FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Morocco have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on four occasions, first making their introductions on the global stage at Mexico 1970. It was to Mexico that they then returned for their second campaign in 1986, when they topped a group featuring England and Portugal before losing 1-0 to West Germany in the Round of 16. The Atlas Lions contested the finals again at USA 1994, with their most recent appearance coming at France 1998.

The team
Absent from the last four World Cups, Morocco have become increasingly anxious to return, with the national association opting to focus on youth and talent-spotting in order to uncover players capable of snaring a place at Russia 2018. Their new approach has already borne fruit, producing a golden generation of talents now at leading clubs, such as Mehdi Benatia, Nabil Dirar, Achraf Lazaar, Youssef El-Arabi, Abderrazak Hamed Allah, Omar El Kaddouri and Nordin Amrabat.

The coach
Following a string of foreign coaches, Morocco opted for a local candidate when they reappointed Badou Zaki in 2014. A goalkeeping legend on the African continent during his playing days, Zaki also performed with aplomb in Spain for Mallorca. As a coach, he steered Morocco to the final of the 2004 CAF Africa Cup of Nations during his first stint at the helm and almost secured a place at Germany 2006, only for his side to miss out following a disappointing 2-2 draw with Tunisia in their final game. He will therefore be extra motivated to tie down a berth at Russia 2018.

The stat
12 –
The number of goals scored by Morocco in their four World Cup campaigns to date.

The former stars
Ahmed Faras, Abdelmajid Dolmy, Mohamed Timoumi, Aziz Bouderbala, Salaheddine Bassir, Noureddine Naybet