To welcome home their national football team, the first Arab or African side to ever make it to the World Cup semifinals, tens of thousands of Moroccans descended on the city on Tuesday.
As they were taken from the airport and through centre Rabat by dozens of police vehicles, including cars and motorbikes with bright lights and blaring sirens, the team and their coach Walid Regragui waved.
As fireworks erupted over the coastal capital, the audience shouted, and some people waved flares.
This welcome home for the Moroccan national team ??
(via abderrazak_hamdallah/IG) pic.twitter.com/AsWXT90x8G
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) December 20, 2022
“I’m really pleased with our group. Who knows, maybe they’ll take home the trophy next time “said Adam Najah, a waiter from Meknes who is 27 years old.
The Moroccan national team strolls through the streets of Rabat! Unbelievable reception. The pride of the country!!
Thank you guys for sharing! ???pic.twitter.com/xucOKcOxjg
— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) December 20, 2022
In order to “live this historic day” and “enjoy the magnificent narrative of Morocco in the World Cup,” he claimed to have travelled more than 150 kilometres (90 miles).
Many fans had waited for their heroes for hours while wearing the team’s uniforms and waving red flags.
Moroccan team back home pic.twitter.com/vSeW5cigmY
— Diallo, Esq. ?? Siir Siir Siir Morocco ● (@cadependdiallo) December 20, 2022
Later on Tuesday night, King Mohammed VI was scheduled to host the squad.
Despite losing 2-1 to Croatia in the third-place matchup on Saturday, the Atlas Lions captivated Qatar’s attention.
Leila Messour, a 19-year-old law student, expressed her desire to embrace and kiss the squad while watching them with her friends.
“We spotted them, they went by swiftly, and I haven’t been this pleased in a long time.”
Later, the crew travelled to the palace, where King Mohammed VI welcomed them “in celebration of the historic feat.”
The president of the Moroccan football federation, the head coach, and the players all received accolades from the king and crown prince Moulay Hassan, according to MAP, the nation’s official news agency.
To read our blog on “History-makers at the World Cup, Morocco blocks France,” click here