Reynald Pedros, the women’s team’s coach, says his players need to “be ready to do something big” if they want to be as successful as Morocco’s men at the World Cup this year in Australia and New Zealand.
The Chart book Lionesses have arrived at the competition without precedent for their 25-year history, making them the main Bedouin country to qualify.
They secured their place by finishing as runners-up at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Rabat last year, where South Africa defeated the hosts in the final.
Pedros told Sportsworld on the BBC World Service, “We want to go there and show that Morocco has made progress.” He said that his team will try to gain confidence from Morocco’s men’s performance at the World Cup in Qatar last year, when they became the first African team to reach the semi-finals.
“Of course, the men’s World Cup performance was fantastic, and we are inspired by it.”
“Indeed, even past the outcomes, what was awesome was the perspective of this gathering which showed up there at this World Cup, not as top choices by any means and they completed top of their gathering.”
The magical touch of Regragui
Very much like the men, Morocco’s ladies are a long way from being top picks in a gathering containing double cross heroes Germany, South Korea and Colombia.
Therefore, Walid Regragui, Pedros’s counterpart on the men’s team, will undoubtedly be tapped.
The 51-year-old explained, “We’re certainly going to get closer to Walid to find out what his words were, what his speech was before the first match.” He took over Morocco in 2021 after two years as the coach of Lyon, the world’s most successful women’s club team.
“Especially to learn a little bit about how he brought this team back together.
“The men’s team had a world-class tournament. Additionally, we hope for a fantastic World Cup.
“We will have to exceed our own expectations and perform at a very high level.”
Can Africa capitalize on Wafcon’s success? Morocco’s run to the semifinals can “galvanise” Africa.
Rosella Ayane, a forward for Morocco who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in England, is determined to use football’s global showcase to raise her nation’s profile, just like her coach.
She stated, “We want to get out of the group, that’s an objective.”
“I’m extremely focused and excited. In order to prepare to perform at my absolute best, I am attempting to get into the best mental and physical shape I can.
“I am aware of the team’s atmosphere. We are not just there to come up with numbers.”
Moroccan football is getting better.
Ayane, who represented England at the Under-17 and Under-19 levels, could have also represented Scotland; however, she chose to represent her father’s nation at the senior level, and she does not regret doing so.
“In the beyond two years, the organization have truly begun to back ladies’ football and you can see that in the movement that we’ve made,” uncovered the 27-year-old.
“I wish I had joined when I was 21. All the girls under the age of 18 and in their twenties make me envious.
“They have world-class facilities. We could be a force, but this is just the beginning of our journey. The direction Morocco women’s football can take is terrifying.
Pedros concurs that the recent investments in football infrastructure are beginning to pay off.
“The designs here are uncommon,” the Frenchman uncovered.
“The food, the environment, and the hatches all have a very high level.
“We have a president who is very attentive, who really wants the women’s teams to succeed, and he gives us all we need so we can eat well, sleep well, and work well,” Regragui says of the Englishman who helped plan Morocco’s World Cup run.
“That is significant in football. It’s a little bit of the unnoticed work that goes on around games.”
Morocco, along with Spain and Portugal, has launched a sixth bid to host the Men’s World Cup in 2030, demonstrating how seriously they take the sport’s business.
This year’s Women’s World Cup, which starts on July 20, will show how far Morocco has come in women’s soccer, giving the country another great chance to make more football history.
The first goal for Pedros is to get out of the group.
“I think we really want to set ourselves up with the desire to qualify. Be prepared when it’s needed, which means being prepared to face Germany; after that, we’ll see.
“We will attempt to attempt to be prepared straight away, to accomplish something significant.
“We are so excited for it. We already want to be there.