Walid Regragui: Morocco coach says African teams must change mentality towards World Cup
Morocco coach Walid Regragui says African teams must not go into the FIFA World Cup with the intention of just playing in the group matches.
According to him, teams from the continent must always approach the tournament with the intention of competing for the ultimate.
Morocco became the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup after beating Portugal last Saturday.
The Atlas Lions defeated their European opponents 1-0 in the quarter-finals, thanks to a goal from Yousef En-Nesyri.
Speaking after the game, Regragui said no one gave his side a chance but the players had the right mentality to progress out of their group.
“Everyone thought we were going to be knocked out in the first round,” the Morocco coach said, as quoted by Ghanaweb.
“What I was telling the players was that we have elite players – [Hakim] Ziyech for Chelsea, [Noussair] Mazraoui for Bayern, [Achraf] Hakimi for Paris Saint-Germain.
“We have players in the top clubs and we have a team that can win games at the World Cup and that’s what I tried to get through to my players. We need to be confident and we need to go out there and give everything and have no regrets – and they believed me.”
He added: “You don’t go to the World Cup to play only three games. The message passed to my team, my country, and now the continent.”
Regragui won the CAF Champions League with Moroccan side Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) last season.