Morocco is the tournament’s “Rocky” after beating Portugal.

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By Creative Media News

Three prior African teams have reached the competition’s quarterfinals but were unable to advance.

This time, things were distinct.

Morocco has lit up this World Cup, and its fans were rewarded by seeing their team become the first from their continent to advance to the semifinals.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal were eliminated, while Youssef’s En-first-half Nesyri header gave the Atlas Lions the victory.

Morocco is the tournament's "rocky" after beating portugal.
Morocco is the tournament's "rocky" after beating portugal.

“We’re becoming a squad that everyone loves because we’re demonstrating what we’re capable of,” stated winning coach Walid Regragui.

Success is possible if you have passion, heart, and confidence, as my players have demonstrated.” It is not a miracle – people in Europe may claim it is – but we have won without conceding against Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and Croatia. That is the product of diligent effort.

“African and Arab teams work hard, but we have brought happiness and pride to our people. The entire continent is elated. When you watch Rocky Balboa, you want to cheer him on, and we are Rocky Balboa for this World Cup.

Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002), and Ghana (2010) had all lost in the quarterfinals, but Morocco shattered the glass ceiling at Al Thumama Stadium to provoke chaos.

After jeering at each touch of the ball by the Portuguese, the spectators’ jeers changed into a cacophony of shouts as the substitutes flooded the field at the end of the game.

The supporters chanted, “Seer, seer, (go, go)” Others cried, “Dima Maghrib” (Forever Morocco).

After beating portugal
Morocco is the tournament's "rocky" after beating portugal.

Boss Regragui, who orchestrated this move, was raised into the air by his players, who then ran with their arms aloft toward their supporters behind the goal.

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin remarked, “The noise in this stadium is phenomenal.” I’m attempting to recall the last time such a World Cup surprise occurred.

“They deserve it, not only for their talent and hard work but also because that noise simply keeps getting louder.”

Morocco was not only the first African team but also the first Arab team from a majority-Muslim nation, to reach the quarterfinals of the most prestigious football tournament in the world.

The players demonstrated their Islamic values by reciting portions from the Quran in their huddle before their previous round of penalty shootout victory over Spain.

After defeating Portugal, players and staff performed sujud (prostration) in front of their fans, as they had done previously.

Meanwhile, substitute Achraf Dari celebrated by wrapping himself in a Palestine flag, Paris St. Germain’s Achraf Hakimi kissed his mother again, and ex-Southampton winger Sofiane Boufal danced with his mother.

After such a major victory, Regragui was one of the last players to leave the field. He was visibly moved.

He stated that his squad had a chance to win the World Cup “Alhamdulillah (thanks to God)” and that “Inshallah (if God wills)” the entire world was now on their side.

He continued, “This is the first time I’ve ever sobbed after a game.” I must set an example and demonstrate my mental fortitude, but you can only handle so much.

“When reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup, emotions explode. We would be lying if we said we believed we would reach this point; I simply could not contain my emotions.”

The match’s MVP, Morocco goalie Yassine Bounou, remarked, “We are here to change the mentality and eliminate inferiority.” Morocco is prepared to play anyone in the world, beyond the semifinals, and against any opponent.

“We have altered this mindset, and the next generation will recognize that Moroccan players are capable of performing miracles.

“I have wonderful players on my team, and they are all exceptional. When facing Morocco, opponents are now aware that they can compete at the greatest level.

There were more tears, this time from Cristiano Ronaldo, who walked down the tunnel at the end of the game knowing that his dream of winning the World Cup at the age of 37 is likely ended.

This is a momentous sporting achievement and the best performance in this team’s history, yet it transcends the sport of football. This is a much-needed moment of collective happiness and pride for an entire continent and area. Fans from over the Arab world have traveled to Doha.

“Now I can tell my child that I was present when my team made history,” said one supporter.

The three words I hear most frequently from Moroccan fans are “proud,” “believing,” and “confidence.”

According to one supporter, “This is a time of confidence that we can compete with the titans.”

Tonight, a new chapter will be added to Morocco’s 2022 World Cup story. History.

Positive energy from Africans and Arabs

Morocco is a solid and well-organized team, but they were missing important defenders. Nayef Aguerd and Noussair Mazraoui of West Ham and Bayern Munich’s Romain Saiss were taken out on a stretcher in the second half.

It made no difference.

Their replacements showed the necessary fighting spirit to save them.

Under Regragui, Morocco is undefeated in eight games and has kept seven clean sheets, allowing only an own goal against Canada in the group stage.

Regragui stated, “This is the most challenging competition. We could indeed have succumbed against Portugal despite having faced some of the finest teams.

“However, if you invest heart, drive, and humility, you create your luck. Positive vibrations emanated from the African and Arab populations.

“Everyone was on our side, and we have accomplished this wonderful feat and entered the annals of history.” We have reached the top four in the globe. These are exceptional athletes who merit all the praise they receive.

“We have demonstrated that African teams can reach the semifinals and perhaps the final. Why can’t we win the World Cup? I was questioned earlier in the tournament. Why should we not wish?

“If you don’t dream, you’ll never get anywhere, because dreams are free. European teams are accustomed to being World Cup champions. Now we must enter the fray and surpass ourselves.”

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