World Cup 2022

Sofyan Amrabat reveals key tactical change France made to end Morocco’s World Cup dream

The Moroccan dream finally came to an end against the World Champions

Moroccan midfield general Sofyan Amrabat has revealed that Olivier Giroud made his evening hell against France as the Atlas Lions bowed out in the semi-finals courtesy of a 2-0 defeat to the reigning World Champions.

Described by French President Emmanuel Macron as “the best midfielder of the tournament” after his side bowed out against Les Blues, Fiorentina’s Amrabat was one of Morocco’s most impressive players at the tournament, turning heads with his no-nonsense tackling, work ethic and eye for a pass as he starred alongside fellow midfield talent Azzedine Ounahi.

However, even another top performance could not prevent the Atlas Lions from bowing out of the competition against reigning champions France, with Morocco dominating much of the game but lacking any real cutting edge in the final third, while France were their usual clinical self to run out 2-0 winners and end Africa’s participation in the competition.

And speaking after the game, Amrabat revealed that it was Giroud’s man-marking job on the midfield man that was impossible to shake while the AC Milan man was on the pitch.

“Their striker, Olivier Giroud, followed me everywhere all over the field”, he told NOS. “I said to him, just STOP! He replied that he was instructed to follow me for the whole game.”

“We feel very bitter that we couldn’t do more”, he added. “France let us have the initiative from the start, so I guess that’s a compliment really.”

Morocco still have the chance to be the first African side to pick up a World Cup medal when they take on 2018 finalists Croatia in the third-placed playoff on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Amrabat himself has raised his profile on the world stage significantly amid transfer links to Liverpool when the January transfer window opens in just over a fortnight’s time.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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