Morocco is the Rocky Balboa of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, Morocco’s World Cup team coach, Walid Regragui, said on Saturday in the press conference following their most recent victory against Portugal.
Striker Youssef En-Nesyri scored the winning goal in the first half, leaping highest to beat goalkeeper Diogo Costa to the ball at Al Thumama Stadium.
“We are now becoming the team that everyone loves in this World Cup because we are showing that even if you don’t have as much talent and money then you can succeed,” Regragui told reporters.
Stressing the significance of the win for the fans, Regragui emphasized: “We have made our people and our continent so happy and proud.”
The coach enthused, “When you watch Rocky, you want to support Rocky Balboa and I think we are the Rocky of this World Cup. I think now the world is with Morocco.”
Morocco’s performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been a shock to the whole as the team has only made it beyond the group stage once going when they made it to the round of 16 back in 1986.
“I think it’s the first time that I’ve cried at the end of a match,” the team’s manager said.
The Atlas Lion’s coach said he tries to “control his emotions” as he wants his team to see him as “mentally strong.”
The coach further described his joy at reaching the semi-finals of the tournament. “When you get to the semi-finals of a World Cup … the emotions come pouring out. I would be lying if I said I thought we could get to the semi-finals,” he explained.
For Regragui it is about more than just skills, “If you show the passion, heart, and belief, you can succeed and my players have shown that. It is not a miracle – those in Europe might say it is, but we have beaten Portugal, Spain, Belgium and drawn against Croatia without conceding,” he stressed. “That is the result of hard work.”
Morocco is set to face defending champions France in the semi-finals on Wednesday.