Former coach of Morocco’s national football team and current coach of Algeria’s CR Belouizdad, Badou Zaki,
Rabat – Former coach of Morocco’s national football team and current coach of Algeria’s CR Belouizdad, Badou Zaki, has ruled out Morocco from the list of favorites to win the African Cup of Nations (CAN 2017), set to take place from January 14th-February 5th, in Gabon.
In an interview with Algerian channel “Annahar,” Badou said that Morocco hopes to advance past the first round [and qualify for other rounds], something it has not managed it to achieve since 2004.”
“It does not make sense to dream of many things that we have not achieved for more than 12 years,” he said. “If Morocco qualifies for the semi-final it will be such an achievement.”
He went on to add that “the African teams that have managed over the past few years to achieve remarkable results in the World Cup competitions are the ones that are inspired to dream of winning the CAN 2017.”
The Group C category, which includes Morocco, Côte D’Ivoire, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is considered one of the most competitive groups.
Morocco’s first scheduled match, against the Democratic Republic of Congo, will take place January 16. Its second match will be against Togo on January 20 before going on to play Côte D’Ivoire on January 24.
In a press conference held during the national team’s preparatory camp in the UAE, Morocco’s coach, Hervé Renard, said: “We will do our utmost to achieve the best results based on our potentials and capabilities. I set myself to qualify for the final quarter as a top priority, and I took it as a personal matter.”
The national team’s private plane took off on Thursday morning from the UAE’s Al Ain International Airport, heading to Gabon’s capital, Libreville where they will then settle in to their tournament residence in the city of Bitam.