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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

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Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 7 2019 01:48PM

Herve Renard will be out on mission to cement his legacy in African Football with a third AFCON trophy to his resume and this time he wants to do it with Morocco.


The French born coach boasts of a bag full of experience having led Zambia and the Côte d’Ivoiré to glory in 2012 and 2015 respectively.


Morocco have made 17 appearances at the AFCON. Their first and only title came at the tenth edition hosted by Ethiopia in 1976. At this time the tournament was held in group format with only 8 teams participating. The first stage was split in two groups with the top two teams qualifying to the final group of four. In the second phase, Morocco came out top after a 1-1 draw with runners up Guinea. Nigeria and Egypt occupied the third and fourth spot respectively.


The Atlas Lions will be hoping to replicate the victory in 1976 by navigating through a tournament that has seen a shift from 16 teams to 24, the highest in the competition’s history.


It’s been a while since Morocco tasted African glory. Only thing that is as near as good was a brace of Chan trophies in 2014 and 2018.


Coach Renard will heavily count on Dutch-based duo, Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mezraoui both with Ajax, Borussia Dortmund left back Achraf Hakim and the experience Al-Duhail defender Medhi Benatia.


Morocco is drawn alongside Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia in Group D.



Full Squad


Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Malaga, Spain), Yassine Bounou (Girona, Spain), Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Athletic Club), Abdelali Mhamdi (RS Berkane, Morocco)


Defenders: Marouane Da Costa (Ittihad Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Ghanem Saiss (Wolverhampton, England), Mehdi Benatia (Al-Duhail Sports, Qatar), Achraf Hakimi (Dortmund, Germany), Abdelhamid Yunis (Stade de Reims, France), Noussair Mazroaui (Ajax, Netherlands), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbache, Turkey.


Midfielders: Karim El Ahmadi Arroussi (Al Ittihad, Saudi Arabia), Youssef Aït Bennasser (St Etienne, France), M’barek Boussoufa (Al-Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Younès Belhanda (Galatasaray, Turkey), Fayçal Fajr (Caen, France), Abdelkrim Baadi (Hassania of Agadir, Morocco, Mehdi Bourabia (Sassuolo, Italy), Amine Harit (Schalke 04, Germany)


Forwards: Nordin Amrabat (Al-Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Ayoub El Kaâbi (Hebei China Fortune FC, China), Khalid Boutaïb (Zamalek, Egypt), Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganes , Spain), Soufiane Boufal (Celta Vigo, Spain), Osama Idrissi (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Abderazzak Hamddalh (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia).


http://www.soka25east.com/afcon-2019-contenders-morocco-out-to-break-a-43-year-old-duck/

By The Atlas Lions, May 27 2019 12:24PM

Here is the selection:


1-EL KAJOUI MONIR - CD NUMENCIA - ESP

2-BOUNOU YASSINE - GIRONA FC – ESP

3-TAGNAOUTI AHMED REDA - WAC – MAR

4-MHAMDI ABDELALI - RSB- MAR


5-DA COSTA MANUEL MAROUANE - AL ITTIHAD – KSA

6-SAISS GHANEM ROMAIN - WOLVERHAMPTON - ENG

7-YUNIS ABDELHAMID - STADE DE REIMS - FRA

8-EL MOUTTAQUI MEHDI (BENATIA) - AL DUHAIL- QAT

9-HAKIMI ACHRAF - BORUSSIA DORTMUND- GER


10-EL AHMADI ARROUSSI KARIM - AL ITTIHAD – KSA

11-AIT BENNASSER YOUSSEF - SAINT ETIENNE - FRA

12-BOURABIA MEHDI - SASSUOLO- ITA

13-BOUSSOUFA M’BARK - AL SHABAB - KSA

14-BELHANDA YOUNES - GALATASARAY - TUR

15-FAJR FAYÇAL - CAEN - FRA

16-AMRABET NOUREDDINE - AL NASSR - KSA

17-ZIYACH HAKIM - AJAX AMSTERDAM – NED

18-MAZRAOUI NOUSSAIR - AJAX AMSTERDAM – NED


19-EN-NESYRI YOUSSEF - CD LEGANES - ESP

20-BOUFAL SOUFIANE - CELTA VIGO - ESP

21-DIRAR NABIL - FENERBAHCE – TUR

22-HAMDALLAH ABDERRAZZAK - AL NASSR - KSA

23-BOUTAIB KHALID - ZAMALEK- EGY

24-BAADI ABDELKRIM - HUSA - MAR

25-HARIT AMINE - SCHALKE 04 – GER

26-IDRISSI OUSSAMA - AZ ALKMAAR - NED

27-EL KAABI AYOUB - HEBIE CHINA FORTUNE- CHINA.


Final list of 23 players will be revealed on June 11th.

By The Atlas Lions, May 23 2019 07:10PM

By Morocco World News


The friendly games are in preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, which will take place in June.


Rabat – Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) announced that the Atlas Lions will play two friendly games with Zambia and Gambia, before the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN).


The games are in preparation for the African competition, which will take place in June in Egypt.


Morocco’s national football team will play the first friendly game against the Gambia on Wednesday, June 12 at the Grand stadium in Marrakech at 5:30 p.m. local time.


The second friendly game against Zambia will also take place on June 16 in Marrakech at 5:30 local time.


FRMF said that the national team will begin training sessions in the national center for football in Sale, Rabat’s twin city starting June 2.


FRMF added that the Atlas Lions will head to Egypt on June 18 to participate in the African tournament, which will start on June 21.


The Moroccan team qualified for the 2019 tournament after a spectacular performance during the qualifier games.



Several football experts are predicting the Atlas Lions to win this year’s title.


In April, Senegalese football legend El Hadji Diouf expressed hope that Senegal would win the tournament, but acknowledged the presence of strong teams, such as Morocco.


“I hope they win the title as there are many other good teams -Egypt will be at the forefront with Morocco and Nigeria.”


The head coach of the Nigerian football team, Gernot Rohr, also placed Morocco among his favorites to win along with Egypt.


The most recent statement came from the manager of Cameroonian football team, Clarence Seedorf, who said that Morocco are one of the favorites to win the CAN otherwise known as AFCON.


“Ending up with the same points as Morocco, who are one of the favorites to win the AFCON, with only two goals difference says a lot about how we performed and prepared for the other games.”

By The Atlas Lions, May 22 2019 09:54PM

(Lusaka Times) Chipolopolo has secured two high profile friendly matches for this June.


Zambia will play both dates away against Morocco and defending AFCON champions Cameroon in the two side’s pre-tournament preparations.


FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala said the friendly’s will be played during a week-long camp at the invitation of Morocco.


“The Royal Moroccan Football Federation will host the Chipolopolo boys from June 6 – 17 and stage an international friendly match on June 16 against the Herve Renard drilled side,” Kashala said.


“During the same camp, Zambia will face Cameroon on June 9, 2019 in Madrid with another international friendly match against Gambia on the cards set for June 12, 2019.”


The development will see Zambia’s A side assembled for the trip while the home-based team will be away in South Africa to participate in the COSAFA Cup Durban is hosting from May 25 to June 8.


However,FAZ has yet to disclose who will be in charge of the friendly trip with interim coach Aggrey Chiyangi already overseeing COSAFA Cup camp over the last fortnight.

By The Atlas Lions, May 21 2019 07:40PM

By Morocco World News


Rabat – The manager of Cameroonian football team, Clarence Seedorf, added himself to the list of renowned football experts who believe that the Moroccan national football team can win the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN) title.


In an interview with FIFA, the former footballer said that Morocco are one of the favorites to win the CAN otherwise known as AFCON.


Speaking about his team’s performance during the competition’s qualifier matches, Sedroof said that “Ending up with the same points as Morocco, who are one of the favourites to win the AFCON, with only two goals difference says a lot about how we performed and prepared for the other games.”


Several other renowned footballers and coaches have also said that the Moroccan national football team is one of their favorites to win the 2019 CAN.


In April, Senegalese football legend El Hadji Diouf said: “I hope they win the title as there are many other good teams -Egypt will be at the forefront with Morocco and Nigeria.”


The head coach of the Nigerian football team, Gernot Rohr, t placed Morocco is among his favorites to win along with Egypt.


“According to the last FIFA ranking, Morocco is currently the best in Africa, while Egypt will play at home and enjoy the support of their fans, and for this reason, both teams are the closest to the title,” he said.


The flagship tournament will be held in June 2019 in Egypt.


Head coach of Moroccan national football team Herve Renard has expressed confidence on his team for CAN.


“To win, you must stay focused and prepare for the competition to the fullest of your potential,” said Renard.

By The Atlas Lions, May 21 2019 06:33PM



Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits ), Ronwen Williams (Supersport), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs).


Defenders: Daniel Cardoso (Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Sundowns), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Wits), Innocent Maela (Pirates), S’Fiso Hlanti (Wits ), Buhle Mkhawanazi (Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City ).


Midfielder: Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Hlompho Kekana (Downs), Dean Furman (SS), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Tiyani Mabunda (Downs), Thulani Serero (Vitesse), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Themba Zwane (Downs), Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg), Ben Motshwari (Pirates), Keagan Dolly


Strikers: Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg), Percy Tau (Royal St Union), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam), Lebogang Maboe (Downs), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Downs), Kermit Erasmus (CT City)

By The Atlas Lions, May 14 2019 06:20PM

(CAFonline.com) Frenchman Herve Renard still ranks as they first coach in African history to win the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with two different teams. Renard produced one of the most scintillating results ever leading Zambia to the 2012 crown with a penalty shoot-out victory over Cote d’Ivoire.



Three years later, he turned the Ivorians tears from 2012 into chants of jubilation when he led them to the title with another post-match penalties conquest, this time over Ghana’s Black Stars.



He now looks straight at another unprecedented piece of history with Morocco’s Atlas Lions as he hopes to win a third continental crown with a side that has not won the title since 1976. Renard and his charges reached the quarter final of the 2017 showpiece losing 1-0 to Egypt.



Can Renard, and the Atlas Lions dream of quenching a 43-year old thirst?


“I don’t know…. everything is possible in football but first we have to look at our opening game which is the most important, then step by step. We have a tough group and it will be very important to come to Egypt with an ambition of respect all our opponents,” the Frenchman stated.


Morocco are in Group C with Renard’s former employers Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia.


“We are in a very tough group and we need to come in here very concentrated. We have to be ready from the first game to get a good result which will give us some confidence going forward,” he added.


The 50-year old will be counting on the experience from the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia where despite bowing out in the group stages, the Atlas Lions gave encouraging performances. They finished bottom of the group after replicate 1-0 losses to Iran and Portugal and drew 2-2 with Spain who equalized in the final minute of added time.


“This experience will be very important because we played very good football. Though we didn’t get the result we wanted, all Moroccans were proud of their team. Now, we have to make them very happy again in Egypt,” stated the coach.


“We are coming in with an ambition and if you come with an ambition you have to beat everyone. We have a very good team and we need to believe in ourselves.”


Renard believes going through to the final will be tougher this time especially with the expansion of the tournament to 24 teams.


“The expansion makes it more difficult because there is one more round to play and the teams are more ambitious. But we are hoping to go very far in this tournament,” Renard noted.



Morocco topped their qualification group ahead of Cameroon with both sides picking 11 points with identical three wins, two draws and a loss from group B. The only loss they suffered was against each other, Cameroon winning the first leg (1-0) and Morocco winning the return tie (2-0).



Based in Cairo, Morocco will kick off their campaign against Namibia on 23 June at the Al Salam Stadium before playing Cote d’Ivoire five days later on South Africa on July 1 all at the same venue.

By The Atlas Lions, May 10 2019 04:08PM

(Africanfootball.com) Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has refuted reports that suggested that the Nigeria Football Federation has agreed a friendly match against Morocco.


Recent reports indicated that the two teams are set to lock horns in a pre-Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match on the 9th of June 2019 in France.


This came as a surprise as the Super Eagles are scheduled to face Zimbabwe in a friendly game on June 8 in Asaba, Nigeria.


German tactician Rohr confirmed that they will not be facing the Atlas Lions.


"It was about organizing this friendly match, but unfortunately it cannot be done," said Rohr to Medias 24.


Nigeria are also expected to take on their West African rivals Senegal in another friendly match on the 16th of June 2019.


The Super Eagles will be hoping to clinch their fourth AFCON title in Egypt.

By The Atlas Lions, Apr 22 2019 02:52PM

According to Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr, the Nigeria Football Federation are in talks with their Moroccan counterparts over a friendly ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Shortly after the AFCON draw, Rohr revealed that the three-time African champions will face Senegal in a friendly before the start of the tournament in Egypt, and this has been confirmed by Senegalese Football Association President, Augustin Senghor.

Another friendly with West African rivals Ghana had been proposed but the game is unlikely to hold because the Black Stars have chosen to hold a three-week get-together in the United Arab Emirates as part of their preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Asked by Medias24 if he would like to face Morocco as part of preparations, Rohr said: ''There is a possibility that we play a friendly match against Morocco before the AFCON, but nothing is decided yet.

''We really like playing against this good team from Morocco. But in March, it was not possible because we already had a scheduled friendly meeting with Egypt at home in Nigeria.''


The Atlas Lions, who are one of the favourites to win the 2019 AFCON, have not met the Super Eagles in an international match since 2004.


https://futaa.com/article/178545/nigeria-football-federation-in-talks-with-morocco-over-friendly-game

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