Following Morocco’s penalty shootout win in the World Cup last 16 against Spain, Moroccan coach Walid Regragui highlighted the importance of players from Morocco’s diaspora in his post-match press conference, saying “every Moroccan is Moroccan.” Regragui said:
“Before this World Cup, we had a lot of questions about guys born in Morocco and those born in Europe. Sometimes people, including some journalists in this room, said these guys don’t love Morocco and asked why not just play the guys born in Morocco? We showed to the world that every Moroccan is Moroccan – when he comes to the national team he wants to fight. I was born in France but nobody can separate my heart from my country. My players give 100%, some are born in Germany, some in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France… I’m ambitious and that’s what I give to my players. Maybe when I’m an old man I’ll be happy about that but I’m proud for my country. It shows you can have a Moroccan coach and do this, you just need confidence.”
Morocco will now face Portugal in the quarter-finals in Qatar this weekend.