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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Mar 18 2019 07:08PM

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman revealed that he has spoken with Mohammed Ihattaren, who is also being courted by Morocco.


Football-Oranje


The 17-year-old has broken into the PSV Eindhoven first-team this season and is seen as one of Netherlands top talents. However, Morocco want the midfielder to pick the Atlas Lions over Oranje.


Speaking at his press conference on Monday, Koeman confirmed that he spoke with Ihattaren over his international future before Morocco did.


He said, “I was before Morocco. He was here with Oranje Under-19 in Zeist and then I spoke with him. We try to keep all the talents for the Oranje, but in the end it is the player’s choice. It keeps us busy. It is about him, but also about others. We showed Mohammed that we think he is a great talent. “


Ihattaren isn’t part of the Netherlands squad that will face Belarus and Germany over the next seven days, while Calvin Stengs is another youngster not selected. Koeman admitted he is interested in the AZ winger, “He is one of the players that we have deliberately followed recently,”

By The Atlas Lions, Mar 18 2019 07:06PM

Ahram Online


Morocco winger Hakim Ziyech will not be playing in the Atlas Lions' upcoming games against Malawi and Argentina due to a muscle injury.


The team, who have already qualified for the African Cup of Nations, will face Malawi in a qualifier away on Friday, before meeting Argentina in friendly four days later in Tangier.


The 25-year-old sustained an injury during his side's 1-0 loss to Alkmaar in a Dutch league game on Sunday.


Ziyech has produced many fine displays with Ajax this season, helping his side reach the UEFA Champions league quarterfinals at the expense of defending champions Real Madrid.


He has scored 14 goals and provided 12 in 21 league appearances so far this season.


Reports have said that Premier League club Chelsea are showing interest in the player.


Ziyech, who started his international career in October 2015, has 23 caps and has scored 12 international goals.



By The Atlas Lions, Mar 5 2019 02:45PM

Moroccan national soccer team players are forbidden to commit charges on Lionel Messi or take photos with the Argentine superstar during the Morocco-Argentina friendly game.


The Football Association (FA) of the Latin American country has outlined the conditions to its Moroccan counterpart, according to local daily Al Akhbar.


Moroccan players, a source from the Moroccan FRMF told the daily, should not take photographs with Messi after the match nor use excessive force against the FC Barcelona legend.


The terms signed between the two federations also include ban on fans to take selfies with the Argentine captain.


The two countries will lock horns on March 26 in Tangiers as part of FIFA international friendlies. The FRMF, according to the source, is also forbidden to disclose the name of the hotel to host the Argentine squad.


It should also charter a private jet to fly Messi and his teammates from Spain where they will be gathering for preparation before the match.


Moroccan authorities should also provide security for the visitors throughout their stay in the North African country.


The Argentine FA on the other side will ensure that Messi plays at least for 60 minutes.


http://northafricapost.com/28612-argentinas-fa-outlines-conditions-for-morocco-argentina-march-26-friendly.html

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 28 2019 03:33PM

(CAFOnline.com) As the Total African Cup of Nations Egypt 2019 approaches, the Moroccan coach speaks to cafonline.com to discuss the state of his team's fitness. The Atlas Lions, already qualified, will face Malawi in the last day of qualifying before a gala match against Argentina in Tangier.


February always has a special flavour for you as it corresponds to the titles won in 2012 with Zambia and Ivory Coast in 2015. What do you remember about these two titles?


Hervé Renard: "These are memories engraved forever in my heart! It's indescribable. You have to live it. I never thought I'd be working on the African continent and it's thanks to Claude Leroy. There's also a small luck factor that I benefited from. ”


What is your state of mind after this third CAF Coach of the Year award?


Hervé Renard: "It's an honour because it's the third time I've won it since 2008, when I became head coach. In ten years, it's exceptional! It is also the recognition of collective work because I work with high quality assistants and federations that have given me the means to work. In Morocco, I have a lot of people working for me. You have to know how to delegate, and you also have to constantly question yourself. What motivates a coach is to go out and get titles."


You recently attended the Asian Cup of Nations won by Qatar. What are your impressions?


Hervé Renard: "I was pleasantly surprised by their team even though there are naturalized players. There is mainly a work done by Spaniards in recent years. Qatar has been preparing for its World Cup in 2022 for a long time and this trophy won against Japan is significant."


Do you still think that Egypt and Senegal are the favourites for this 2019 CAN?

Hervé Renard: "By showing humility, it's very difficult to win a CAN and I know what I'm talking about. Statistically, football lovers know that Egypt is a great country. Especially when you can count on Mohamed Sala. And even more so at home with strong popular support. It will be very difficult for all their opponents. Which team today has individual qualities like Sadio Mané or Koulibaly for Senegal ? Let us not forget also the Ivory Coast of Nicolas Pépé and Serge Aurier, the defending champions of Cameroon or Nigeria. I'd rather not be a braggart for Morocco but make the opponents fall on the field."


Has the location of the preparation course for the CAN 2019 been decided?


Hervé Renard: "The Royal Moroccan Federation is building a magnificent national technical centre. It's exceptional in quality! Will it be finished on time by June? I hope so and for the moment we are planning our preparation in Rabat. Otherwise, we'll find a plan B, but it's not current."


Morocco, already qualified, face Malawi in the final day of the Total AFCON 2019 qualifiers. What do you expect from this game?


Hervé Renard: "This will allow us to see some players who have not worn the national team jersey much. Not counting Argentina, it is the last official meeting before the preparation of the AFCON in June. It is also important to collect points for the FIFA ranking. It's always difficult to play in Malawi."


The Moroccan press reports that elements such as Noussair Mazraoui, Achraf Hakimi, Youssef En-Nesyri and Hamza Mendyl, who would be made available to the U23 team for the decisive confrontation against the DRC, are missing. Can you confirm that?


Hervé Renard: "We're going to make one last point with the U23 coach and the DTN. But I will not leave them all at disposal, contrary to what may have been said prematurely. I make sporting decisions and if I don't talk, it's not official."



Could Yunis Abdelhamid, author of a great season with Reims, be called?


Hervé Renard: "I recently had him on the phone and congratulated him on the excellent season he is having. He is a boy who succeeds in winning despite the transition from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1. Not only is he a regular player, but he has also become a key member of this Reims team. Congratulations to him, he will be a valuable contribution to Morocco."


Another good point for Moroccan football: Osama Idrissi will play for the Atlas Lions


Hervé Renard: "My greatest satisfaction is to have met a very professional player during our last internship. I was impressed by his rigour and his sense of collective spirit. He has many qualities and should play in an even bigger club than at present. That's very good news! It's up to him to impose himself now."


What do you think of El Kayoubi's expatriation to China?


Hervé Renard: "There are more and more very good players in China. Already when I was there in 2002, as an assistant, there was already a certain level. It's not easy to perform there with the rule of 3 foreign players per team. Look at how Gervinho is having a wonderful season today in Parma. He didn't fall asleep in China, you have to be competitive and Kayoubi will improve. This experience will serve him in his evolution. Kayoubi's problem today is rather the competition with the remarkable season of the young Youssef En-Nesyri, the driving force behind the strikers in Morocco."



What do you expect from the gala match against Argentina in Tangier?



Hervé Renard: "We're going to have to do the same things as we did against Portugal and Spain at the 2018 World Cup. If we're at our level, we can compete. While knowing that they have an alien named Lionel Messi who makes everything change. It's an exceptional match in a career and for Morocco. I'm sure the players will all be motivated."

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 25 2019 01:57PM

The 22-year old confirmed his choice to represent Morocco instead of the Netherlands.


By Morocco World News -


Rabat – Moroccan footballer Oussama Idrissi spoke of his choice to represent Morocco with the Atlas Lions.


In an interview with Volkskrant, the footballer said that playing for Morocco “was a rational choice.”


“I am a footballer who had to make a choice. I have discussed with my parents what is best for my career,” he added.


He added that he has nothing “against the Netherlands,” just because he chose to represent Morocco.


“I was born and raised here [Netherlands] with the standards and values of this beautiful country. As a Muslim you basically follow the culture of your father. And my father is Moroccan,” Idrissi explained.


The footballer also expressed his attachment to his father in the interview.


“I am very passionate and fairly independent. When I read back my interviews, it seems like I hear my father talking. He is a wise man, guides youth in youth care. My father always tells me the truth,” he said.


The footballer currently plays for AZ Alkmaar. Idrissi might join the Atlas Lions for their Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Malawi, which will take place on March 23.


The footballer might also appear with the Atlas Lions in a friendly game against Argentina scheduled for March 26 in Tangier.

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 23 2019 05:56PM

AZ Alkmaar winger Oussama Idrissi has explained his decision to chose an international future with Morocco over Netherlands.


By Football-Oranje


Last week the Dutch press confirmed that Idrissi, who is a Netherlands U21 international, had decided to represent Morocco.


Speaking to De Volkskrant, Idrissi said on the decision, “The Moroccan football association reported and I was asked whether I saw myself playing in the Moroccan shirt, but I did not hear from the KNVB anymore, and Morocco came my way.


“I do not choose Morocco because I am against the Netherlands, I was born here and grew up with the standards and values ​​of this beautiful country.


“I am a footballer who had to make a choice, I discussed the best for my career with my parents, and I want to get the most out of myself.”


The 22-year-old has scored 13 goals and added seven assists in 28 games this season.

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