2013 African Cup of Nations: Profile of Team Morocco

The Atlas Lions currently managed by Rachid Taoussi, won the 1976 edition of the African Cup of Nations.

Morocco hold the record as the first African team to win a group at the World Cup, when in 1986, the Atlas Lions finished ahead of Portugal, Poland and England to book a place in the second round before succumbing to eventual winners, West Germany.

Morocco has participated four times in the FIFA World Cup. Their best performance was the 1986 edition when they advanced to the second round, being the first African nation to do so. In 1998, the team narrowly missed repeating the same achievement.

The South Africa competition that spans January 19- February 10, will be Morocco’s 15th, appearances at the continental gathering that brings Africa’s elite 16 teams on one stage.

Having hosted the competition twice, Morocco came close to repeating their 1976 winning feat in 2004, where they placed second behind host, Tunisia, in an all North African affair.

The Atlas Lions, previously placed third and twice came fourth to sum up their modest appearances and achievement at the plum competition.

Coach Taoussi will be leading a team without in form Queens Park Rangers (QPR) player, Adel Taraabt nor Arsenals Marouane Chamakh at the competition. However, Taoussi will be counting on many players of the French championship such as Younes Belhanda and Abdelhamid El Katoutari of Montpellier or the solid Udinese defender Mehdi Benatia to drive their quest.

Morocco will play in Group A alongside the host country, South Africa, Cape Verde and Angola. GNA

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