The story of the rise of Sofyan Amrabat in Qatar 2022

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Sofyan Amrabat entered the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ tournament without having a big name in world football, and without being one of the brightest names in the Moroccan squad. But after the end of that tournament, he became one of the names that the international audience who watched the tournament and the Moroccan fans alike will remember.

Sofyan entered the Moroccan national team charts in the recent period. It is a milestone in his career, as this guaranteed him a wider audience in that global event. As a midfielder, he has an important role which he has shown before in the clubs he played for in Europe. He has integrated well into the group, which is a mixture of players born in Morocco or abroad. Such as Nayef Auerd, Achraf Dari, Azzedine Ounahi, and Youssef En-Nysiri. Or those born in France, such as Sofiane Boufal and Romain Saiss, or those born in the Netherlands, such as Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui.

Amrabat, who was born in 1996, started playing at the Dutch Dzidfuchus Academy in the municipality of Houzen, in which he was born, then the Utrecht team, and played for Feyenoord and Club Brugge before moving to Hellas Verona in the Italian first division. Before that, Sofiane Amrabat was interested in the officials of the Moroccan Federation, who were trying to persuade him to play in the shirt of the Atlas Lions team. The first. The player had represented the Netherlands U15 national team on 4 occasions and also played for Morocco U17 and Morocco U23. But he needed some time to choose between representing Morocco or the Netherlands.

Faouzi Lakjaa, President of the Moroccan Federation, intervened and spoke with his older brother, Noureddine Amrabat, to persuade Sofiane to represent the first Moroccan national team, after he had rejected Hervé Renard’s invitation before that. He was invited to attend Morocco’s match against Gabon in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

At the same time, Divock Advocaat, the coach of the Netherlands national team at the time, tried to persuade Sofiane Amrabat to play for the Wahin national team. But after Amrabat was in the stands and seeing the noisy atmosphere, he decided to inform Advocaat that he would represent Morocco. The story ended with Amrabat’s decision to represent Morocco, like his brother Noureddine.

Morocco is my home. The Netherlands is my second home and my birthplace, in which I have lived most of my life. As for me, I am Moroccan, and my parents and grandparents are Moroccans. When I go to Morocco, I feel at home. The Netherlands too, but Morocco is a unique country.
Sofyan Amrabat

Sofiane continued to show his strength on the field when he moved to Fiorentina in 2020, and he had the opportunity to show his special features with the Morocco national team in the 2022 World Cup, to the extent that he surprised everyone.

Sofyan Amrabat
Amrabat in celebration of Morocco’s victory against Belgium

Amrabat’s strength lies in his ability to tackle, but not only that. He is a player who has a good vision of the field and distributes passes. He also succeeded in several matches for Morocco in the World Cup in Qatar, covering a lot of spaces with Ounahi, Amellah and others. They stood as an impenetrable bulwark against the attacks of opponents.

Amrabat prejudiced himself before the Spain match. He received an injection to catch up with the game after lower back pain:

“I woke up until 3am doing physiotherapy and had an injection before the match. I can’t give up on the players and my country.”

Soufiane Amrabat has some outstanding World Cup stats that underscore the strength of his performance. He made 143 successful passes. 87% passing accuracy, 33 recoveries and 6 successful interceptions.

Amrabat faced elite players in midfield for Belgium and Croatia. He worked hard to ensure dynamism and the speed of breaking the balls, while putting pressure on the opponents. The Moroccan midfield’s outstanding performance continued with its leadership against one of the most dominant teams in football, Spain. Even in front of the Portuguese national team, which was defeated by the Moroccans at Al-Thumama Stadium. It has names such as Bruno Fernandez and Bernardo Silva, the stars of the English Premier League.

Amrabat’s performance was well received by everyone inside and outside the world of football. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the star of Sweden and Milan, praised him, as well as French President Macron, who gave him a special greeting after Morocco’s loss in the semi-final match against France, describing him as the best midfielder in the tournament.

Source: Agencies


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