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Morocco’s National Football Team: History and Facts

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
30th November 2022
Morocco’s National Football Team: History and Facts
Morocco has an impressive World Cup record (Getty)

Morocco’s national football team, also known as "the Atlas Lions," represents Morocco in men's international football competitions.

Morocco was divided into Spanish and French protectorates between 1912 and 1955. During this period, the unofficial national team played friendly matches against other North African selections.

On September 9, 1954, an earthquake struck the Algerian city of Chlef. The earthquake destroyed the city leaving over 1,400 people dead. 

The French Football Association and a combined selection from the Maghreb organized a charity match to raise funds for the benefit of the earthquake victims. A team made up of Moroccans, Algerians, and Tunisians defeated the national team of France 3-2.

At the end of the French protectorate of Morocco, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation was formed in 1955.

Egypt was the first African country to play in the World Cup in 1934. It took another 36 years before Africa was next represented by Morocco at the FIFA World Cup Mexico 1970.

Morocco at the FIFA World Cup

Morocco’s national team has an impressive World Cup record. 

In 1970, they became the first African team to draw a match at the World Cup Finals with a 1–1 draw with Bulgaria.

In 1986, they became the first African and Arab team to reach the round of 16 after topping a group that included England, Poland, and Portugal in the World Cup in Mexico.

Morocco’s Team at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

After the departure of Hervé Renard, who is now the coach of The Saudi national team, Morocco’s team began a process of revival.

Several players from 2018, such as Medhi Benatia, Karim El Ahmadi, Mbark Boussoufa, and Nordin Amrabat, are not part of the team anymore. However, players like Romain Saiss, Achraf Hakimi, and Yassine Bounou have experience playing at the World Cup.

Morocco’s National Team Coach

Walid Regragui is the first Moroccan coach of the team since Badou Ezaki (2014-2016). According to The Guardian, “His biggest triumph came when he won the African Champions League with Wydad AC, beating Al Ahly in Casablanca.”

Morocco’s Star Player Achraf Hakimi

Born in Madrid to Moroccan parents, Hakimi began with the Real Madrid system and thrived at Borussia Dortmund and Internazionale before he moved to Paris Saint-Germain. 

The Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic commented about Hakimi saying: “Hakimi is a phenomenon. I’ve never seen anybody like him and I’m almost 70.”

Morocco Beat Belgium 2-0 at the FIFA World Cup 2022

On November 27, Morocco earned their third World Cup win against FIFA's second best-ranked team, Belgium, with goals from Romain Saïss and Zakaria Aboukhlal.

Morocco’s team have four points from their opening games. They will face Canada on December 1 at Al Thumama Stadium.

A supporting image within the article body

Misbar previously debunked claims related to Morocco’s national Football team and fans.

Misbar’s Sources

Daily News Egypt


Super Sport





Sky Sports

The Guardian

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