In an effort to retain the trophy for the first time in 60 years, France, which overcame England on Saturday, will face stiff opposition from the tournament’s biggest surprise.
The first Arab country to go to the final four, Morocco‘s giant-killing run has thrilled Moroccan fans at home and delighted the Moroccan diaspora in Europe and beyond.
The Atlas Lions, the first Arab team to ever reach the last four, will once more be cheered on by thousands of fervent fans in the stadium on the outskirts of Doha in the desert.
They can also count on support from the Qatari people in their home country.
Given that France was Morocco’s former colonial power and that many people in France have Moroccan ancestry, the game will have extra spice.
There will be fewer spectators in the stadium for France, known as Africa United since so many of their players are of African descent, but President Emmanuel Macron will be there in person to cheer them on.
According to the stats, Didier Deschamps’ team, which is stacked with skill and expertise, should advance with some ease.
But if the Les Blues coach—who also won the World Cup as a player in 1998—is concerned that his team could fall victim to complacency, he only needs to remind them of how Morocco reached this stage.
Although they have only let up one goal during the entire campaign, they will need another night of valiant defence to hold off a strong France onslaught led by Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud.