, we can be the world champion. I am not saying that we will be, but we can.“The height of misfortune for the countries of South America. Brazil and Argentina will meet in the semi-finals if they qualify for the last four, with Albiceleste seeking revenge for the 2021 Copa final (1-0).

The Kylian Mbappé obsession

Saturday, place “crunch» high flight between current world champion France and European vice-champion England. Fans see it primarily as a duel between Blues striker Kylian Mbappe, the tournament’s top scorer (5 goals) and Three Lions centre-forward Harry Kane (3 assists). “Of course this World Cup is crazy, it’s my dream competition“Mbappe reacted after his double against Poland in the round of 16 (3-1), admitting that he had”constructed“His season is for this purpose”whether physically or mentally“. Can the Blues become the first country to retain their World Cup title since Pele’s Brazil in 1962? In the quarters, it will be necessary to get used to the English before thinking about a possible semi-final against the winner of the fight between Morocco and Portugal.

The schedule of the quarter finals

Friday, December 9
Croatia-Brazil (16:00)
Holland-Argentina (20:00)

Saturday December 10
Portugal-Morocco (16:00)
England-France (20:00)

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Source: Le Figaro

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