• Lionel Messi Expected in Agadir Next March in Friendly Game Against Morocco

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – The Moroccan football team is due to face Argentina in a friendly game in Agadir next March, as the Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) seeks to promote its candidacy for the organization of the 2026 World Cup. The FRMF required the presence of Lionel Messi, to provide an international visibility to the game.

    The announcement was made by FRMF’s president Faouzi Lakjae in an interview with the local sports TV channel Arriyadiya on Wednesday.

    In partnership with the Argentinian Football Association, the FRMF agreed to organize a gala match with the Albiceleste next March.

    “It has been a while that we’re working on taking it to the next level for the Moroccan team in terms of the friendly games”, Lakjae said.

    All the Latin American team’s stars, including FC Barcelona‘s living legend Messi, whom the FRMF insisted on his presence to promote the event abroad, will be there, according to Lakjae.

    More than just preparing the Atlas Lions for upcoming international tournaments, including the 2018 World Cup in Russia if the Moroccan squad manages to book its ticket for the championship, the other set goal behind the game with Argentina is to promote Morocco’s candidacy to host the World Cup 2026.

    “This is an opportunity to promote Morocco’s image”, said Lakjae.

    Morocco’s fifth bid to host the biggest football tournament faces an enormous competition from USA, Mexico and Canada. The three giants submitted a joint bid to host the event. Morocco’s candidacy enjoys a wide support from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

    The game will also be attended by FIFA boss Gianni Infantino, and CAF’s head Ahmad Ahmad, who campaigned for Morocco’s World Cup andidacy. The game’s date falls with the FIFA nomination file’s deadline, where candidates for the organization of the tournament have to provide details about their infrastructure and the stadiums that can host the World Cup’s games.

    The last time Morocco and Argentina met was in April 2004 in Casablanca in another friendly game. The visiting team won the match 1-0.

    A much more important game a than that of Argentina awaits the Moroccan squad. On November 11, Moroccans will face Cote d’Ivoire in decisive face off that will decide which of the team will qualify as the leader of Group C to the World Cup 2018 finals in Russia.

    The game is going to be held in the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny stadium in Abidjan.

    Morocco is one point away of booking its ticket to the finals since 1998.

    The Moroccan team coach Hervé Renard called up 26 players for the much anticipated game.

    With a combination of experienced players and talented newcomers, the Frenchman hopes to realize the dream of millions of Moroccans who are looking forward to seeing their team in the finals. However, he knows pretty well that the task is not going to be easy against the Elephants at the heart of Abidjan.

    “We defeated Ivory Coast during the African cup of Nations. We’ll have to do the same again”, he previously told beIN sports.

    “I think that we’ve made a lot of progress. But we have to be very efficient during those 90 minutes to seek this qualification that a whole nation is waiting for”, he said.

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