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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Apr 24 2019 06:20AM

Goal.com


Hakim Ziyech was on target as Ajax walloped Vitesse 4-2 in Tuesday’s Dutch Eredivisie encounter.


The Morocco international was handed his 27th league appearance by manager Erik ten Hag and he impressed, helping his side to strengthen their lead on the table.


Ziyech opened the scoring in the 41st minute after receiving a pass from Dusan Tadic to ignite the goals surge.


Ziyech featured for 63 minutes before he was substituted for David Neres while Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana was on parade for the entire duration of the game.


The 26-year-old winger has now scored 16 goals in the league and 20 in all competitions this season.


The victory saw Ajax open a three-point gap on the table and will hope to increase their winning streak to five games when they clash with Tottenham Hotspur for their semi-final Champions League game on April 30.


Ziyech will look forward to replicating the impressive club performances for Morocco in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.


The Atlas Lions start their campaign in the tournament against Namibia on June 23 before they take on Ivory Coast on June 28 and wrap up their Group D games against South Africa on July 1.

By The Atlas Lions, Apr 23 2019 12:40PM

The Ajax star had once vowed never to play in the Morocco stripes under the French tactician

Herve Renard has shouldered ‘99%’ of the blame for Hakim Ziyech's decision to desert Morocco in the past.


Both parties got off to an underwhelming start, with the Ajax star frustrated at the treatment he received from the Frenchman.


Renard's first test as Morocco's coach was a 2017 African Cup of Nations doubleheader against Cape Verde in March 2016.


Ziyech, who had been impressive in the campaign, was dropped for the first leg before being handed a substitute role in the reverse fixture in Marrakech.


He was then left out of the preliminary squad for the finals in Gabon.


The decision prompted the Ajax star to declare his intention never to return to the national team fold as long as the Afcon-winning manager remained in charge. He stuck to the decision until the problem was resolved later.


Now, Renard has finally accepted that he was at fault.


"I was appointed coach. I start training on Monday. We play on Saturday in Cape Verde on a synthetic field with a lot of wind; a typical African game with the characteristics that I know. I put Hakim in the stands, we start on a difficult base, we play the return to Morocco three days later, he returns for 25 minutes, but he was certainly not satisfied with the stage in its entirety,” Renard said on Le Vestiaire, a RMC Sport show.


“I made a mistake here. Do not talk to him, everyone is on his side, the situation is tense, he's coming back, the third time he's a little hurt... until I do not pick him any more.”


Renard maintained that Ziyech's character ‘remained impeccable’ in spite of all he faced.


"There is nothing about it. He has never shown bad character, he never reacted badly, on the contrary, he remained impeccable, even if, of course, he was not satisfied, and after a year, my president told me, 'We need to go see him, you see the season he's doing.'


"I said 'yes, on his qualities, there is nothing to say, that's what we need,” he continued.


"We went to Amsterdam and after three minutes of conversation, everything was settled, he wanted to come back, he is very attached to the national team, I needed him and I recognized my mistakes."


Ziyech has not only become a star performer in Renard's squad, he is now one of the best players in Europe.


His showings this season has helped Ajax reach the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League, dumping out Real Madrid and Juventus in the process. And they have their eyes set on the Eredivisie title.


He starred in Morocco’s underwhelming outing at the 2018 Fifa World Cup and is set to play a crucial role at his first Afcon finals in June.


The Atlas Lions have been placed in Group D alongside Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia.


https://www.goal.com/en-us/news/morocco-coach-herve-renard-opens-up-on-hakim-ziyech-mistake/f4a9cwjguym71imowesneexrb

By The Atlas Lions, Apr 22 2019 02:52PM

According to Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr, the Nigeria Football Federation are in talks with their Moroccan counterparts over a friendly ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Shortly after the AFCON draw, Rohr revealed that the three-time African champions will face Senegal in a friendly before the start of the tournament in Egypt, and this has been confirmed by Senegalese Football Association President, Augustin Senghor.

Another friendly with West African rivals Ghana had been proposed but the game is unlikely to hold because the Black Stars have chosen to hold a three-week get-together in the United Arab Emirates as part of their preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Asked by Medias24 if he would like to face Morocco as part of preparations, Rohr said: ''There is a possibility that we play a friendly match against Morocco before the AFCON, but nothing is decided yet.

''We really like playing against this good team from Morocco. But in March, it was not possible because we already had a scheduled friendly meeting with Egypt at home in Nigeria.''


The Atlas Lions, who are one of the favourites to win the 2019 AFCON, have not met the Super Eagles in an international match since 2004.


https://futaa.com/article/178545/nigeria-football-federation-in-talks-with-morocco-over-friendly-game

By The Atlas Lions, Apr 20 2019 03:56PM

(Goal.com) The 25-year-old scored his third league goal of the season to help the Sky Blues return to winning ways at Municipal de Balaidos


Sofiane Boufal impressed as Celta Vigo defeated Girona 2-1 in Saturday's Spanish La Liga game between the two sides.


After losing to Atletico Madrid last Saturday, the Sky Blues bounced back to winning ways with the Morocco international playing a key role in the match.


Boufal set up Iago Aspas for the opening goal in the 34th minute before Portu levelled for Eusebio Sacristan’s men 14 minutes later.


The 25-year-old was cautioned in the 70th minute before he was substituted for Andrew Hjulsager later in the game.


The victory saw Celta Vigo move to the 14th spot on the table after gathering 35 points from 33 games.


Boufal has now scored three goals in 31 league appearances this season and will hope to continue the form in their next game against Espanyol on Wednesday.


The midfielder, who has six caps for Morocco, will look forward to playing a part in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.


The Atlas Lions are in Group D along with Ivory Coast, Namibia and South Africa.



By The Atlas Lions, Apr 20 2019 09:58AM

(Goal.com) The Moroccan has garnered plenty of attention from top clubs with his displays for the Eredivisie side over the past three seasons


Hakim Ziyech has suggested he may not be ready to leave Ajax after this season comes to an end, saying he is "someone who is very picky".


The 26-year-old has been reported to have had admirers in the past thanks to strong seasons in the Eredivisie with FC Twente and later Ajax.


But Ziyech has seemingly taken things to a higher level this term for Ajax during a remarkable campaign for himself individually and the club as a whole.


The Morocco international has scored 19 goals and added 20 assists in all competitions, with Ajax in first place domestically and having sensationally defeated Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League knockout stage to advance to the semi-final round, where they will face Tottenham.


That form has led to increased reported transfer interest from around Europe, with Arsenal and Bayern Munich just two of the many teams linked with the 26-year-old.


Though many expect him to move on at season's end, Ziyech has warned he isn't necessarily ready to leave the Johan Cruyff Arena and only will seek an exit if the right situation appeals to him.


“Anything is possible," the attacking midfielder told Inside Ajax.


“I am always someone who is very picky and there must be a club that I want to trade in for Ajax. That doesn’t just happen.”


Ziyech, who joined Ajax from Twente in 2016, has a contract with the club through the 2020-21 season.


He is one of many players who the Dutch club will face a battle to keep past the season, with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and David Neres among those drawing eyes from Europe's top sides, while Frenkie de Jong has already agreed to a move to Barcelona.


Ajax are currently level on points with PSV atop the Eredivisie table, and will take on Groningen in league play on Saturday.


Their Champions League semi-final with Spurs begins with the first leg on April 30, before the return leg a week later.

By The Atlas Lions, Apr 19 2019 02:25PM

(BBC Sport) Morocco's Abderrazak Hamdallah has broken the record for league goals in a season in Saudi Arabia, since it became professional in 2007.


He struck twice for Al Nassr as they beat Al Fateh 5-0 on Thursday to take his tally to 29 goals for the season.


The 28-year-old overtakes Al Ahli's Syrian striker Omar Al Somah who scored 27 in the 2015-16 season.


Only Saudi striker Hamzah Idris has scored more in a season with 33 in 1999-2000, before the professional era.


There are two more games left this season for Hamdallah to clinch the all-time record.


He was called up by Herve Renard for Morocco's internationals in March after a three-year absence but he was unable to accept the invitations due to family reasons.


He joins Baghdad Bounedjah in breaking a record in the middle east after the Algeria striker grabbed 39 league goals to help Al Sadd win the Qatari title.

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