World Cup semifinalists Morocco will not hold back in their friendly against Brazil on Saturday as it aims to deliver a statement win against the five-time world champions in its first home game after an outstanding Qatar 2022 campaign.
Manager Walid Regragui said his team could afford to be bolder than at the World Cup, where solid defense was key to helping them knock out favorites Spain and Portugal en route to the last four.
“Against Brazil, we can’t change our identity, pretend to be something we’re not, but we can take more risks that we couldn’t afford at the World Cup,” Regragui told a news conference on Friday.
“Every mistake at the World Cup can be expensive.” It’s a friendly on Saturday and maybe we could be more daring and try other things that we didn’t do in the World Cup game.”
After leading Morocco to become the first Arab team to reach the quarter-finals and the first African team to reach the semi-finals, Regragui said he was counting on the fans to be a major factor at the sold-out Ibn Batouta Stadium on Saturday .
The match will be attended by 65,000 fans, still pumped with pride after a World Cup that brought tears of joy across Africa and the Arab world.
“Our crowd will be our 12th player,” Regragui said.
“It would be great for our national pride to win for the first time against Brazil and we will go there with a big smile on our faces to meet our loyal fans who have been so great during our World Cup.”
Morocco captain Romain Saiss agreed but went further to say the players face Saturday’s match as one to win.
“It will be more than a great game against one of the best teams in the world. It will be a celebration of our successes, but there is no losing side.
“We want to celebrate with our fans and to end this celebration we have to play well and win the game.”
- ⦿Morocco (5-4-1): Bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, El Yamiq, Mazraoui; Ziyech, Ounahi, Amrabat, Boufal; En-Nesyri
- ⦿Brazil (4-3-3): Ederson; Emerson, Bremer, Militao, Lodi; Casemiro, Santos, Paqueta; Antony, Rodrygo, Vinicius