• Transfers: Mounir El Hamdaoui re-joins Excelsior Rotterdam

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Former Morocco international Mounir El Hamdaoui (34) has re-joined home club Excelsior Rotterdam until end of season.

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  • FIFA Ranking: Morocco’s National Team Moves Up in FIFA Ranks

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – Morocco’s victory over Malawi has benefited the Atlas Lions. The team has gained a spot in this month’s FIFA ranking, up to 45th.

    With 1,425 points, the Atlas Lions rank fourth in Africa behind Tunisia (23), Senegal (25), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (40).

    Last month, the national football team dropped five spots to 46th.

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  • WC 2030: Spain dream of hosting centenary World Cup

    (AS) RFEF president Luis Rubiales met yesterday with Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, at Moncloa, the home and workplace of Pedro Sanchez, president of Spain. The result of this get together of the three men, the significance of which we'll have to wait and see, was the possibility of Spain hosting the European Championships in 2028 or, even better, the 2030 World Cup. For Pedro Sánchez, on the back of Carmen Montón's 'Masters' political scandal, their arrival was a gift. Football is football, and a photo op with the head of its governing body, accompanied by the thought of having a showpiece tournament on our shores, brings a flash of optimism. At the moment it may only be a tempting discussion, but Spain has the capacity and the history that allows us to dream of it happening.

    Euro 64 and World Cup 82

    Spain has previously hosted the finals of the Euros and also a World Cup. The European Championships date back to 1964, a time when it was quite different: a final four, nothing like it is now, when 24 teams participate. We won it, by the way, with a Marcelino goal against the USSR. The World Cup here was in 1982, fondly remembered for our mascot Naranjito. It was a well received tournament but from a sporting perspective it was a failure, leaving a bad taste in the mouth for a generation. It certainly excites me more, of course, the possibility of organising a World Cup, which we'd likely need to join up with Portugal and Morocco. Something that could be a positive and necessary embrace between Southern Europe and North Africa.

    2030: World Cup centenary

    There are rival bids, of course. In 2030 we will be celebrating the centenary of the World Cup. The first was played in Uruguay, and the idea of repeating it there after 100 years has been swirling around for some time, with Argentina and Paraguay. But the idea of Spain-Morocco-Portugal has a nice ring to it, for the purity it shows of a coexistence between such different worlds that lie in close proximity. As a little test, the final of the Spanish Super Cup in Tangier worked well. Great Britain is another interested party. It's not going to be easy either way, but now that we're embroiled in the Miami game, which I don't think even Rubiales himself knows what will happen, it's nice to lift our gaze.

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  • NT: Morocco coach Renard plans London meeting with Arsenal's 'French' whiz Guendouzi

    Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi is at the centre of an international tug-of-war.

    The Gunners parted with just £7million to Lorient to snare the midfielder, but he has started each of their first four Premier League fixtures this season.

    Guendouzi was born in France and has represented Les Bleus at Under-18, U19 and U20 level. He is however yet to make a senior appearance.

    But the Mirror says Morocco are looking to try an entice Guendouzi.

    The 19-year-old's father is Moroccan, and as he hasn't played for France at senior level yet, is eligible to turn out for the African nation.

    Morocco boss Herve Renard is set to travel to London this week for a chat with the Arsenal man.

    Read more at http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/morocco-coach-renard-plans-london-meeting-with-arsenal-s-french-whiz-guendouzi-4248127#IJVzvQz2REO1Gc75.99

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  • Press review: Morocco off the mark in Group B

    (Africanfootball.com) Morocco have picked up their first three points in Group B of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after they defeated Malawi 3-0 at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Saturday night.

    The result sees the Atlas Lions move to second place on three points, taking over the position from the Flames (who also have three points) on head-to-head record. Cameroon lead the pool on four points after they drew 1-1 away to bottom-of-the-log Comoros earlier in the day.

    Morocco got off to a flyer and claimed the lead in just the third minute, with Ajax star midfielder Hakim Ziyech powering into space down the left before beating Malawi goalkeeper Charles Swini with a low shot.

    The Atlas Lions ended the first half in the same way they started it: finding the back of the net. This time Youssef En-Nesyri was the goal scorer, turning home an assist from Achraf Hakimi in the 42nd minute to see his side go 2-0 up.

    The second half saw the North Africans continue their dominance, with Nordin Amrabat denied a strong claim for a penalty before seeing a shot on goal well saved by Swini just before the hour mark.

    There was also a debut for Dutch-born defender Noussair Mazraoui, who replaced Nabil Dirar with just under 20 minutes to play. The right-back was courted by the Netherlands before picking Morocco over the country of his birth.

    Morocco added to their advantage in the 78th minute, with En-Nesyri completing his brace with a powerful shot which burst through the goalkeeper’s arms to wrap up the scoring at 3-0.

    The teams will return to AFCON qualifying action next month with double-header clashes. The Atlas Lions will face island minnows Comoros, while Malawi face 2019 tournament hosts Cameroon.

    Morocco (2) 3 (Ziyech 3’, En-Nesyri 42’ 78’)

    Malawi 0

    Morocco: Bounou, Dirar (Mazraoui 73’), Bennasser, Saiss, Hakimi, Fajr, El Ahmadi, Amrabat, Belhanda, Ziyech, En-Nesyri

    Malawi: Swini, Chembezi, Sanudi, Mzava, Sambani, Phiri, F. Banda, J. Banda, Manyozo, Mbulu, Mhango

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  • AFCOn 2019 Qualifiers: Morocco beat Malawi 3-0

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco beat Malawi 3-0 in the AFCON 2019 qualifier on Saturday. Goals of Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesiry (2X). With this victory Morocco booked their first 3 points and are now second in the table behind Cameroon (4 points) who were held today away by Comoros 1-1.

    Final whistle!

    3 minutes of additional time

    84' Nayef Aguerd replaced Ait Bennasser

    80' Good shot by Ait Bennasser blocked by the Malawi defender

    79' Ayoub El Kaabi replaced Fayçal Fajr

    78' En-Nesiry scores again from close range and it's 3-0 for Morocco

    72' Noussair Mazraoui makes official debut for Morocco as he replaced Nabil Dirar

    66' Ziyech shoots in the hands of the goalkeeper

    60' Belhanda shoots on target but it goes above the woodwork

    58' Amrabat's shot blocked

    57' Save by Bounou

    48' Another header by En-Nesiry goes wide

    47' Great header by En-Nesiry off target

    Second half underway!

    Half Time!

    45' Great free-kick by Hakim Ziyech blocked by the goalkeeper

    1 minute of additional time

    42' Goal for Morocco by Youssef En-Nesiry from close range, assist of Achraf Hakimi

    30' Briliant shot by Ziyech blocked by the goalkeeper

    28' Great shot by Hakimi blocked

    3' Goal of Ziyech!

    Competition: AFCON 2019 qualifiers

    Location: Mohamed V Complex, Casablanca

    Kickoff: 20h00 GMT, 22h00 CET

    Morocco starting 11 vs Malawi:

    Bounou-Hakimi-Saiss-Dirar-Ziyech-El Ahmadi (C)-Ait Bennasser-Amrabat-Belhanda-Fajr-En Nesiry

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  • Transfers: Lamia FC announce the signing of Hachim Mastour

    (SDNA) Greek Super League club Lamia FC officially announced on Tuesday night their deal with talented Italian-Moroccan attacking midfielder, Hachim Mastour.

    The 20-year-old international and former player of Malaga CF, PEC Zwolle (2016-17) was recently released from AC Milan and is expected to massively strengthen the squad of experienced manager Babis Tennes' team.

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  • Press review: Hakim Ziyech wins Netherlands Footballer of the Year

    (BBC Sport) Morocco and Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech has won the Dutch Footballer of the Year award known as the Gouden Schoen (Golden Boot).

    He succeeds his international team-mate Karim El Ahmadi, who took the award last year for his feats with Feyenoord.

    The award is given by newspaper De Telegraaf in partnership with the Dutch football federation.

    "Ziyech is a piece of jewellery for Dutch football," Ajax coach Erik ten Hag said.

    "I think he plays football in a nice team, with lots of good footballers around him and it runs smoothly, which gives him pleasure and motivation to achieve even more."

    The 25-year-old scored nine goals and weighed in with 14 assists in 34 appearances for Ajax last season as they finished second in the Eredivisie.

    Ajax's managing director Edwin van der Sar expressed his happiness that Ziyech will be at the club for another season after he looked set for a move to Italian club Roma.

    "We said we want to play in the Champions League with the strongest possible team," he said.

    "We may not have counted one hundred percent on Hakim, but we are very happy that we have come together and that he is here for another year at Ajax."

    Ziyech insisted that he has no regrets about staying with the Dutch club: "I'm very happy here and I think I'm in the best phase of my career."

    He was also voted Ajax's player of the season by the club's supporters.

    Ziyech, who was part of the Atlas Lions squad at the World Cup in Russia, becomes the third Moroccan to receive the award after El Ahmadi last year and Mounir El Hamdaoui in 2009.

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  • CAF Confed Cup: Moroccan clubs draw

    Herewith the results of the draw of the quarter-finals conducted on Monday in Cairo, Egypt;

    Rayon Sports (Rwanda ) vs Enyimba (Nigeria)

    CARA (Congo) vs Raja Club Athletic (Morocco)

    El Masry (Egypt) vs USM Alger (Algeria)

    AS Vita (DR Congo) vs RS Berkane (Morocco)

    First leg: 16 October 2018

    Second leg: 23 October 2018

    Source: CAFonline.com

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  • Holland: Hakim Ziyech wins Golden Boot Award for season 2017-2018

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