Al Khor, Qatar – Morocco’s dreams of reaching the World Cup final were dashed after a 2-0 loss to France in the last four.
After reaching the semifinals of the world’s most prestigious event – the first time in history for an African or Arab-majority country – the Atlas Lions were ultimately brought down by the mighty France on Wednesday.
“We are a little upset, I won’t lie,” Hassan Chadilly, from Casablanca, told Al Jazeera at Al Bayt Stadium.
“After we kept winning the knockout games we had a lot of hope. Sadly we could not do it again”.
However, Chadily said Moroccans everywhere were “very proud” of the team.
“We have the most wonderful players in the world … the coach [Walid Regragui], the training staff. I will never forget being here in Qatar during such a historic time for our country”, Chadily, who is a Dubai resident, said.
There was no recreation, however, of the boisterous and euphoric scenes the world has come to see from Morocco fans during the tournament in the past few weeks.
A few people could be seen jumping and shouting Dima Maghrib (Always Morocco) as they left the stadium but nowhere near with the same enthusiasm as when the Atlas Lions shocked Portugal last week, or Spain and Belgium before them.
“I was really hoping we could meet Argentina in the final … but France were better than us,” Yassine Bouziane told Al Jazeera.
“But I’m not sad, honestly. They did the best they could do. No one expected this”, the Tangier resident said. “They made so many people happy – all the Muslims around the world, the Arabs and the people of Africa.”
France will take on Argentina on Sunday in the final at Lusail Stadium, while Morocco will fight it out with Croatia for third place on December 17.