Walid Regragui led Morroco to a first ever FIFA World Cup Quater-final place with a 3-0 victory over Spain on Tuesday evening in Qatar.
The former Wydad Casablanca manager also wrote his name in the history book as the first African manager to reach the last-8 of a FIFA World Cup.
Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana are Africa’s previous World Cup Quater-finalists but none of this was achieved with an African Manager.
Valery Nepomnyashchy (Russia) – Cameroon – 1990
Bruno Metsu (Italy) – Senegal – 2002
Milovan Rajevac (Serbia) – Ghana – 2010
In this article, SportsRation presents the profile of Walid Regragui whose stock continues to rise as his Morroco charges continue to excel In Qatar.
Walid Regragui was born on September 15, 1957. He is 47 years old.
Walid Regragui played active football as a defender from 1998 to 2011
The right-back appeared 45 times for the Morrocan national team.
A year after retiring from active football (2011), Regragui began football coaching as assistant of Morocco’s national team in September 2012.
One year after his appointment, manager Rachid Taoussi was sacked and this move also led to his exit from the national team role in October 2013.
In May 2014, Walid Regragui secured a job as manager of Fath Union Sport, a role he held until January 2020.
Wydad Casablanca was his next destination in August 2021. Walid led Wydad to a CAF Champions League title in May 2022, dethroning Egypt’s Al Ahly to become African Champions.
By this time, the Morrocan national team under Vahid Hallidhodzic was shrouded with controversy and disagreements within its ranks.
The Morrocan Football Authorities took the decision to sack Hallidhodzic in August 2022 and appoint their own Walid Regragui to lead the Atlas Lions to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
JOURNEY TO HISTORY
Walid Regragui and his charges arrived in Qatar as underdogs in a Group that included star-studded Belgium, and 2018 World Cup Finalists Croatia, and Canada.
A 0-0 draw vs Croatia was followed by a surprise 2-0 win over Belgium before the Atlas Lions secured a 2-1 win over Canada to finish Group leaders.
A tough Round of 16 clash vs Spain was next.
A Compact and disciplined defensive performance vs Luis Enrique tutored Spain over 120 minutes was crowned by a 3-0 penalty shootout victory to reach the Quarter Final.
CAN WALID REGRAGUI LEAD MORROCO TO WORLD CUP GLORY
A long way to go but Walid Regragui has never hidden he dreams of World Cup glory with Morroco.
In his pre-match press conference before the win over Spain Walid Regragui said
“You have to understand: I did not say that we were going to win the World Cup even if it is our wish. But you have to dare to dream. If we tell ourselves we can’t, then how can we achieve our dreams? You have to have that ambition.”
Time will tell.