African football fans Wednesday continued celebrating the historic accomplishment by Morocco’s Atlas Lions, who despite odds being stacked against them, knocked Spain out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the global tournament.
Analysts say Morocco’s stellar performance against Spain’s La Furia Roja is evidence that the Atlas Lions are the dark horse at this year’s edition of the global tournament.
Ahead of their clash against the winners of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, The Atlas Lions entered the Round of 16 in first position of Group F with seven points after successfully holding Croatia, the finalists at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to a 0-0 draw, defeated Belgium 2-0 and Canada 2-1.
Walid Regragui, Morocco’s coach said he brought a winning mentality to the North African team and is proud that they are responding positively to his teachings.
“We should be proud of ourselves because this is an opportunity that may not be repeated,” said Regragui.
Speaking on whether he believes his team can emerge victorious in their quarterfinals clash against Portugal, the 47-year-old North African coach said, “I think Africans can go far so why not dream of winning the cup,” and added, “we want the next generation to dare to dream.”
Jawad El Yamiq, one of the Atlas Lions defenders Tuesday told media that they have honored Arab and African football by becoming the first Arab nation and fourth African nation in the history of the FIFA World Cup, to advance to the quarterfinals.
“We honored Arab, African football and coach Regragui gave us the confidence that we needed because it was a boost in morale,” said El Yamiq.
Several popular figures of both African and Arab descent took to social media to express pride in the Atlas Lions and highlighted belief that the North African nation can emerge victorious on December 10th.
Queen Raina of Jordan is among the popular figures who expressed pride in the Atlas Lions.