For the primary time in historical past, an African will play within the semi-finals of the World Cup after Morocco’s 1-0 win over Portugal on Saturday. An genuine feat by the Atlas Lions who paved the way in which for a lot of groups throughout the continent to go on to extra worldwide occasions.
Regragui achieved the feat with Morocco.
Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, George Weah, Roger Milla, Abedi Pel, Salif Keita, Rabah Madjer, Rachid Mekhloufi, Yaya Tour, Mohamed Abou Trika, Jay Jay Okocha… A group of the names of the best African gamers all through historical past.
And but none of those glories to date, all retired, have matched the feat achieved by Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Romain Sass, Sofyan Amrabat, Sofiane Boufal or Hakim Ziyech. Which ? That is becoming a member of the ultimate sq. of the World Cup.
Bitter remorse for Cameroon
Earlier than Morocco misplaced 1-0 to Portugal, three groups cherished the dream with their fingertips on Saturday. Cameroon first set an instance to comply with in Italy in 1990, beating the world champion Argentine within the warmth entry to complete first of their pool earlier than leaving Colombia (2-1 to go) within the spherical of 16. However the Indomitable Lions, simply ten minutes away from becoming a member of future world champions West Germany, broke at dwelling on two Gary Lineker penalties, one late in common time, the opposite in additional time. Defeat to England (2-3 aet) with honours, however above all with everlasting remorse for a rustic that by no means noticed a qualifying section once more.
Golden purpose for Senegal
Twelve years later, in Japan and South Korea, Senegal was even nearer. Like Cameroon earlier than them, Tranga Lions hit laborious, beating the French world champions (1-0) with a purpose from the late Papa Bouba Diop. Group A runner-up, the 2022 African champions, then taking part in their first World Take a look at, stunned everybody by beating Sweden from younger Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2-1 AP) to Henri Camara’s double, notably scoring a Golden purpose. The identical golden purpose that put an finish to the desires of the El Hadji Diouf gang, stunned by Turkey (0-1 ap) within the subsequent spherical with the belief of the untenable however diabolical Ilhana Mansiz.
Suarez’s sacrifice plunges Africa into chaos
However the cruelest of all of the eliminations of an African nation dates again to 2010 in South Africa. At dwelling, or virtually, on Nelson Mandela’s land. 4 years after Brazil’s Ronaldo was eradicated within the spherical of 16 (0-3), Ghana managed to eliminate the US (2-1) on the similar stage. Having confronted Uruguay, the Black Stars spent a fraction of a second on the feat. The second Luis Suarez places his hand on his line after Dominic Adiyah’s headbutt. The remaining, everybody is aware of: Gyan Asamoah’s missed penalty within the 121st minute and elimination on penalties (1-1, 2-4 on penalties). A visit that raised doubts throughout the continent. Till this Saturday.
For Morocco and for Africa
If the Moroccan victory belongs primarily to the Moroccans, it is usually the liberation of your complete continent. The glass ceiling that separates Africa from TOP 4 has lastly been destroyed. A lot to the delight of Walid Regragui. We needed to write the historical past of Africa, and we did. It isn’t a query of respect, we thrive on our qualities. We misplaced lots of people, held on and created a mind-set. Africa is within the highlight. I hope I’ve paved the way in which for African coaches, we’re working, we’re making progress. I need to thank all of the employees, however that is not all, as I stated fired a 47-year-old supervisor conscious of his group’s exploit.
The trail is all of the extra open as Africa shall be a giant beneficiary of the transition from 32 to 48 groups. Put aside as a result of Egypt was the one group to play within the match in 1934, earlier than Morocco’s first group in 1970, the continent of almost 1.5 billion individuals will ship 9 representatives (and even 10) to the US, Canada and Mexico in 2026, in comparison with solely 5 as we speak. An virtually doubled quota that might enable Africa to considerably enhance its efficiency in probably the most prestigious competitions. It began this 12 months 2022 with Morocco.
The very best odds of African groups within the World Cup:
Semi-finals: Morocco (2022)
Quarterfinals: Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002), Ghana (2010)
1/8 finals: Morocco (1986), Nigeria (1994, 1998, 2014), Ghana (2006), Algeria (2014), Senegal (2022)
Key dates for the participation of African nations within the World Cup:
1934: first nation share (Egypt)
1970: return of the continental group (Morocco)
1982: first with two representatives (Algeria, Cameroon)
1986: first qualifying in eighth place (Morocco)
1990: first qualifying in quarters (Cameroon)
1994: the primary with three representatives (Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco)
1998: the primary with 5 representatives (Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa)
2010: first competitors in Africa (South Africa)
2014: first with two nations in eighth place (Algeria, Nigeria)
2022: first half qualifying (Morocco)
2026: first with 9 or ten representatives (to be decided)
Can a group from Africa win the world championship within the subsequent editions? Don’t hesitate to react and focus on within the space add remark …