Senegal’s national coach, Aliou Cisse, has expressed his readiness to play against Morocco’s coach, Walid Regragui.
The announcement came during a press conference this week, sparking excitement among football fans in both countries. Many have attributed Cisse's proposal to an apparent need or desire to avenge Senegal’s 3-1 defeat against Morocco in a 2020 friendly match at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
Cisse made it clear that any potential friendly match between the Atlas Lions and the Teranga Lions should take place on Senegalese soil, specifically at the Abdoulaye Wade de Diamniadio Stadium. “If they want to play against us, let them come to us,” stated the Senegalese coach, extending an invitation to the Moroccan football federation to come and play in Senegal.
The idea of a friendly match between the African champions and the semi-finalists of the last World Cup has reportedly gained traction in both countries. It is seen as a valuable opportunity for both teams to fine-tune their strategies and strengthen their squads ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
However, when questioned about the potential match during the press conference, Cisse clarified that there had been no official talks regarding it. Despite this, he reiterated his stance, saying, “If they want to play against us, we would be glad, provided that they come here. We have already played there, and it is for them to return the favor.” These remarks were captured in a Twitter post, further fueling the anticipation surrounding a potential face-off between the two teams.
Cisse went on to praise the Moroccan team, acknowledging their talent and competitiveness. “It's a great team. If they want to play us, we can't stop them,” he said. His words reflect the mutual respect and recognition between the coaches, creating an atmosphere of friendly rivalry.
🎙️Aliou Cissé :
"S’ils [Maroc] veulent nous jouer, nous en serions très heureux mais qu’ils viennent jouer chez nous. On est déjà allez chez eux, c’est a eux de nous rendre la pareille. […] C’est une très belle équipe, s’ils ont envie de nous jouer, on peut pas leur couper… pic.twitter.com/Im58cbtB3r
— 𝗝𝗼𝘂𝗲𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗲́𝗻𝗲́𝗴𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗶𝘀 🇸🇳 (@JoueursSN) June 9, 2023
Meanwhile, Morocco's Atlas Lions are currently preparing for two upcoming matches. The first is a friendly game against Cape Verde, scheduled for June 12 at the Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat. This match will serve as a crucial opportunity for Morocco to assess their strengths and weaknesses ahead of the AFCON qualifier against South Africa, which will take place five days later at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.
لائحة المنتخب الوطني لمباراتي الرأس الأخضر 🇨🇻 وجنوب إفريقيا 🇿🇦
— Équipe du Maroc (@EnMaroc) May 26, 2023
Moreover, Senegal is scheduled to face Benin on the 5th match day of the Africa Cup of Nations qualification group stage. The match will take place on Saturday, June 17th, at the Stade de L'Amitié in Benin. Following this fixture, Senegal will travel to Portugal to participate in an anti-racism friendly against Brazil. It is worth noting that both Morocco and Senegal have already secured their places in AFCON 2023.
Aliou Cisse’s squad list for the upcoming games against Benin and Brazil. 🔴🏆
— Micky Jnr ✪ (@MickyJnr__) June 2, 2023
As the possibility of a friendly match between Senegal and Morocco continues to generate buzz, fans eagerly await further developments. The potential clash between these two African football powerhouses promises an exciting spectacle and an opportunity to witness the skill and talent of both teams. Whether the friendly match becomes a reality or remains a topic of speculation, it undoubtedly highlights the importance of international football as a platform for strengthening bonds and promoting friendly competition among nations.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago