Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Regragui – I Don’t Care About History

Morocco head coach Walid Regragui says history has no relevance in their Last-16 Africa Cup of Nations tie against South Africa.

Morocco arrived in Ivory Coast as one of the favourites of the tournament alongside reigning champions Senegal due to their exploits at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Being ranked first in the continent too, but many favourites have already been knocked and the last time they reached the semi-finals of AFCON dates back to 2004, while their only title was in 1976 in Ethiopia.

“It’s different, I don’t want to talk a lot about the past, everyone knows the story of Morocco in the African Cup, every Africa Cup is difficult for us,” Regragui said.

“We try every AFCON to come and win this trophy, it’s a dream for the country but the past is the past, we have a new team, a new spirit, we adapt well in this tournament, we’ve passed first in the group stage.

“We have a good team, very good team, it’s not easy to get to the quarter-finals but… we’ll try our best. Inshallah, we will try our best to win this tournament.

“It’s only about fight and spirit, you need to see the future, that’s important, what happened in the past, I don’t care.”

Bafana coach Hugo Broos says it’s not a psychological advantage, but a fact that the Atlas Lions are favourites to win tomorrow in San Pedro.

“It’s not a question of advantage, it’s a fact, it’s a fact when you are first in the rankings that means you’re the best team, look at the results that Morocco did in the last two years, they hardly lost a game, they played fantastic at the World Cup in Qatar,” he said.

“They have become a very big team, a good team, so this first place in the ranking, it is what it is, it’s a fact – you know when you’re first you’re the best team [in the competition].

“I think everyone here knows Morocco has a good team, they have good individual players, I think if we can play as a team, we can be able to beat them.”

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.