Morocco’s World Cup success stirs national pride | Football
Many football fans around the world have been surprised by Morocco’s success at the World Cup in Qatar, where it became the first African and Arab country to make it to the semifinals of the tournament.
But the North African nation has long had a deep passion for the sport. Children can be seen playing football on the streets or on dusty fields, from the snowy foothills of the Atlas Mountains to the Medina of Marrakech.
Local clubs such as Casablanca’s Wydad AC, Raja CA and Rabat’s AS FAR have die-hard fans known for vibrant chants and colourful choreographies.
Morocco coach Walid Regragui has become a national hero following the team’s impressive World Cup run. Before taking over the team, he led Wydad AC to victory in this year’s African Champion’s League.
Morocco’s 1-0 victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, December 10 sparked nationwide celebrations, with car horns sounding through the night in Casablanca, and residents thronging the streets of the capital, Rabat.
Morocco next faces defending champions France on Wednesday in the semifinals.