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Les Lions de l'Atlas

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Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Mar 23 2019 12:15PM

(ESPN) Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's friendly against Morocco on Tuesday but Barcelona expect him to be fit to face Espanyol after the international break, sources have told ESPN FC.


Messi returned to the Argentina team for the first time since the World Cup as they lost 3-1 to Venezuela in Madrid on Friday, playing the 90 minutes but ending the match with a groin problem.


Argentina confirmed that he would return to Barcelona and would not travel with the squad for the game against Morocco.


But Barcelona sources said they were relaxed about Messi's injury. There will be no further tests when he returns to Catalonia, and he will be fine to feature against Espanyol.

By The Atlas Lions, Mar 23 2019 12:06PM

by Soka25east.com


Argentina’s miserable Friday night was compounded by the news that Lionel Messi will miss their next game against Morocco and will return to Barcelona after picking up an injury in defeat to Venezuela.


Messi captained the side inside Atletico Madrids’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium and while he played the 90 minutes, it now transpires he collected a pelvic injury which will now see him return to Barcelona to recover.


In a statement released on their website late on Friday, Barcelona wrote: ‘Lionel Messi did not have the return to international action that he would have wanted, and an injury picked up on Friday night means he will miss Argentina’s game against Morocco on Tuesday.


Lionel Messi will return to Barcelona after collecting an injury while representing Argentina


Messi played 90 minutes in Madrid but will play no part in the next game against Morocco


‘The FC Barcelona star captained his side and played the entire 90 minutes of the friendly against Venezuela at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, but they would lose 1-3.


‘It was his first appearance since the 2018 World Cup quarter final loss against France, which was followed by a short-lived international retirement for Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer.


‘Whilst he would feature from start to finish, a problem with his pubis means that Messi will not play in the second friendly of the international break.’



It is believed the injury is a flare up from a pre-existing problem and all parties are not keen to take a risk on their star man – particularly Barcelona given they have one eye on their upcoming Champions League tie against Manchester United.


Messi showed flashes of brilliance in Madrid but it was Venezuela who impressed with goals from Salomon Rondon, Jhon Murillo and Josef Martinez. Lautaro Martinez got Argentina’s consolation.


The Barcelona attacker cut a frustrated figure at full-time as his return to the international fold – having taken a sabbatical following Argentina’s World Cup exit last summer – ended in such disappointing fashion.

By The Atlas Lions, Mar 18 2019 07:06PM

Ahram Online


Morocco winger Hakim Ziyech will not be playing in the Atlas Lions' upcoming games against Malawi and Argentina due to a muscle injury.


The team, who have already qualified for the African Cup of Nations, will face Malawi in a qualifier away on Friday, before meeting Argentina in friendly four days later in Tangier.


The 25-year-old sustained an injury during his side's 1-0 loss to Alkmaar in a Dutch league game on Sunday.


Ziyech has produced many fine displays with Ajax this season, helping his side reach the UEFA Champions league quarterfinals at the expense of defending champions Real Madrid.


He has scored 14 goals and provided 12 in 21 league appearances so far this season.


Reports have said that Premier League club Chelsea are showing interest in the player.


Ziyech, who started his international career in October 2015, has 23 caps and has scored 12 international goals.



By The Atlas Lions, Mar 2 2019 10:29AM


By Football Italia staff


The Argentina squad for upcoming friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco include Paulo Dybala, Giovanni Simeone, Lautaro Martinez and Rodrigo De Paul.


Coach Lionel Scaloni announced the list of players for the two matches, which will be at the end of this month.


There had been question marks around the presence of Mauro Icardi, seeing as he is officially out of the Inter squad due to a knee injury.


Maurito is not included, but his Inter teammate Lautaro Martinez is, along with Fiorentina forward Simeone and Juve’s Dybala.


Lionel Messi also returns, despite recently being left out of friendly games.


Other Serie A representatives are Fiorentina defender German Pezzella and Udinese creative midfielder De Paul.


Argentina squad: Armani, Rulli, Andrada, Gazzaniga; Pezzella, Lisandro Martinez, Barboza, Foyth, Otamendi, Kannemann, Funes Mori, Acuna, Tagliafico, Mercado, Saravia, Montiel; Ascacibar, Paredes, Marcone, Lo Celso, Di Maria, Zaracho, Lamela, Lanzini, De Paul, Gonzalo Martinez; Messi, Dybala, Lautaro Martinez, Benedetto, Simeone

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 28 2019 03:33PM

(CAFOnline.com) As the Total African Cup of Nations Egypt 2019 approaches, the Moroccan coach speaks to cafonline.com to discuss the state of his team's fitness. The Atlas Lions, already qualified, will face Malawi in the last day of qualifying before a gala match against Argentina in Tangier.


February always has a special flavour for you as it corresponds to the titles won in 2012 with Zambia and Ivory Coast in 2015. What do you remember about these two titles?


Hervé Renard: "These are memories engraved forever in my heart! It's indescribable. You have to live it. I never thought I'd be working on the African continent and it's thanks to Claude Leroy. There's also a small luck factor that I benefited from. ”


What is your state of mind after this third CAF Coach of the Year award?


Hervé Renard: "It's an honour because it's the third time I've won it since 2008, when I became head coach. In ten years, it's exceptional! It is also the recognition of collective work because I work with high quality assistants and federations that have given me the means to work. In Morocco, I have a lot of people working for me. You have to know how to delegate, and you also have to constantly question yourself. What motivates a coach is to go out and get titles."


You recently attended the Asian Cup of Nations won by Qatar. What are your impressions?


Hervé Renard: "I was pleasantly surprised by their team even though there are naturalized players. There is mainly a work done by Spaniards in recent years. Qatar has been preparing for its World Cup in 2022 for a long time and this trophy won against Japan is significant."


Do you still think that Egypt and Senegal are the favourites for this 2019 CAN?

Hervé Renard: "By showing humility, it's very difficult to win a CAN and I know what I'm talking about. Statistically, football lovers know that Egypt is a great country. Especially when you can count on Mohamed Sala. And even more so at home with strong popular support. It will be very difficult for all their opponents. Which team today has individual qualities like Sadio Mané or Koulibaly for Senegal ? Let us not forget also the Ivory Coast of Nicolas Pépé and Serge Aurier, the defending champions of Cameroon or Nigeria. I'd rather not be a braggart for Morocco but make the opponents fall on the field."


Has the location of the preparation course for the CAN 2019 been decided?


Hervé Renard: "The Royal Moroccan Federation is building a magnificent national technical centre. It's exceptional in quality! Will it be finished on time by June? I hope so and for the moment we are planning our preparation in Rabat. Otherwise, we'll find a plan B, but it's not current."


Morocco, already qualified, face Malawi in the final day of the Total AFCON 2019 qualifiers. What do you expect from this game?


Hervé Renard: "This will allow us to see some players who have not worn the national team jersey much. Not counting Argentina, it is the last official meeting before the preparation of the AFCON in June. It is also important to collect points for the FIFA ranking. It's always difficult to play in Malawi."


The Moroccan press reports that elements such as Noussair Mazraoui, Achraf Hakimi, Youssef En-Nesyri and Hamza Mendyl, who would be made available to the U23 team for the decisive confrontation against the DRC, are missing. Can you confirm that?


Hervé Renard: "We're going to make one last point with the U23 coach and the DTN. But I will not leave them all at disposal, contrary to what may have been said prematurely. I make sporting decisions and if I don't talk, it's not official."



Could Yunis Abdelhamid, author of a great season with Reims, be called?


Hervé Renard: "I recently had him on the phone and congratulated him on the excellent season he is having. He is a boy who succeeds in winning despite the transition from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1. Not only is he a regular player, but he has also become a key member of this Reims team. Congratulations to him, he will be a valuable contribution to Morocco."


Another good point for Moroccan football: Osama Idrissi will play for the Atlas Lions


Hervé Renard: "My greatest satisfaction is to have met a very professional player during our last internship. I was impressed by his rigour and his sense of collective spirit. He has many qualities and should play in an even bigger club than at present. That's very good news! It's up to him to impose himself now."


What do you think of El Kayoubi's expatriation to China?


Hervé Renard: "There are more and more very good players in China. Already when I was there in 2002, as an assistant, there was already a certain level. It's not easy to perform there with the rule of 3 foreign players per team. Look at how Gervinho is having a wonderful season today in Parma. He didn't fall asleep in China, you have to be competitive and Kayoubi will improve. This experience will serve him in his evolution. Kayoubi's problem today is rather the competition with the remarkable season of the young Youssef En-Nesyri, the driving force behind the strikers in Morocco."



What do you expect from the gala match against Argentina in Tangier?



Hervé Renard: "We're going to have to do the same things as we did against Portugal and Spain at the 2018 World Cup. If we're at our level, we can compete. While knowing that they have an alien named Lionel Messi who makes everything change. It's an exceptional match in a career and for Morocco. I'm sure the players will all be motivated."

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 17 2019 11:17AM

It is yet to be unannounced whether Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will play in the friendly Argentina vs. Morocco match next month.


By Morocco World News -


Rabat – President of the Argentinian Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia said that he is not questioning Messi’s presence in the friendly game between Morocco and Argentina, which will take place on March 26 in Tangier.


“I have no doubt that he will be there, I know how he feels about this shirt, without talking to him, I know he wants to go back, he never left,” Tapisa said as he was quoted by Spanish media.


There has been speculation that Messi will finish his national team sabbatical for the first time since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


Goal.com quoted J former Argentina striker Javier Saviola, who said that Messi is still angry and hurt as he did not manage to clinch the World Cup trophy with his national team.


Tapia argued that “football is a collective game, if we think that only one player will win the World Cup, is not right.”


While some Moroccans expressed excitement to attend the friendly match, others expressed their discontent for the alleged amount Morocco would need to pay Messi to attending the match.


Some Moroccans started a boycott campaign on Facebook recently, calling for the match to be suspended and the money to be used to improve the lives of needy people.


Morocco and Argentina last played each other in a friendly game in April 2004. They also faced off in the 1994 World Cup, when Argentina won 3-1.

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