June 8, 2023

The beginning of this round of the World Cup, held in Qatar, seems like the end: at the beginning of the competition, everyone was surprised by the victory of Saudi Arabia over Argentina, and today, with the final date approaching, everyone is dazzled and surprised by the performance of the Atlas Lions, who reached the golden square.

And with the whistle of the Argentine referee, the Moroccan fans gathered in the cafe poured into the streets, heralding the launch of joy that swept the whole kingdom.

The New York Times, America’s oldest newspaper, points out that Morocco was able to squeeze out the adults in this unique version of the World Cup by sending in players like Belgium, Spain and Portugal without allowing them to score a single goal.

“Pinch me, I think I’m dreaming,” Morocco goalkeeper Yassin Bounou said after the match. “These moments are beautiful, but we are here to change the mentality. With this feeling of inadequacy, we must get rid of it. A Moroccan player can face any player in the world,” adds the Lviv goalkeeper.

Founded in 1851, The New York Times focuses on the style of play of the Moroccan national team, which is a mixture of ancient European experiences and schools such as English and French styles, under the guidance of an experienced coach who believes in miracles and is close to the players.

The American newspaper highlights that a number of Moroccan players are key elements in their clubs, such as goalkeeper Yassin Bounou, Hakim Ziyech, Ashraf Hakimi and Sofiane Boufal. Although they don’t play local clubs in Morocco, they cling madly and dreamily to their homeland.

Of the 26 Moroccan players who were called up for the World Cup, only 12 of them were born in Morocco, the lowest percentage in the competition, according to FIFA. they were born in Spain, Canada, France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The New York Times reports: “Other teams in Africa have also attracted players who have family, if not local, ties to their teams. However, the history of the Moroccan series includes millions of Arabs, Muslims and North Africans teaming up as one team in a way this tournament has never seen before.

An American newspaper points to supporters’ support that was evident at Al-Tumama Stadium and lasted 90 minutes (in addition to eight minutes of stoppage time); As if the match was held in Casablanca, Rabat or Marrakech. Each period of Portuguese possession was greeted with a piercing whistle, and each Moroccan invasion in the opposite direction was greeted with thunderous applause that threatened to push the ball into the Portuguese goal.

The next step in Morocco’s magical journey will be against France in Wednesday’s semi-final matchup, where the former colony will face its former colonizer.

The New York Times praised the work of the Moroccan heart of the defense, especially Al-Yamiq, Bannon, Atyatallah and Amrabat, as Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score as he ran, chased the balls in the back and jumped to retrieve the ball. head to no avail.

As one hero leaves the biggest football scene, the World Cup has spawned a team of heroes for the Arab world. Morocco is not ready to say goodbye to the tournament. In Rabat, the party lasted all night.

Lubna Talib, 34, a political adviser to the embassy in the capital, said: “I am happy and proud that men and women side by side support and uplift the national team. They exceeded all expectations and made us all believe in something more than football.” And for this I am infinitely grateful to them, for the fact that they healed the nation from the scars of colonialism.


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