‘We are not the favorites’: Morocco skipper

Morocco defender Romain Saïss insists that his team has a responsibility to match their remarkable 2022 World Cup performance at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), but he downplays reports suggesting they are favorites for the title.

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Jan 2024,
Views:1053
Ahram online Cpanel
Romain Sa ss AFP

 

The Atlas Lions made history by becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar 2022.

Saïss acknowledges that their success at the World Cup has fueled their ambition for more, but he warns against labeling them as favorites and predicts a highly competitive tournament.

"From my point of view, we are not the favorites," Saïss told BBC Africa on Tuesday. 

"Reaching such a high level raises the bar. We want to maintain that standard, help Moroccan football progress, and keep pushing." 

He emphasizes that it's not pressure but a responsibility for the team to build on their achievements.

"I understand why some might say that, but none of us players were born when Morocco last won the AFCON, and our coach was playing when they last reached the final," he explained.

The Al-Shabab defender highlighted the strength of other teams in the competition, including Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Algeria, and Egypt, who possess vast experience.

Saïss believes that every game in Africa is tough and unpredictable.

He anticipates a grueling competition and emphasizes the need for mental preparedness to go all the way, stating that this could be one of the hardest AFCON tournaments in history.

Morocco have won the Nations Cup title only once, in the 1976 edition.

They will begin their AFCON campaign against Tanzania on January 17th in Group F, which also includes DR Congo and Zambia.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:

 

ADD COMMENT

 
 
 
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

More news

More
Group A W D L P
Cameroon
2 1 0 7
Burkina Faso
1 1 1 4
Cape Verde
1 1 1 4
Ethiopia
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Senegal
1 2 0 5
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Malawi
1 1 1 4
Zimbabwe
1 0 2 3
Group C W D L P
Morocco
2 1 0 7
Gabon
1 2 0 5
Comoros
1 0 2 3
Ghana
0 1 2 1
Group D W D L P
Nigeria
3 0 0 9
Egypt
2 0 1 6
Sudan
0 1 2 1
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1
Group E W D L P
Cote d Ivoire
2 1 0 7
Equatorial Guinea
2 0 1 6
Sierra Leone
0 2 1 2
Algeria
0 1 2 1
Group F W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Gambia
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
1 0 2 3
Mauritania
0 0 3 0