Official Football Thread

Spain out after the most rubbish penalty shootout effort ever. Three attempts, three missed.

Good defending by Morocco, wonder how far this can get them.
Tiki-taka needs to fucking die, Spain is painful to watch and they never seem to take advantage of any opportunities. You have to do things with the ball.
Hell yea. Spain is a country with footballers in it and they play the ball and it got kicked to someone and a goal happened and just man!
I translate here one nice article I read about Moroccan team.
They had my curiosity. Now they have my attention :cool:

World Cup 2022 – G. Petrakis "Morocco is admirable"
Coach G. Petrakis "X-rays" to "K" the surprise of the World Cup

Since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where the presence of Diego Maradona overshadowed everything, older people can recall the team in red and green. The talent was too much, but the unruly Moroccans did not succeed by bending over the disciplined Germans in the round of 16 with a goal by Lothar Mateusz in the 87th minute. In the groups they had finished first, above England, Poland and Portugal.

Thirty-six years later, at the World Cup in Qatar, the North Africans improved their main flaw. With a different mentality and "granite" defense, they look capable of everything.

A Greek coach, Giannis Petrakis, who in the teams he has coached (OFI, Ergotelis, Asteras Tr., PAS Giannina, Ionikos, Apollon Sm.) promoted the defensive function, sees in the Moroccans a band that unfolds on the grass rare features.
"The way they play defense is admirable. They do it very well and, of course, this is largely due to the individual abilities of its players. Quarterbacks Hakimi and Mazrawi, I think, are among the top players in the league so far. Focused, with rare technical training, when attacking the team do not neglect their defensive duties, they return quickly, not leaving empty spaces. However, in the match against Spain, I was very impressed by both central defenders Ager and Sais. Fast, agile, with excellent body structure, they cover the opponent directly while in the set-up phases they are promoted in search of the goal. They are disciplined in the plan they are called upon to serve and they do it consistently, which is why they have conceded just one goal in the competition," the 63-year-old coach tells "K".

Morocco chose to play with fours on defense and a 4-3-3 in all of their games. "Formation no longer makes a team's game in modern football defensive or offensive. Now we are dealing with tool players, who are more athletes. Morocco is the result of an overall job, started by the coach and applied responsibly on the pitch. For example, Amrabat in the role of "cutter" is incredible. If you look at his stats in the match against Spain, he was a "breakwater" of the opposing strikers. Without making a single foul, he won all the duels in the centre, while having few errors in the transfers."

The position of the goalkeeper

At the 1986 World Cup, under morocco's goalposts was Ezaki Badou, or "Zaki" as his nickname was. The player-symbol of the Moroccan national team, the best African goalkeeper of the 20th century. The current goalkicker, Yassin Bunu or Bono, seems to be walking in his footsteps. "Morocco has a tradition of good goalkeepers. I also remember cases that came to Greece. Now this position has to do not only with the defensive function, but also with the overall development of the team", says Giannis Petrakis and continues: "Football has become faster and goalkeepers must have speed of thought and reaction, compared to the past, where emphasis was placed on their physical characteristics".

If the sheikhs have hired fans to provide atmosphere, they have certainly done a good job with those they picked to cheer for Argentina.

Hired fans for Morocco are even louder. I wonder if there's a limiting termination clause in their contract. If I was the president of any of the remaining teams I'd poach them very aggressively.

*Job of the future: Hired fan :D