For most Morocco fans, pinching themselves no longer cuts the mustard. The Atlas Lions’ exploits at Qatar 2022 have, after all, now gone past the ‘I must be dreaming’ stage to surpassing those supporters’ wildest fantasies.
Abdelhamid Sabiri, though, admits to having dreamt bigger than most. “You always have dreams you keep to yourself,” he told FIFA. “And you can’t decide what you dream, so you dream of winning the World Cup.”
The midfielder knows, of course, that there is also a value in realism. “When you wake up, you think, ‘Ok, first step by step’,” he added. “But for Morocco to reach the semi-finals is something big. It has never happened before that an African team has reached the semi-finals. This was obviously also our goal – we wanted to do something historic in this World Cup. And yes, I hope we can make more history.”
There is, of course, an imposing barrier standing between Morocco and Sabiri’s dreams of FIFA World Cup™ glory. Holders France, led by the irrepressible Kylian Mbappe, a rejuvenated Antoine Griezmann and the record-breaking Olivier Giroud, go into the sides’ semi-final as overwhelming favourites. However, as Sabiri is quick to point out in this interview, slaying giants has become something of a happy habit for the Atlas Lions.