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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas


Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 15 2019 03:53PM

In just a few days the CAN will begin, nine members of Morocco’s national squad will participate in the continental cup for the first time.

By Morocco World News -

Rabat – Nine of the 23 players selected by Atlas Lions coach, Herve Renard, for the CAN 2019 will be competing in the African Cup for the first time.

The squad, including the nine novices, will take part in the 32nd CAN tournament, scheduled from June 21 to July 19 In Egypt.

The players new to CAN are : Hakim Ziyech, Oussama Idrissi, Abdelkarim Baadi, Mehdi Bourbiaa, Yunis Abdelhamid, Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti, Soufiane Boufal, Achraf Hakimi.

The national team, marked by controversy since the exit of Abderazzak Hamdallah from the team’s training camp on Thursday, lost 1-0 to Gambia. The friendly match on June 12 was part of the team’s training for CAN.

Speaking from Marrakech Stadium on Wednesday, June 13, the coach made a statement. “I have faith in my players and I am sure they will be playing a nice African Nations Cup in Egypt.”

“Friendly matches can be a very important deadline for this group, as the objective is to do better than the 2017 CAN, that is, to reach at least the semifinals,” he added.

He finished by saying “Friendly matches are not the main thing for me, letting me know that the group, which was surprised by Gambia today, must know how to get through some difficult challenges.”

Very ambitious during the last World Cup, the Atlas Lions are keen to go far in this African Cup of Nations.

In order to move towards winning the title, the team must first defeat Namibia, Ivory Coast and South Africa in Group D.

Over the past few months numerous football figures have commented on the strength of Morocco’s team going into the competition. Claude Le Roy, an experienced football manager and former player has predicted that Morocco and Senegal will be among the top teams in CAN 2019.

“The most prominent group is Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia. This group is complicated but Morocco seems to me to be above the competition. Atlas Lions will have everything to gain and I think it’s a pretty comfortable situation,” he said.

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 13 2019 06:43PM

By Morocco World News

Before the statement was released, rumors ran wild that the footballer walked out the camp due to issues he encountered with his teammates.

Rabat – Morocco’s Royal Football Federation (FRMF) has issued a statement commenting on the decision of Abderrazak Hamdallah to leave the training camp where the Moroccan team was training in preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN).

The statement announced that the head coach of the Moroccan national football team, Herve Renard, has replaced Hamdallah with Abdelkarim Baadi.

FRMF claimed that Renard made this decision as Hamdallah cannot participate in the CAN due to “back and hip injuries confirmed by medical tests.”

The federation added that the player will undergo a medical examination tomorrow, June 14.

The statement comes as a surprise to Moroccan football fans and observers as the footballer appeared in good shape during the friendly game against Gambia yesterday, on June 12.

In the wake of the team’s loss to Gambia, speculation spread on social media suggesting that Hamdallah left the camp after issues he faced with some members of the Moroccan squad.

Several Moroccan football fans argue that the move was due to a friction between the footballer and his teammates.

Facebook page Hassad Al Kora quoted close sources close to the Moroccan national team, saying that the footballer was not treated well by the rest of the team.

Several sports news outlets also said that the major cause of his exit was a rift with his teammate Faycal Fajr during Wednesday’s friendly match between Morocco and Gambia on Wednesday.

During the game, Hamdallah was supposed to kick a penalty for the Atlas Lions in the second half. To the surprise of football fans, Fajr took the ball from Hamdallah’s hand and played the penalty instead.

The Atlas Lions will take part in the 2019 CAN, which will kick off on June 21 in Egypt. Renard has already announced his lineup for the competition.

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 13 2019 03:44PM

By BBC Sports

Morocco coach Herve Renard has replaced Abderrazak Hamdallah in his 23-man squad for next week's Africa Cup of Nations after the striker picked up an injury.

He is replaced by defender Abdelkarim Baadi, who plays for Moroccan side Hassania Agadir, for the tournament in Egypt.

A statement from the Morocco Football Federation explained that Hamdallah has a "back and hip injury and the medical staff have decided he cannot complete the training camp nor play at the Nations Cup."

The federation added he would undergo further 'rigorous tests' on Friday.

He played in Wednesday evening's surprise 1-0 loss to The Gambia in Marrakech and had left the pitch angry that he had not been allowed to take a last minute penalty that was missed by Faycal Fajr.

Hamdallah was included in Renard's squad after a record-breaking season in Saudi Arabia, that saw him score 34 goals in 30 league games as Al Nassr won the league.

His tally broke the all-time record for goals in a Saudi Arabian season.

It was the first time since Renard took over as coach that he had included Hamdallah in a squad.

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 12 2019 08:46PM

Johannesburg (AFP) - Morocco, one of the favourites to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, suffered a surprise 1-0 warm-up match loss in Marrakech Wednesday to non-qualifiers the Gambia.

The unexpected outcome can partly be explained by Morocco coach Herve Renard making numerous substitutions in the first of two friendly fixtures before heading to Egypt for the finals.

Musa Barrow, who plays for Serie A club and 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League qualifiers Atalanta, scored the match-winner on 27 minutes at Stade de Marrakech.

It was the second victory for the lowly ranked Gambians over a Cup of Nations qualifier within six days after they defeated Guinea 1-0 last Friday in the same city.

Morocco are in Group D with fellow former champions the Ivory Coast and South Africa and rank outsiders Namibia.

The group is considered the toughest of the six to qualify from and only the winners and runners-up are guaranteed places in the round-of-16 knockout stage.

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 12 2019 04:40PM


Fayçal Fajr missed from penalty spot and it's still 0-1 for Gambia

Abdelkrim Baadi comes in for Da Costa

A whole new Moroccan team is fielded in second half!

Tagnaouti-Da Costa (C)-Bourabia-Hakimi-Abdelhamid-Ait Bennasser-Amrabat-Fajr-Idrissi-En Nesyri-HamedAllah

Start of second half!

End of First Half!

Mussa Barrow opens the scoring for Gambia vs Morocco in the 27th minute

🇲🇦 0-1 🇬🇲

Starting Lineup: Bounou-Benatia (C)-Saiss-Dirar-Mazraoui-Belhanda-El Ahmadi-Boussoufa-Ziyech-Boufal-Boutaib

Live streaming:

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 11 2019 02:38PM

Goalkeeper: Ratanda Mbazuvara, Loydt Kazapua, Max Mbaeva.

Defenders: Ryan Nyambe, Larry Horaeb, Denzil Haoseb, Ivan Kamberipa, Charles Hambira, Riaan Hanamub, Ananias Gebhardt.

Midfielders: Absalom Iimbondi, Willy Stephanus, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Dynamo Fredericks, Marcel Papama, Manfred Starke, Deon Hotto.

Forwards: Itamunua Keimuine, Benson Shilongo, Peter Shalulile, Joslyn Kamatuka and Isaskar Gurirab.

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 11 2019 01:25PM

Here's the squad list:


Yassine Bounou (Girona), Mounir El Kajoui (Malaga), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Casablanca)


Yunis Abdelhamid (Stade Reims), Medhi Benatia (Al Duhail, captain), Manuel da Costa (Al Ittihad), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund), Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax Amsterdam), Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers)


Youssef Ait Bennasser (St Etienne), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Mehdi Bourabia (Sassuolo), Mbark Boussoufa (Al Shabab), Karim El Ahmadi (Al Ittihad), Faycal Fajr (Caen), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax Amsterdam)


Nordin Amrabat (Al Nasr), Sofiane Boufal (Celta Vigo), Khalid Boutaib (Zamalek, Egypt), Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganes), Abderrazak Hamdallah (Al Nasr), Oussama Idrissi (AZ Alkmaar).

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 8 2019 02:07PM

(Reuters) - Spain and Portugal are to start an in-depth analysis of whether to bid for the 2030 World Cup, they said on Saturday, without making any mention of Morocco who were previously also said to be involved.

“After holding several meetings, the football federations of Spain and Portugal can confirm that they are set to begin an in-depth analysis of the possibility of presenting a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” the country’s federations said in a joint statement.

“Both federations would like to take this opportunity to state that the governments of both countries have been properly informed about this process, given that they will have a key part to play in its development.”

Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said during a visit to Morocco last year that he had suggested a three-way bid with the North African nation to stage the 48-team event.

The three federations could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Spain, the 2010 world champions, hosted the 1982 World Cup and launched a failed bid along with Portugal to stage the 2018 tournament which was awarded to Russia.

Portugal has never hosted the World Cup but held the 2004 European Championship.

Morocco has made five failed bids to host the tournament, most recently for 2026 which was awarded to United States, Mexico and Canada.

Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay have announced they will make a four-way bid which could have sentimental value as Uruguay hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

England is carrying out a feasibility study along with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales while Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Romania are also planning a joint bid.

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).

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