I ‘Admire And Respect’ Morocco, Says France Captain

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France captain Hugo Lloris says he “admires and respects” what Morocco have done in Qatar, as the defending champions prepare for Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final against the Atlas Lions.

The French fans will be largely outnumbered by the Morocco supporters at the Al Bayt stadium and Les Bleus know that they will be jeered and whistled throughout.

“We’re going to have to be ready for the noise,” France captain Hugo Lloris said. “I admire and respect what they’ve done here, they owe nothing to chance, they finished top of their group.”

France captain Hugo Lloris.

“They have a lot of qualities on and off the pitch, in terms of cohesion. The environment will be hostile but we’re getting ready, calmly. We’ll have to be ready to up our level one more time.”

The backing of their fans has been giving Morocco, the first African side in the World Cup last four, extra energy as they beat Belgium, Spain and Portugal on their way to the semi-finals, but France will be ready.

“They’re benefiting from a huge support, I’ve seen this and my observers have told me about,” France coach Didier Deschamps said at a news conference.

France coach Didier Deschamps.

“We know it’s going to be extremely noisy, it’s part of the context and we’ll have to be ready for it,” Deschamps added. “Good for them. We have to prepare for the game, but also for the environment of the game.”

Morocco have been very dangerous on the break and quick attacks, but this is precisely how France could hurt them as well.

“We want to have the ball to create danger, but you saw that in our game against Poland (in the last 16) they actually had it more than expected,” Deschamps said.

“We’re as good as Morocco on the break and on fast attacks. We won’t abandon possession, but when we will have the ball we’re going to have to make it count.”

The winner of the match will face Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final.

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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