Morocco leave World Cup empty-handed but win ‘millions of fans’, with Sofyan Amrabat hailed as ‘colossus’ despite third-place loss to Croatia


Morocco pulled out of the World Cup with a loss to Croatia in the third-place play-off in Qatar, but pulled out knowing they had made history.

The Atlas Lions surprised so many at this year’s tournament by finishing top of their group and then reaching the semi-finals – becoming the first African team to make the last four.

Morocco were one of the most impressive teams at the tournament
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Morocco leave World Cup empty-handed but win 'millions of fans', with Sofyan Amrabat hailed as 'colossus' despite third-place loss to Croatia
A fourth place is always something they can be proud of
Getty
Morocco leave World Cup empty-handed but win 'millions of fans', with Sofyan Amrabat hailed as 'colossus' despite third-place loss to Croatia
Croatia finished third in this year’s World Cup
Getty

Reigning champions France beat Morocco 2-0 to claim their place in the final and Croatia, runners-up in the previous tournament, would also prove too difficult to test on Saturday.

However, Walid Regragui’s side will have many great moments to look back on as they made history at the 22nd edition of the World Cup.

With their final game nearing its final stages and Croatia looking comfortable enough to claim a 2-1 win, talkSPORT’s Nigel Adderley praised Morocco for their effort in Qatar – what could be a game-changing moment for African teams at the highest level.

“After so much hard work, so much effort and a lot of talent, Morocco seem ready to leave the World Cup empty-handed,” said the commentator.

“But, they have gained millions of new supporters through their achievements in this competition. African football as a whole now has a responsibility to seek to capitalize on this.

One of their star players in Qatar was Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, and he left it all on the pitch again.

Morocco leave World Cup empty-handed but win 'millions of fans', with Sofyan Amrabat hailed as 'colossus' despite third-place loss to Croatia
Amrabat was one of Morocco’s shining stars in Qatar
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England legend Stuart Pearce had nothing but praise for the 26-year-old, who has been tipped to join a Premier League side this summer.

Shortly after making another crucial contribution to his country to prevent Croatia from advancing, Pearce said: “This guy has been an absolute colossus, Amrabat for Moroccans throughout the tournament.

“He fell in the back line and plays as well there as he did in midfield. He’s been absolutely amazing.

“Players fell, players got injured and he’s been there, playing the full 90 minutes every time.”

Goals from Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic gave Croatia the win, while Achraf Dari scored for Morocco.

Sunday’s final will see Argentina take on France, with both countries looking to win the World Cup for the third time.

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