Football

Morocco boss: Without team spirit, we won't win AFCON even if we have Messi

Vahid Halilhodzic set out conditions necessary for the Atlas Lions to win their second AFCON title, pointing out that he hopes to lead his side as far as possible in the tournament.

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Morocco boss: Without team spirit, we won't win AFCON even if we have Messi
Pool Friedemann Vogel - Pool/Getty Im

Moroccan national team head coach Vahid Halilhodzic spoke of his side's chances of winning their second Africa Cup of Nations title, an achievement Moroccan fans have been dreaming of for decades, noting that in order for this to happen, the squad must achieve a good level of unity and team spirit.

The 68-year-old told a press conference on Thursday that his squad needs "the mental power, unity, and team spirit (to claim the title), otherwise we can't be crowned even if we have Lionel Messi. There are strong rivals like Senegal, Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Algeria which forces us to have such a spirit in order to overcome them."

The veteran coach also added that team spirit is sometimes more important than talent and technical abilities.

Halilhodzic: El Haddadi tears hurt me

In addition, the Bosnian coach tackled Munir El Haddadi's issue as the player was earlier deprived of joining the Moroccan team's camp after he had chosen to represent them instead of the Spanish national team.

Halilhodzic stressed that the scene of Munir leaving one of the previous camps after receiving the news that he can't be part of the squad, hurt and massively affected him. He added that this incident encouraged him to stay in touch with the player and show him full support before FIFA's approval of his participation with the Moroccan team.