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Football | Afcon 2017

Abdelaziz Barrada © Backpagepix

Barrada promises new Morocco outlook



Morocco’s new midfield sensation Abdelaziz Barrada says pressure and anxiety are a thing of the past for the Morocco side, 12 months after the disastrous showing at the last Nations Cup.

The Spanish-based holding midfielder, who scored a goal and made another as Morocco’s turned around their qualifying campaign against Mozambique in October, says there is a positive sentiment going into the tournament.

Morocco turned in a nervy performance last time looking almost burden by the expectations, but Barrada says they feel little pressure this time round.

“There’s no anxiety in the players’ mind. There is a general readiness for the tournament. There’s been no talk about that happened last time out (at the 2012 finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon).

Morocco were one of the favourites for the last edition but bombed out after just two games.

Barrada is among the fixes sought by the north Africans since Morocco fired coach Eric Gerets in September and brought in Rachid Taoussi to take his place.

“It’s been a week of good training for us and we have the feeling we are ready now to start the competition,” said the Getafe player.

Morocco should have Younes Belhanda, their midfield talisman ready for the match, officials reported.



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