Morocco’s Walid Regragui candidate for prize of best coach in the world

Morocco’s Walid Regragui candidate for prize of best coach in the world

The coach of Morocco’s football team, Walid Regragui, who has become the first African and Arab technical executive to lead his team to the semi-finals of the Football World Cup, is a candidate for the prize for the best national coach in the world, awarded by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

Regragui appears in the list of candidates unveiled on Sunday by the IFFHS on its website. The list includes, among others, the coach of the Argentinian team Lionel Scaloni, winner of the World Cup-2022, the Frenchman Didier Deschamps, finalist in Qatar and winner of the trophy in 2018, and Zlatko Dalić, who won third place in the last World Cup with Croatia.

According to the IFFHS, the candidate who will succeed Italy’s coach Roberto Mancini will be known in early January 2023.

Regragui, who took the reins of the Moroccan selection replacing Vahid Halilhodzic, only three months before the world football tournament, managed to build a competitive team which he guided to the 2nd round of the World Cup in Qatar as leader of group F, in a competition with strong teams like Croatia, Belgium, and Canada. The team afterwards ousted Spain, then Portugal to landing among the last best four.

The 47-year-old former Moroccan international, appointed head of the Atlas Lions a few months before the start of the World Cup, also distinguished himself with Wydad Casablanca by winning the African Champions League. He has other experiences as a coach with FUS Rabat and Qatari Al Duhail to his credit.

Qatar 2022 World Cup was exceptional thanks to the Moroccan team which stirred such enthusiasm. Actually, no football tournament has seen such a performance by an African country that relies on its national coach to hold well-ranking teams to a tough test making it to the quarter finals.

No team from outside of Europe or Latin America has ever made it to the final of the world cup let alone to win the cup but in Qatar people started to think that probably it is time to believe in Africa!

“We’re African, too,” said Walid Regragui Moroccan coach, “we want to fly the flag for African football.”

“African football is often dismissed as mediocre but, at this World Cup, I think we have shown that we can make life difficult for anybody,” he had said.

Morocco’s win, which met the headlines of international media, was met with applause from Africa and the Arab world but also from many Muslim states and countries of from around the globe.

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