|Yousuf En-Neysri headed home the winner against Portugal on Saturday to send Morocco through to the semifinals. (Photo credit: GOAL)|
Ignore the talks about the fact they don’t see themselves as Africans, it’s a victory for the entire continent and wherever you are under the sun, Morocco has qualified for the World Cup semifinals and we’ll gloat about it.
England that thought it was coming home has gone home, the top favorites, Brazil has gone home; Spain scored seven times in their World Cup opener and they have gone home, Germany with their fire powers has gone home, Belgium as highly rated as they are have forgotten they went to Qatar, all hail Morocco.
For once in the history of African participation at the FIFA World Cup, the continent will have a representative at the semifinal of the World Cup after Morocco beat Portugal 1-0 on Saturday in their quarter final bout.
The implication of this is deeper than necessary, Cristiano Ronaldo has dropped a subliminal, yet direct message on Instagram to seemingly announce his retirement from international football but you must ask yourself, why did Fernando Santos keep him on the bench?
Morocco may have benefited from the chaos but the statement made with Ronaldo’s benching in the round of 16 was enough; having him on the bench against the Atlas Lions was at the detriment of the team’s chances and Santos should take the blame too.
Morocco is a low block team, they don’t give much away and they have quick feet to counter; the long balls and tap in opportunities would have given Ronaldo joy and Portugal may have won effortlessly. If Ronaldo didn’t know when to stop with his rants, Santos didn’t also know when to stop with his faux discipline.
Moving on to greater things, no one will overthink the game against France and whatever the outcome is, we’ll take it but the whole of Africa will take this result against Portugal and celebrate. Congratulations Morocco, you did this for Africa.