Morrocco has Afcon chance – Renard
By Mustafa Muhammad
Head coach of Morocco’s Atlas Lions, Hervé Renard has said his team has the chance to shine during the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Morocco are pooled alongside South Africa, Ivory Coast and Namibia in Group D for the tournament slated for June 21st to July 19th in Egypt.
“We have a good team that is capable of reaching to the later stages of the tournament and even lifting the trophy,” Renard said on Monday as he released the provisional squad.
The 27-provisional squad includes all the players who took part in last year’s World Cup with the exception of Aziz Bouhaddouz, who was overlooked after failing to play regularly since Russia.
Also included are Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui and AZ Alkmar’s Oussama Idrissi, who both committed to playing for Morocco rather than Netherlands since the World Cup.
Ajax forward Hakim Ziyech, Borussia Dortmund left back Achraf Hakimi, and Al-Duhail’s defender Medhi Benatia are also on the list.
Morocco will play two international friendly matches against Gambia on June 12th and against Zambia four days later in Marrakech.
Renard has won two Afcon title with Zambia (2012) and Ivory Coast (2015).
Morocco provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: El Kajoui (Malaga, Spain), Yassine Bounou (Girona, Spain), Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Casablanca), Abdelali Mhamdi (RS Berkane)
Defenders: Marouane Da Costa (Al Ittihad Saudi Arabia), Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Mehdi Benatia (Al Duhail Sports, Qatar), Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Abdelhamid Yunis (Reims, France), Noussair Mazroaui (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbache, Turkey)
Midfielders: Karim El Ahmadi Arroussi (Al Ittihad, Saudi Arabia), Youssef Aït Bennasser (St Etienne, France), Mbark Boussoufa (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray, Turkey), Fayçal Fajr (Caen, France), Abdelkrim Baadi (Hassania Agadir) Mehdi Bourabia (Sassuolo, Italy), Amine Harit (Schalke 04, Germany)
Forwards: Nordin Amrabat (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Ayoub El Kaabi (Hebei China Fortune FC, China), Khalid Boutaib (Zamalek, Egypt), Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganes, Spain), Soufiane Boufal (Celta Vigo, Spain), Osama Idrissi (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Abderazzak Hamdallah (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia)