Thousands of ecstatic Moroccans welcomed their national football team home Tuesday after the players surpassed the North African nation’s wildest expectations, finishing fourth at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Open parks, squares and stretches of streets in and around Rabat were lined by cheering crowds with flags and national colours. Some flared bonfires while others were seen waving flags and beating drums.
The smiling players arrived Rabat waving and blowing kisses at the jubilant fans while taking selfies against the backdrop of surging crowds.
Vehicle trooped to the royal palace where King Mohammed VI was waiting to receive the players to “celebrate their great and historic accomplishment.”
As the first African or Arab team to reach the World Cup semifinals, its record-setting performance led to the players receiving a heroic welcome.
After the Moroccan Atlas Lions beat former European colonial powers Belgium, Spain and Portugal, it lost to France in the semifinals. The team made history in one of the big success stories of the tournament, the first hosted by an Arab nation.
“Morocco’s run in the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be remembered in the history books as one of the most exciting campaigns since the tournament’s inception,” café owner Reda Ghazi spoke in excitement.
“It was the dream of every Moroccan to win something, especially because Morocco is a country where the passion for football is overwhelming.”
Morocco finished fourth in the competition after losing to Croatia 1-2 in the third-place play-off on Saturday, exceeding the expectations of most Moroccans.
The Moroccan team charmed many Arab soccer fans who saw in the team a reflection of themselves. Players waved the Palestinian flag after their wins and celebrated on the field with their mothers and children.
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.