Saturday, June 3, 2023

Team from Africa will win World cup in next “15 to 20 years”, says Morocco coach

Morocco coach Walid Regragui has said he believes an African team will win the World Cup in the next “15 to 20 years” after his team finished fourth in Qatar. The Atlas Lions, who became the first African World Cup semi-finalists in history, lost Saturday’s third-place play-off 2-1 to 2018 runners-up Croatia but captured the imagination in Qatar.

“With nine participants, we’re going to learn.”

“In 15 or 20 years, I’m sure an African team will win the World Cup because we’ll have learned,” said Regragui.

“We have a stage to get past. We need to build on that with hard work and desire. This DNA is not just being built for Morocco but for the continent.”

Morocco’s run to the semi-finals was the unlikeliest story of the tournament, topping a group that contained Croatia and second-ranked Belgium.

The team then beat Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages. Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi became the first Moroccan players to participate in 10 World Cup matches.

The next World Cup in 2026, held across the USA, Canada, and Mexico, will be expanded to 48 teams, and Africa will have at least nine slots, up from five at present.

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