Morocco can shake if he is not already, “CR7” is back! Author of a hat-trick last match, in a spectacular draw against Spain (3-3), Cristiano Ronaldo is practically the greatest danger that the Portuguese national team has. The five-time winner of the Golden Ball and with all of Portugal with him, see in the Moroccan national team an opportunity to get all three points. The lions of the Atlas, no longer entitled to error after their debacle at the last minute against Iran (0-1).
It’s simple: a defeat and the men of Hervé Renard would be eliminated even before the last day in this group B.
Ronaldo and Morocco, a love story.
Ronaldo has a special relationship with Morocco. In fact, the Real Madrid star regularly spends his holidays in Marrakech, a city he discovered during the Club World Cup in 2014. Since then, the Madrid -Marrakech trip – done in a private jet – has no secrets for him, especially since that the tourist capital of the kingdom of Morocco has also been converted for “CR7” into a playground … of real estate. The star is associated with the Portuguese hotel chain Pestana and the fifth establishment in its name was inaugurated in January.
A “derby” for Manuel da Costa.
He could have played for Portugal (his father’s country), for France (his country of birth), but it is the shirt of Morocco (his mother’s country) the one Manuel da Costa will use, the defender of the Atlas Lions trained in AS Nancy-Lorraine. This match will necessarily have a particular flavor for this solid defender, 32 years old, who played with the sub 21 of Portugal, but never with the first team despite several calls from Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The men of Hervé Renard have a model to follow: the team of 1986, who had reached the round of 16, the best performance achieved by Morocco in its history at the World Cup in Mexico. In that World Cup, Aziz Bouderbala and his teammates beat Portugal 3-1, curiously, in the first round, with goals from Abderrazak Khairi, twice, and Abdelkrim Merry Krimau. Portugal was eliminated with two points but, of course, Portugal did not have CR7 back then, nor did Morocco have their most unbalancing player (Nourredine Amrabat) injured.