Mohammed VI Football Academy ‘Key’ to Morocco’s World Cup Success, FIFA comments

Mohammed VI Football Academy ‘Key’ to Morocco’s World Cup Success, FIFA comments

The Rabat-based Mohammed VI Football Academy is the key to the success of the Moroccan national team at the World Cup (Qatar-2022), comments the International Football Federation (FIFA).

Under the title, “Mohammed VI Academy: Key to Morocco’s Success”, the world soccer governing body says that “HM King Mohammed VI has launched several development projects in different areas, including the Mohammed VI Football Academy, which aims to discover talents in different regions of Morocco, develop them, and facilitate their transfer to European clubs.”

The Moroccan national team achieved a historic feat by becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, after beating Portugal (1-0) in the quarter-finals, thanks to the goal of Youssef En-Nesyri, a graduate of the academy.

The Academy, whose construction required $15 million, was opened in 2009.

The modern facility, established in Sala Al Jadida, on an area of about 18 hectares, includes several sports facilities, playing and teaching soccer fields, health wings… The Academy combines sport and studies, the same model adopted by youth training schools in Europe, FIFA states.

FIFA notes in this vein that a trio from the academy, namely Azzedine Ounahi, Youssef En-Nesyri and Nayef Aguerd are now the most prominent stars of the Moroccan national team.

“I am happy to see the fruits of this project founded by HM King Mohammed VI. The Academy now supports all national teams,” added FIFA, quoting Nasser Larguet, former director of the Academy Mohammed VI, who said this achievement is “a pride for us all.”

In an earlier article, FIFA recalled that Morocco have also had a lot of recent success in futsal, winning the 2020 Africa Futsal Cup of Nations and winning their first ever FIFA Futsal World Cup matches at Lithuania 2021, defeating Solomon Islands 6-0 and Venezuela 3-2, before being knocked out in the quarter-finals after a 1-0 loss to Brazil.

The article also mentioned the “growing success of women’s football,” saying that the funds raised have allowed the Kingdom to revive the sport.

“Since then, they have achieved impressive results, reaching the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2022 hosted by their own country only to miss out on the title after losing to South Africa. The Atlas Lionesses also qualified for Australia and New Zealand 2023, their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup,” the author of the article said, noting that there was success off the pitch too, with record attendances confirming the country’s strong interest in women’s football.

National coach Walid Regragui has repeatedly said that King Mohammed VI gives special interest to the development of soccer in Morocco.

“HM King Mohammed VI has put a lot of means to advance soccer in Morocco,” repeated Regragui, at the pre-game press conference of the 2022 World Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

The radiance of Moroccan soccer is the result of the special and permanent attention that the Sovereign grants to the national soccer, the coach said, praising the King’s farsighted vision regarding the development of the sports sector in general and soccer in particular.

Regragui also referred to the creation of the Mohammed VI Academy of soccer “which is part of the royal project,” noting that this Academy has trained talented players who are currently playing in the national team, namely Youssef En-Nesyri, Azzedine Ounahi, Reda Tagnaouti and Nayef Aguerd.

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