Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Younes Belhanda © Action Images

Afcon finalists Morocco



Factbox on African Nations Cup finalists Morocco ahead of this year's tournament in South Africa from Jan 19 to Feb 10:

Previous appearances in African Nations Cup finals: 14

Best performance: Winners in 1976; Runners-up in 2004

Fifa world ranking Dec 2012: 74th

Coach: Rachid Taoussi was appointed in September to replace former Belgian international Eric Gerets after Morocco had lost in Mozambique in the first leg of their decisive qualifying tie. Taoussi, 56, engineered a 4-0 turnaround in October's second leg to qualify the side for the final and has since made dramatic changes to the squad. In 2011 Taoussi took the unfashionable Maghreb Fes to the African Confederation Cup title.

Key players:

Younes Belhanda (Montpellier). Age: 22. Position: Midfielder French-born playmaker who was chosen as the best young player in Ligue 1 last season after playing a significant role in unfashionable Montpellier's winning of a first-ever championship. Chose to play for Morocco in late 2010 after featuring for France at junior level.

Mehdi Benatia (Udinese). Age: 25 Pos: Defender Former French junior international who had trials at both Chelsea and Manchester United and signed for Olympique Marseille but never made the grade. He signed as a virtual unknown for Udinese, penning a five year contract in early 2010. He will captain the team in South Africa.

Youssef El Arabi (Granada). Age: 25 Pos: Forward. A 4.5-million Euro ($5.89 million) signing by Spanish club Granada in July after spending a season in Saudi Arabia. Originally from Caen, where he made his Ligue 1 debut in 2008, and spent three seasons before a surprise move to the Middle East. Debuted for Morocco in 2010, now in his second finals.

Prospects: Morocco were among the favourites at the 2012 finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon but crashed spectacularly after losing their first two games of the tournament. They had a squad full of talented players but never got all the individual flair to gel together. A coaching change has seen potential match winners like Mbark Boussoufa, Mehdi Carcela and Adel Taarabt left out in something of a surprise but Morocco are seeking to play to a plan rather than just winging it.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Neil Tovey
Time to get technical
It’s a well-known fact that technical directors are greeted with a high degree of scepticism within...

Abiye Opuamah
Does Van Gaal know what he is doing?
Robbie Savage's recent observation around the freedom Louis van Gaal has been given at Manchester...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Too early to crown Chelsea
Six matches into the BPL season, it seems this season might be a walk in the park for Chelsea. Or...

Arjun Vidyarthi
No need to panic yet
A bolt from the blue. That’s how media outlets all over the world are describing Phil Jagielka’s...

John Dykes
Is it time the Gunners stopped hurting?
Given recent results, it’s understandable that fans of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will be a...

Clyde Tlou
MultiChoice Diski Challenge you beauty!
The tournament develops young players, referees and television production crew as well. What more...