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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 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 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:


Goalkeepers:


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


Defenders:


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)


Midfielders:


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)


Forwards:


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 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.”

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