Morocco fans will be keen to defend the CHAN trophy they won at home in 2018

Morocco is one of the few African nations with the most appearances at the World Cup and will make a sixth appearance in Qatar this year.

In Group F alongside Belgium, last edition’s finalists Croatia and Canada, the Atlas Lions will fancy their chances of reaching the last 16, a feat they have only achieved once in Mexico 1986.

In qualifying for Qatar, Morocco conceded just three goals, and replicating that at the final will be important.

Head Coach – Walid Regragui

He was appointed on August 31 replacing Vahid Halilhodzic who guided the nation during qualifiers.

Walid Regragui, coach of Morocco Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

He was replaced mainly for failing to keep the team together as control of the dressing room failed and that had forced some players like Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech into early retirement.

As a player, Regragui never played at a World Cup but he goes to the tournament as a coach and wants to make history that the nation did in 1986.

“If we get past the group stage, a feat we have only achieved once, in 1986, then it could be regarded as a successful campaign. But by no means will it be easy in such a tough group. We’ll fight hard, but it’s hard to make promises,” said Regragui in an interview with

He is already a winner having guided Wydad Casablanca to the Caf Champions League.

Captain – Romain Saiss

Roman Saiss against Ivory Coast at Afcon 2019 Credit: John Batanudde

The Besiktas defender is one of the many leaders on the team along with Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Sofiane Boufal, and Nayef Aguerd among others.

He is a cool-headed defender who has played at the top level in recent years and will be important in terms of organising from the back as he consistently did during the qualifiers.

Key Player – Achraf Hakimi  

The PSG man is one of the best in his position in world football and is only 23 years.

Hakim has lightning pace, inch-perfect crosses, and scores goals from his position which is a rarity for fullbacks.

Achraf Hakimi Credit: File Photo

His coach Regragui speaks highly of him – “Achraf is as pacey as the TGV (high-speed passenger train), or “Al Buraq” as we call it in Morocco. He is lightning-quick and a super athlete. He has already played for several top clubs such as Real Madrid, Dortmund, Inter, and Paris Saint-Germain. People forget that he is only 23 years of age. Despite that, he is one of our leaders, both on and off the pitch.”

World Cup history

Morocco will play at the sixth World Cup but their best performance remains in Mexico 1986 when they reached the Round 16.

Morocco XI

However, they have always had star names on the world scene – Noordin Naybet, Moustapha Hadji, Youssef Chippo, and many more.

Morocco’s Fixtures in Qatar

  • November 23: Morocco vs Croatia
  • November 27: Belgium vs Morocco
  • December 01: Canada vs Morocco

Catch all games involving Morocco and other African nations live on GOTV.

Morocco’s Qatar 2022 squad

Goalkeepers Yassine Bounou (Sevilla) Munir El Kajoui (Al-Wehda) Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad AC)

Defenders Nayef Aguerd (West Ham United) Yahia Attitat-Allal (Wydad) Badr Benoun (Qatar SC) Achraf Dari (Stade Brestois) Jawad El-Yamiq (Valladolid) Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain) Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich) Romain Saïss (Besiktas)

Midfielders Selim Amallah (Standard Liege) Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina) Bilel El Khanouss (Genk) Yahya Jabrane (Wydad) Azzedine Ounahi (Angers) Abdelhamid Sabiri (Sampdoria)

Forwards Ez Abde (Osasuna) Zakaria Aboukhlal (Toulouse) Sofiane Boufal (Angers) Ilias Chair (QPR) Walid Cheddira (Bari) Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla) Abderrazak Hamdallah (Al-Ittihad) Amine Harit (Marseille) Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)

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