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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 17 2019 11:17AM

It is yet to be unannounced whether Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will play in the friendly Argentina vs. Morocco match next month.


By Morocco World News -


Rabat – President of the Argentinian Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia said that he is not questioning Messi’s presence in the friendly game between Morocco and Argentina, which will take place on March 26 in Tangier.


“I have no doubt that he will be there, I know how he feels about this shirt, without talking to him, I know he wants to go back, he never left,” Tapisa said as he was quoted by Spanish media.


There has been speculation that Messi will finish his national team sabbatical for the first time since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


Goal.com quoted J former Argentina striker Javier Saviola, who said that Messi is still angry and hurt as he did not manage to clinch the World Cup trophy with his national team.


Tapia argued that “football is a collective game, if we think that only one player will win the World Cup, is not right.”


While some Moroccans expressed excitement to attend the friendly match, others expressed their discontent for the alleged amount Morocco would need to pay Messi to attending the match.


Some Moroccans started a boycott campaign on Facebook recently, calling for the match to be suspended and the money to be used to improve the lives of needy people.


Morocco and Argentina last played each other in a friendly game in April 2004. They also faced off in the 1994 World Cup, when Argentina won 3-1.

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 6 2019 02:49PM

By Morocco World News -


Rabat – The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has decided to change the location for the upcoming Morocco-Argentina friendly football game.


FRMF announced on Facebook that Tangier’s grand stadium will host the game instead of Rabat for logistical reasons.


The game, which will take place on March 26, is part of Morocco’s preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) which is set to take place in Egypt in June.



In January, FRMF confirmed that the Atlas Lions would face Argentina.


The head coach of the national football team, Herve Renard, expressed excitement on his Instagram.


Renard said that he and his team are preparing for CAN and focusing on “the last game in Malawi in our qualifiers group on March 23rd & a great prestige match in Rabat on March 26th vs Argentina of Leo Messi.”


Messi played at the Tangier stadium in August last year when his club Barcelona played Sevilla the Spanish Supercopa championship there, winning 2-1.


Morocco and Argentina previously last played each other in a friendly game in April 2004. They also faced off in the 1994 World Cup, when Argentina won 3-1.

By The Atlas Lions, Jan 28 2019 05:07PM

(BBC Sport) The Argentina Football Association has confirmed a friendly against Morocco on 26 March in Rabat.


Morocco travel to face Malawi in their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier just days before the friendly.


The Atlas Lions have already secured a place at the Nations Cup finals, while Malawi have been eliminated.


Argentina for their part will face fellow South Americans Venezuela in another friendly in Madrid ahead of the Morocco fixture.


The two-time World Cup winners have won both their previous matches, both friendlies, against Morocco.


In 1994 Diego Maradona was among the scorers as the Argentines beat the visiting Moroccans 3-1.


The only other meeting was 10 years later in Casablanca with the South Americans winning 1-0.

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 21 2018 01:12PM

By Morocco World News -


Although the match at Tunisia’s Stade Olympique de Rades was a friendly, it counted a lot in terms of team morale and quality assessment, especially as the two African giants are preparing for sterner challenges on the continental stage.


Emerging from a draining week of CAN qualifiers, both teams are in the process of putting in place competitive squads to represent them at Africa’s foremost football tournament in June 2019 in Cameroon.


On a chilly night of intermittently tantalizing football between the two North African country, Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri scored the evening’s only goal at the 41st minute of the game.


There was energy and desire in the remaining minutes of the game. There was depth, though occasionally. Most of all, perhaps, there was, from both teams, a constant need to make a strong statement of quality, even superiority.


While Morocco wanted to break the curse of Rades (where they had never won before), Tunisia, ranked above Morocco in FIFA rankings, had no desire to relinquish its on-paper superiority.


There may have been no qualifying spot at stake, no trophy to win. But what was at stake looked great enough, big enough, worth fighting for: pride.


Morocco’s Atlas Lions played to break from the psychological weight of never winning at Rades, an aspiration which Tunisia’s Eagles were determined to smash.


Medhi Benatia and Romain Saiss showed a solid rock-solid defence and kept Tunisia at bay. A few minutes before the break, it was the captain, Benatia, who fired a shot from far away after Abdelilah Hafidi was fouled in the middle of half of the opponents’ area. Youssef En-Nesyri, aware of the rebound, scored his sixth international goal.


Morocco, deploying a cautious 4-4-2 tactical disposition in the second half, foiled the Tunisian team’s regained energy. And despite repeated pressure from Tunisia’s Eagles, Morocco’s Lions seemed comfortable in their 1-0 lead.


Tunisia’s striker Wahbi Khazri and defender Nordin Amrabat of Morocco received one yellow card each.


Renard’s men struggled to find their feet at the start of the game and Tunisia did well to push them high up on the pitch.


And so, Morocco, who had also won its latest game, a much urgent qualifier game against Cameroon, succeeded in maintaining its invincibility against Tunisia.


If anything, the past few days have been enormously rapturous for Atlas Lions and their fans. After breaking the curse of never beating Cameroon, they’ve just broken that of never beating Tunisia in Rades. Perhaps, after all, that’s what Renard-coached teams do: they reduce the domains of implausibility.


For all the criticism that Renard and his boys have received after their early World Cup exit and the immediate lacklustre displays that followed, Morocco’s team seems to have found its way back to a beautiful and confident football.

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 20 2018 07:44PM

(Africanfootball.com) Morocco edged Tunisia 1-0 in an international friendly played at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Tuesday night.


The Atlas Lions backed up their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win over Cameroon last Friday with a victory in this regional derby, while the Carthage Eagles suffered a second straight loss to a fellow North Africa after their 3-2 defeat in Egypt.


Morocco opened the scoring late in the first half, with Mehdi Benatia’s low shot from a short free kick saved by goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha, but Youssef En Nesyri was on hand to turn home the rebound in the 41st minute.


Tunisia had earlier dominated possession and tried to press high whenever they didn’t have the ball, but they were unable to create any clear chances to test out Atlas Lions gloves-man Monir El Kajoui.


Sofiane Boufal nearly added to Morocco’s advantage just before the hour mark, slipping past a couple of challenges before sending a shot narrowly wide of the target.


In general the second half followed the same pattern as the first, with the Carthage Eagles dictating the pace, but the Atlas Lions looked more threatening in attack.


The hosts looked to boost their hopes with several introductions from the subs bench, but continued to lack a cutting edge in the final third.


Late in the game Tunisia almost claimed an equaliser but substitute Mohamed Drager, when presented with a clear chance in front of goal, was unable to hit the target, leaving Morocco to claim victory.


Both teams will return to action next March when they wrap up their 2019 AFCON qualification campaigns: Morocco will be away to Malawi, while Tunisia host eSwatini.


Tunisia 0

Morocco (1) 1 (En Nesyri 41’)


Tunisia: Ben Mustapha, Nagguez (Mathlouthi 90+1’), Skhiri (Bedoui 73’), Sassi (Chaouat 65’), Haddadi, Ben Amor (Karoui 90+1’), Meriah, Khaoui (Srarfi 57’), Ben Yousseff, Khazri, Sliti (Drager 79’)


Morocco: El Kajoui, Dirar (Hakimi 69’), Benatia (Da Costa 46’), Amrabat (Mazraoui 86’), Fajr, Ait Bennasser, El Hajjam, Hafidi (Azaro 46’), Boufal (El Ahmadi 89’), Saiss, En Nesyri

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