Morocco’s squad for the 2022 World Cup has been announced, with Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and PSG’s Achraf Hakimi as the star players under-26.
Morocco will take on Croatia, Belgium and Canada in Group F of the Qatar World Cup and will need to be at the top level to reach the knockout round for the first time since 1986.
However, they rely on unity over discipline, so don’t be surprised to see them ride the crest of a wave to the last 16. That was the essence of Morocco’s decision to fire coach Vahid Halilhodzic three months before the World Cup.
The Bosnian’s many feuds with team leaders such as Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and Bayern Munich full-back Noussair Mazraoui eventually angered fans and the FA. The departure of Halilhodzic in August paved the way for the return of that pair, and 45-time former Morocco international and CAF Champions League winning coach Walid Regragui to lead the Atlas Lions in Qatar. Their limited preparation can be decisive.
In qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, Morocco took advantage of their state-of-the-art installations by inviting each opponent to play their respective ‘home’ games in Morocco, following a crackdown by CAF in the derelict stadiums around Africa. After six wins out of six, 20 goals for and one against, their only away game was the play-off first leg against DR Congo, which they drew.
With Ziyech’s precision generating chances, PSG’s Hakimi providing the pace and drive to dominate the right flank, and Sevilla goalkeeper Bono reading the game superbly to frustrate even elite strikers, Morocco is in safe hands.
However, the Atlas Lions lack a consistent focal point. Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri offers a relentless run but can be clumsy in key moments. Abderrazak Hamdallah – brilliantly dubbed ‘the executioner’ – has also failed to hold on to the burgundy number 9 shirt.
Morocco’s fans will be traveling in large numbers and will be aided mostly by a huge North African diaspora in Qatar, so expect some raucous support.
Morocco World Cup 2022 squad
Selection Morocco World Cup 2022: The last team of 26 men
- GK: Yassine Bounou (Seville)
- GK: Munir El Kajoui (Al Wehda)
- GK: Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Casablanca)
- DF: Nayef Aguerd (West Ham United)
- DF: Yahia Attiat Allah (Wydad Casablanca)
- DF: Badr Benoun (Qatar SC)
- DF: Achraf Dari (Brest Stadium)
- DF: Jawad El Yamiq (Real Valladolid)
- DF: Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint Germain)
- DF: Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich)
- DF: Romain Saiss (Besiktas)
- MF: Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina)
- MF: Selim Amallah (Standard Liège)
- MF: Bilal El Khannouss (Racing Genk)
- MF: Yahya Jabrane (Wydad Casablanca)
- MF: Azzedine Ounahi (Angers)
- MF: Abdelhamid Sabiri (Sampdoria)
- FW: Zakaria Aboukhlal (Toulouse)
- FW: Soufiane Boufal (Angers)
- FW: Ilias Chair (Queens Park Rangers)
- FW: Walid Cheddira (Bari)
- FW: Youssef En-Nesyri (Seville)
- FW: Abde Ezzalzouli (Osasuna)
- FW: Abderrazak Hamdallah (Al Ittihad)
- FW: Amine Harit (Olympique de Marseille)
- FW: Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)
Morocco top scorers
Morocco top scorers
One Goal – Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri, Romain Saiss, Zakaria Aboukhlal
Morocco yellow cards
Morocco yellow cards
1 yellow card: Sofyan Amrabat, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Roman Saiss
Who is Morocco’s national coach for the 2022 World Cup?
Walid Regragui is the prototypical new breed of African coaches: young, media-trained, player-friendly and an ex-international with valuable playing experience in Europe. The 46-year-old, who won the CAF Champions League with Wydad in May, is a rising star; positive results in Qatar 2022 could eventually bring him back to European football.
Morocco’s star player
Who is Morocco’s best player?
In representing his national team, Achraf Hakimi has permission to pop up anywhere on the pitch and use that extra lung he is said to have – he is played as a left or right full-back and sometimes even on the wing. With scarce hitting opportunities, Morocco relies on Hakimi – 24 in November but with 50 caps already – to create chance after chance.
How many players can Morocco bring to the 2022 World Cup?
National managers were allowed to bring 26 players to last summer’s European Championship in a major tournament for the first time, as a special measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while last year’s Copa America allowed teams of 28 players.
Now it has been announced that teams of 26 players will return for the World Cup in Qatar, an expansion of the usual 23-man squads.
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