Morocco ended their 20-year absence from the FIFA World Cup after booking their slot in the 2018 edition in Russia. They are one of the five African countries fighting for the title, and here is a detailed analysis of them.

World Cup History:

Playfantasy – 1st paragraph

The African nation is making its fifth appearance at the World Cup. They are ranked 41 in the FIFA World Rankings.

The best result Morocco has ever attained at this tournament is reaching the Round of 16 in 1986.

The team has stars who are playing in top leagues and doing exceptionally well.  With their coach Herve Renard, who is the first coach to win the CAF Africa Cup of Nations with different countries, they have master tactician in their hands.

Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia is Morocco’s captain and one of the best defenders in the world. He is comfortable on the ball and commands his defensive line to make them a strong unit.

Also, Hakim Ziyech, Ayoub El Kaabi and Younes Belhanda are famous attacking players from Morocco and will dawn the responsibility of carrying the team’s hopes of scoring goals.

The Atlas Lions are riding on high confidence and their package of youthful exuberance can shock the teams they are grouped in.

Morocco is clubbed in Group B with Portugal, Spain, and Iran.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers:  Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia), Yassine Bounou (Girona), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger).

Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Romain Saiss (Wolves), Manuel Da Costa (Basaksehir), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (Lille).

Midfielders M’barek Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke 04).

Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Aziz Bouhaddouz (Saint Pauli), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Mehdi Carcela (Standard de Liege), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax), Youssef En Nesyri (Malaga).

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Morocco National Football Team. Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Probable Playing XI:

Mohamedi, Hakimi, Benatia (C), da Costa, Mendyl, El Ahmadi, Boussoufa, Armabat, Belhanda, Ziyech, Ek Kaabi

Key Players:

Mehdi Benatia, Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech

ALSO READ: FIFA World Cup 2018: Statistical Analysis of Iran

Interesting Tidbit:

Morroco created history when they won a point in the 1970 FIFA World Cup and became the first African country to do so. They also were the first country out of the continent to make it past the group-stage in this tournament when they did in 1986.

Morocco

Morocco team line up in 1986 World Cup. Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Probability of winning the World Cup:

Bet 365: 500/1

Skybet: 500/1

Betfair: 500/1