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Morocco 4th Place World Cup 2022, Proud Coach and Enduring Legacy of Africa

The Moroccan national teamlost to Croatia with a score of 1-2 in the race for third place in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Saturday, December 17 2022.

Nonetheless, coach Walid Reragugui said Morocco would leave Qatar proud after becoming the first African or Arab team to reach the last four at a World Cup. "We will try harder in the future," Reragugui said as quoted by Reuters. 

Reragui praised his young squad by saying that they had carried out all his instructions while appearing at the 2022 World Cup. Moreover, his young squad had successfully defeated elite teams such as Belgium, Portugal and Spain on their way to the World Cup semifinals.

"We want to bring joy to our fans but we are still happy, we are among the four best teams in the world," Reragugui told reporters.

"We gave everyone a good show, we never gave up. Congratulations to Croatia, they deserve third place. We are a young team still learning."

Reragugui said his side, who had the best defensive record in Qatar before losing 2-0 to France on Wednesday, were feeling the physical strain of the intense tournament after playing their seventh match.

"Of course, I'm a little disappointed by the second defeat in a row, but we did everything we could," said Reragugui.

"It's physically difficult, our players are tired, it's very intense. We want to make the fans prouder than ever, that's all."

Morocco's run in Qatar gave African football a huge morale boost after none of the five African teams made it past the group stage at Russia 2018.

"I think we showed our strengths, we showed that African football is ready to face the world's top teams with efficiency and play at the highest level," he said. 

He also realizes the result in Qatar will put him in the youth team of Morocco under pressure to be even bigger at the next World Cup. 

"We made a great achievement but we want to do it again. It won't be easy but that's the goal."

Reragugui hopes their performance at the 2022 World Cup will leave a lasting legacy for African football.

“Through your experiences you become stronger and I hope we learn and grow and build on our long lasting DNA of children's football in Africa,” he said.

"We have now allowed children to dream, to dream of becoming footballers and going to the World Cup. That is priceless. As for the impact in our country, we have set the bar high."

He believes a team from Africa will win the World Cup in the next 15 years.