• WC 2018: ‘We are Going to Play Against Monsters,’ Says Renard After World Cup Final Draw

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – Supporters of the 32 teams who qualified for the 2018 World Cup were watching the final draw around the world, hoping their team would be placed in an easy group so they can qualify for the tournament’s next level. Although the Moroccan squad was placed in Group B alongside some of the toughest teams, the Atlas Lions are determined to not raise the white flag at whatever cost.

    On Friday, FIFA announced the World Cup final draw for the 2018 tournament, which will take place in Russia next summer. The next mission does not appear to be impossible for the Moroccan squad, who was placed along with Spain, Portugal, and Iran in Group B.

    Speaking to the press after the draw, Morocco’s coach, Herve Renard, said, “We wanted to be at this World Cup, and now we are here.” Commenting on Morocco’s next opponents, the Frenchman said that the Lions will play against “two monsters,” referring to Portugal and Spain “which everyone wanted to avoid in this pot.”

    “These are two countries that are not far from Morocco. The championship of Spain is something that people cannot miss in Morocco,” said Renard. “It is an honor for Morocco to play against the Spanish team that is very strong, and Portugal, European champion.”

    Morocco will face Iran first on June 15 in Saint Petersburg.

    “It will be our first opponent during our opening match. It is already an honor to be here. Now we must not be satisfied with our participation, we must go with our determination and believe in our chances, even if it seems very difficult for everyone,” said the coach.

    Renard added that his team is going to play its matches in St. Petersburg and Moscow. “It is nice anyway. But we are not here to do tourism.”

    All coaches present in the final draw have given their points of view regarding the groups they were placed in.

    Julen Lopetegui, a former Spanish footballer and current manager of Spanish national football team, said that Spain will face “one of the most toughest teams, including the Moroccan squad, who excluded the Ivorian team in the World Cup qualifiers.”

    For Carlos Queiroz, the head manager of Iranian football team, told beIN Sports that Morocco has a “great” team, recalling his course during the qualifiers.

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