Morocco Walid Regragui coach takes shot at Spain’s ‘tiki-taka’ style of play

Morocco are preparing for their first ever World Cup semi-final on Wednesday, which will see them take on former colonists France. Having already dismissed the Iberian peninsula in the previous two knockout rounds, there will be optimism that they can put in another heroic effort.

Speaking ahead of the match, coach Walid Regragui spoke to the media, in a jovial mood. He told Marca that he hoped that France did not show Morocco any respect as it gave them a better chance of winning.

Asked about Morocco’s style of play, Regragui was happy to engage – and explain that there was little point to ‘tiki-taka’ football if there was no danger created.

“We will do it as we know how. How possession makes you dream! 70% possession to shoot twice on goal? I am going to tell Infantino to give a point to the teams that exceed 60% possession. We’re here to win, not to have possession. If they give it to us, well, we’ll see and we’ll do whatever it takes so they don’t beat us. I don’t think they’ll give us possession. City have 70%, but you have seen the players they have… With de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, you’re going to have the ball. They talk about tiki taka, when you have players who can, that’s fine.”

“I know that the Europeans criticize our game. We have to win for Africa, for the countries which are evolving. There is no single style. Look at France against England, less possession but they won. They are the best. France in 2018 made me dream. Deschamps is the best in the world. I hope France doesn’t respect us tomorrow. If they do it will be more complicated.”

He did however highlight the good work of the only two non-Moroccan elements of their team.

“There is Eduardo [Dominguez] and also Juan [Solla]. I like the Spanish physical preparation because you work a lot with the ball and they are the only ones who are not from Morocco. They have integrated very well because they have worked in Arab countries and we are very happy with them.”

Regragui’s words on possession football are no doubt in part directed at Spain and Portugal, who dominated the ball against Morocco, but caused little threat to Yassine Bounou in goal.

It has been a familiar debate in Spain too, where many criticised Luis Enrique’s side for their limp attempts to break down the Morocco defence. The disappointing thing from the former Spain manager’s perspective will be that he was supposed to be the move away from that idea to a more direct idea of play.

Tags 2022 World Cup Morocco Spain La Roja Walid Regragui
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