Friday, December 16, 2022

Morocco gave everything; they needed a little more in the FIFA World Cup 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022: Morocco gave everything; they needed a little more

 Doha-based AL KHOR: The drums continued to pound. The shrill whistles went on and on. As they raged against the waning of the light, Morocco's players kept coming back, their legs burning and their lungs heaving. Morocco had run out of roads by the end. It never lost its fight, not even for a second.

Therefore, the World Cup will culminate in a sensational finale that FIFA and Qatar, the tournament's hosts, have aspired to: Lionel Messi's Argentina against Kylian Mbappe, his likely successor, and France.

On some level, this will always be Morocco's World Cup—the one that made it a trailblazer, a record-breaker, and a watermark that will not fade—no matter which team wins on Sunday or which story line is reverse-engineered as destiny.

Numerous achievements will be the first since Morocco from this point forward. Morocco became the first Arab team to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals here. It then became the first African team to make it all the way to the semifinals here a few days later.

Those accomplishments are neither erased nor diminished by the fact that it was defeated 2-0 by France in a frantic, breathless match. It doesn't change the fact that, according to Morocco's dependable goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, it was in Qatar that the country demonstrated to a "whole generation" that it could produce "miracles." Walid Regragui, Morocco's coach, claims that the country pushed the boundaries of "what was possible" in Qatar.

If anything needed to be confirmed, it came shortly after Randal Kolo Muani doubled France's lead, effectively securing their place in the final. This broke the hearts of fans not only in Morocco but also in Agadir, Amman, Cairo, and Cape Town, all of whom had adopted Regragui's team as their standard-bearer.

Don't worry, bro; everyone is happy for you because of what you did, which made history. — Kylian Mbapp√© (@KMbappe) 1671060121000 — @AchrafHakimi — The tens of thousands of Moroccan fans who had packed this stadium and this city stood still for a brief moment to gather their thoughts. Their players seemed tired on the field.

It was short-lived. An outpouring of all the gratitude and pride that Morocco had generated over the past three and a half weeks that had swept them out of the group stage and all the way to the final four, to the point where they were on the cusp of smashing the biggest glass ceiling of all, the crowd began to applaud, cheer, and then roar slowly around the stadium.

Morocco did not appear awestruck at the time. They were unfazed by the luster, experience, and contradictions of this curious French team, which was both clearly flawed and effortlessly imperious.

After losing in the semifinals, Morocco walks toward the fans who had been their number one supporter all along.... Mimi Fawaz (@MimosaFawaz) 1671055039000 Morocco did not falter when a single mistake and a little too much zeal from central defender Jawad El Yamiq allowed France to score their first goal after just five minutes. Since the start of the World Cup, it was Morocco's first goal against an opponent.

The players of Regragui collapsed on their backs when the final whistle blew, losing all air. For a while, it was conceivable that Azzedine Ounahi and Sofyan Amrabat, in particular, would have to spend the night there before returning home.

They eventually got up and joined their teammates in a tight huddle for a few minutes. Therefore, it comes to an end here.

However, Morocco, Africa, and all of the nations that have perceived Morocco as a mirror of themselves will not see it that way in the coming weeks, months, or years. Instead, Morocco's participation in this World Cup will be remembered as a beginning.

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