Morocco may have been eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but its players and coaches will live on in football lore for their heroic performances all throughout the tournament.
From manager Walid Regragui to players like Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, Azzedine Ounahi and several more, the Atlas Lions delivered one of the most iconic World Cup runs in history after topping Group F that included Croatia and Belgium before eliminating Spain and Portugal in the round of 16 and quarterfinals, respectively.
Unfortunately for the nation, it fell short to France 2-0 in the semifinals on Wednesday, where another Moroccan player got his flowers for his stellar performance — but from an unlikely source.
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Sofyan Amrabat, the 26-year-old defensive midfielder, was called the “best midfielder of the tournament” by France President Emmanuel Macron in the Moroccan dressing room following the final whistle, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Amrabat, who plays for Fiorentina in Italy’s Serie A, once again flew all over the field in impressive fashion just as he’s done all tournament. For context behind his outing, take a look at his statistics from the game, via Squawka.
Very few defensive midfielders in the world can cover as much ground as Amrabat can with a high level of efficiency, let alone have the technical quality to help in the attacking phases of play on top of it.
It’s why his play has led him to be involved in multiple rumors of a transfer to one of the European giants, such as Liverpool of the English Premier League, with more reports likely to emerge in the aftermath of the World Cup.
Morocco still has one more game to play despite the loss, which is the third-place game against Croatia on Saturday. Kick-off time is slated for 10 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. PT, which is 6 p.m. locally in Qatar.
Amrabat will be going up against the Vatreni midfield triumvirate comprising Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic, which should be another intriguing test for the Moroccan sensation.