Morocco vs. Spain LIVE: World Cup 2022 updates, predictions, line-up news and start time


Just 13 kilometres separate Spain and Morocco, and the continents of Europe and Africa, across the narrowest point in the Mediterranean Sea.

That means many close cultural, sporting and familial connections between the two countries, who meet in Tuesday’s World Cup 2022 round of 16, but also a wide political and economic divide.

Moroccan squad members Achraf Hakimi and Munir Mohamedi were both born in Spain, while four of the Atlas Lions’ 26 play their club football with La Liga outfits, including Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou and Youssef En-Nesyri. Coach Walid Regragui also played for then-Primera Division side Racing Santander from 2004 to 2006.

“Yes, we have players who play in Spain,” Regragui told the pre-game news conference in Doha. “It is a country which is very important to Moroccans. And we have Spanish-born players, but they are Moroccan.”

Relationships between the respective governments in Madrid and Rabat are often difficult, and the build-up to the game has seen some nasty anti-Moroccan rhetoric on social media and on the extreme fringes of political discourse.

Read more below.


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