A 2006 Moroccan film daydreamed the Atlas Lions reached World Cup final: Could it come true in 2022?

A 2006 Moroccan drama, a year when the Atlas Lions failed to even qualify for the World Cup in Germany, could only dream - just dream - that the national team would one day reach the World Cup final and win the prized trophy. 16 years later they are within striking distance.

Mahmoud Elassal , Tuesday 13 Dec 2022,
A 2006 Moroccan film


Wake Up Morocco, by Moroccan director Narjiss Nejjar, tells the story of a footballer in old-age who daydreams in conversations with his granddaughter that the national team has won a semifinal at the world cup and made it to the final game.

The film was screened at the National Film Festival in Tangier and the Marrakesh International Film Festival.

The protagonist, played by the the late Moroccan actor Hassan Essakali, conjures up that the national team, which included current Morocco coach Walid Regragui, has won the semi-final game at World Cup that year and that the dream is withinn sight.

Above: Walid Regragui as a player in the film - Below:Moroccan fans celebrate reaching the final in Wake Up Morocco

16 years later, Morocco is near to fulfilling the old man's dream as they are set to face France on Wednesday in the 2022 World Cup semifinals and move within two wins - just two wins! - of the most prized trophy in all sports.

The Atlas Lions have broken the stone in the Qatar after beating Belgium 2-0 and Canada 2-1 in the group stage.

They then defeated topflight Spain 3-0 on penalty kicks in the 16th round before claiming another upset win over Portugal in the quarterfinals.

Before arriving in Qatar, Morocco players battled a culture of underachievement as a national team at major football tournaments despite their individual talents and experiences with top Europeans teams.

They have qualified for the World Cup only five times in their history - first appearing in 1970 - but made it out of the group stage just once. 

But this time around, the Atlas Lions have advanced far and beyond, becoming the first African - and Arab -  team to ever reach of the semifinals of the prestigious event. 

Moreover, the Atlas Lions statistics in their run so far in Qatar are extraordinary as the team has only conceded one goal and has only allowed 10 shots on target in five games. 

More imaginary celebrations!


Check the 2022 World Cup matches and statistics.

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