• Moroccans Abroad: Amine Harit’s confidence continues to grow

    (schalke04.de) Amine Harit returned to Schalke with a large dose of euphoria stowed safely in his luggage after meeting up with Morocco over the international break. Now he must put the celebrations on hold to focus on the job in hand: facing Hamburger SV this weekend.

    The last time Morocco played in a World Cup finals Amine Harit was just one year old. Next summer, twenty years later, he will likely be involved after Morocco secured a 2-0 win against the Ivory Coast on the final day of qualifying, booking their place at next year’s tournament in Russia. “I have no words for how I’m feeling. It’s an unbelievable success for me, my family, and all Moroccans,” said Harit on his return to the Ruhr Valley.

    It was little more than two months ago that the French-born player decided to pledge his allegiance to ‘The Lions’. “At this point we were second in the table,” said Harit. “That we could turn things around so quickly is simply indescribable.” Despite watching the victory against the Ivory Coast from the bench, Harit was delighted with the result. “At first I was slightly disappointed. But the most important thing was that we achieved this victory.” Harit, who previously represented France at youth level, can’t begin to imagine what it will be like to play on football’s biggest stage: “Although I’ve already contested a World Cup at under-20 level, representing my country’s senior team will be a whole new experience.”

    For now, Harit is keeping his attention on more immediate concerns. “The next international break isn’t until March. Now I will concentrate fully on Schalke, because there are important weeks ahead. We want to further increase our confidence,” explained the 20-year-old, who recently overcame a minor problem sustained in the week leading up to the Freiburg match. “I feel 100% fit.”

    Next up, Schalke will face Hamburg (Sunday 19.11., 15:30 CET), a team who come to the VELTINS-Arena “urgently needing points,” according to Harit, who added: “It will be a difficult game. Even if some of the internationals start training later, we have to work meticulously to ensure we are well prepared.” Harit is looking for the team to build on their performances over the past few weeks. “At home, it’s always our aim to win. We want to continue our run.”

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