Qatar World Cup

December 13, 2022

World Cup: Morocco can beat France with current form – Manu Garba

By Emmanuel Okogba

Manu Garba, U-17 World Cup winning coach with Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, believes Africa’s last hope at the ongoing World Cup, Morocco has what it takes to beat France as the race for the coveted price enters the penultimate stage.

Morocco made history when they defeated Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugese teammates to become the first African team to reach the semi-final of the FIFA World Cup.

With that hurdle crossed, there’s yet a bigger and tougher hurdle as they will have to find a way past France to etch their name in history when they face-off on Wednesday at the Al Bayt stadium.

Morocco’s coach Walid Regragui talks to players during a training session at the Al Duhail SC Stadium in Doha on December 13 2022, on the eve of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football semi-final match between France and Morocco. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

With victories over Belgium, Spain and Portugal already, Walid Regragui and his men have taken on the title of giant killers, hoping to add France to the body count.

Garba, with an exprience in winning a global title, listed factors that could give Morocco an edge over the defending champions.

“Morroco have done exceptionally well and the semi final is just one win away from the final. I believe the Moroccan team have gotten self-belief after defeating the likes of Belgium, Spain and Portugal,” the 2015 u-20 African Championship winning coach told Vanguard in an exclusive chat.

France’s forward Kylian Mbappe strikes a ball during a training session at the Al Sadd SC in Doha on December 13, 2022, on the eve of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football semi-final match between France and Morocco. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

“Coming up against the defending champions France, for me they stand a chance to progress to the final because Morocco speaks Arabic and French and are conversant with the French style of play. If they can cage Mbappe, Morroco will go through to the final.”

Ranked 22, Morocco’s qualification to the semi-final assures Africa of at least a fourth place finish at this year’s edition and an extra spot when the competition comes round again in 2026.

The meeting is the first for both teams at a World Cup, and a win for Morocco against Didier Deschamps men will see them play against either Croatia or Argentina in Sunday’s final.

Garba holds two national honours of MFR and OON.