June 23, 2024

Morocco coach Walid Regragui mentioned he needs his staff to interrupt “the curse of the African Cup” as he named his 27-man squad for subsequent month’s Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday.

It’s 47 years since Morocco final received the continental competitors however after reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar final yr, they’re now one of many favourites to win the title in Ivory Coast.

“The extra African competitions happen, the additional away we get from the date after we received it,” mentioned Regragui.

“However that is no purpose to place stress on ourselves. We’ll go there to play our soccer, to offer it the utmost, and, above all, to not have regrets.”

Since successful the cup in 1976, Morocco have solely reached the ultimate as soon as, in 2004 once they misplaced to hosts Tunisia.

On the final version in Cameroon in 2022, they misplaced to Egypt within the quarter-finals.

“What’s vital is the mind-set,” mentioned Regragui.

“We should go there with full confidence to beat the curse of the African Cup.”

Regragui has retained the majority of his World Cup squad, who beat Belgium, Spain and Portugal earlier than falling to a 2-0 defeat by France within the semis, together with Paris Saint-Germain defender Achraf Hakimi, Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri and Manchester United midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.

However he has additionally introduced in youthful skills – for “good steadiness between the current and the longer term”, he mentioned – equivalent to PSV’s Ismael Saibari and Actual Betis defender Chadi Riad, who received this yr’s Underneath-23 AFCON.

The Atlas Lions will face DR Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia within the group phases when the event will get underway on January 13.

The squad will embody:

Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal/KSA), Mounir El Kajoui (Al-Wehda/KSA), El Mehdi Benabid (AS FAR)

Defenders: Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Mohamed Chibi (Pyramids/EGY), Abdelkabir Abqar (Deportivo Alaves/ESP), Romain Saiss (Al-Shabab/KSA), Nayef Aguerd (West Ham/ENG), Yunis Abdelhamid (Rennes/FRA), Chadi Riad (Actual Betis/ESP), Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich/GER), Yahia Attiat Allah (Wydad Casablanca)

Midfielders: Bilal El Khannouss (Genk/BEL), Azzeddine Ounahi (Marseille/FRA), Oussama El Azzouzi (Bologna/ITA), Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United/ENG), Selim Amallah (Valencia/ESP), Amir Richardson (Reims/FRA), Hakim Ziyech (Galatasaray/TUR), Amine Harit (Marseille/FRA), Sofiane Boufal (Al-Rayyan)

Forwards: Ismael Saibari (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Amine Adli (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Ayoub El Kaabi (Olympiacos/GRE), Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla/ESP), Tarik Tissoudali (Gent/BEL), Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Actual Betis/ESP)

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