Morocco coach Walid Regragui has entreated Africans to change their view about the 2022 World Cup.
Speaking after becoming the first African side to progress to the semis, the manager said many never thought Morocco would make it out of their group.
“Everyone thought we were going to be knocked out in the first round,” the 47-year-old said.
He thus revealed how he motivated his players to rewrite the script.
“What I was telling the players was that we have elite players – [Hakim] Ziyech for Chelsea, [Noussair] Mazraoui for Bayern, [Achraf] Hakimi for Paris St-Germain.
“We have players in the top clubs and we have a team that can win games at the World Cup and that’s what I tried to get through to my players. We need to be confident and we need to go out there and give everything and have no regrets – and they believed me.
He concluded that by passing a strong message to Africans to always look beyond the group stage.
“You don’t go to the World Cup to play only three games. The message passed to my team, my country, and now the continent.”
The Atlas Lions stunned tournament favorites Portugal, beating them 1-0 to become the first African country to make the last for of the biggest international showpieces.
They will face France in the semi-final in a bid to take their achievement a notch higher by progressing to the final.