atlas lions logo 1Maroc_Mali

The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

Latest News of The Atlas Lions

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, Apr 1 2019 11:18AM

(Bundesliga.com) Borussia Dortmund full-back Achraf Hakimi has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2018/19 season with a broken metatarsal.


The Morocco international was a second-half substitute in BVB’s dramatic late win over Wolfsburg on Matchday 27 as they retook top spot in the Bundesliga table ahead of Bayern Munich.


Hakimi, however, lasted just 25 minutes before he himself had to be replaced after damaging his right foot.


The 20-year-old, who has made 21 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund in the first season of his two-year loan from Real Madrid, has since undergone surgery on his damaged foot back in the Spanish capita. He will miss Borussia’s remaining seven league matches, including Saturday’s potential title-decider at Bayern.


As well as contributing two goals and four assists, Hakimi has proven a good-luck charm this season for his new club. Showing versatility to play at both right and left-back, he remained unbeaten in his first 17 Bundesliga appearances and has in fact lost just one of his 21 games in the German top flight.


It’s a blow to Lucien Favre’s side ahead of Der Klassiker after Hakimi himself came on for injured left-back Abdou Diallo. The Swiss coach already had issues in defence with right-back Lukasz Piszczek absent for several weeks with a heel injury. Former first-choice left-back Marcel Schmelzer has featured just 11 times this season, and may be needed at the Allianz Arena for his first league appearance since January.

By The Atlas Lions, Jan 10 2019 01:17PM

(Morocco World News) After four decades without senior continental glory, is Morocco’s national squad finally ready to claim continental dominance at the Africa Cup of Nations?


Rabat – Moroccan football is “ambitious” and now has the squad it has been asking for for years.


The upbeat assessment came from an equally upbeat Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation. Lekjaa was speaking to Moroccan Radio Mars just hours after winning the title of the best African football federation president.


In the radio interview, Lekjaa laid out Morocco’s ambitions as its Atlas Lions grow in confidence and beauty.


Despite early elimination at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Morocco’s national team won plaudits for the quality of their game, especially the attacking philosophy they have been displaying under the guidance of coach Herve Renard.


Based on the team’s World Cup quality and recent displays in the CAN qualifiers, Lekjaa argued, “it would be natural if Morocco won this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).”


Despite being generally voted among Africa’s best football teams, the Atlas Lions’ history is still wanting. The country only has one continental crown to its name.


Morocco won the 10th CAN in 1976 in Ethiopia. The closest the country came to reliving that 1976 glory was in 2004, when hosts Tunisia beat Morocco 2-1 in the final. Since then, continental glory has eluded Morocco’s team, with the squad struggling to even reach the semi-final stages.


While Moroccan clubs—mainly Wydad and Raja—have been performing well at the continental level, it will take a CAN victory to usher Morocco into a position of continental prominence in football.


For Lekjaa, the current quality suggests that Renard and his renaissance boys can right decades of trophy drought. He suggested that Morocco’s “ambition to win is legitimate given the quality of their game.”


CAN 2019 will be held in Egypt from June 15 to July 13. The continental showpiece will this year count 24 teams, up from 16 in past tournaments.



By The Atlas Lions, Dec 12 2018 07:27PM

(BBC Sports) Morocco will not bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the country's sports minister said.


The North African nation had been tipped as a replacement for Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights last month due to poor preparations.


"Morocco did not intend to run for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and will not do so," Minister of Youth and Sport Rachid Talbi Alami told AFP.


Interested parties have until 2200 GMT on Friday to make an official bid.


In June this year, Morocco failed with a fifth bid to host the World Cup - after losing out to a triple bid Canada, Mexico and the United States.


The following month, Morocco did step in to host the 2019 African Games - formerly known as the All Africa Games - after original hosts Equatorial Guinea withdrew due to financial concerns.


This was a twist on a story concerning the 2015 Nations Cup which Morocco had been due to host but which ended up being staged in Equatorial Guinea after the North Africans requested a postponement because of concerns over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.


Morocco - which had been widely tipped to step in to host next year's Nations Cup - has only ever hosted Africa's flagship football tournament once, back in 1988.


The 2019 finals will be the first to feature 24 teams, rather than 16, and be held in June/July, as opposed to its traditional January/February slot.

RSS Feed