Dubai’s ruler has praised the Moroccan team’s historic World Cup knockout victory over Spain on Tuesday – describing it as a victory for the entire Arab world and a “source of pride for all Arabs.”
As Morocco became the first Arabic-speaking country to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar, the first to be held in an Arab country, as they eliminated fancied Spain in a penalty shootout, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai took to Twitter to congratulate the team.
“The impossible is not Moroccan… The impossible is not Arab…The Atlas Lions’ victory is a source of joy and pride for all Arabs,” he said.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai also hailed Morocco for its hisotric victory over the Spanish.
“The Atlas Lions deserve congratulations. Best wishes to Morocco. You’ve brought joy to all the Arabs with your valiant effort and well-earned victory,” Sheikh Hamdan wrote in a tweet.
On Tuesday, Morocco kept the World Cup dreams of the Arab world alive as they became the first Arab country to advance to the last eight, ensuring a breakthrough for the region in the first global tournament in the Middle East, and also became the fourth African side to go this far in World Cup history.
Morocco’s victory added significant gloss to another Arab success at the tournament like Saudi Arabia beating Argentina and Tunisia upsetting holders France in the group phase.
Morocco, who edged Spain 3-0 in the shootout after a 0-0 draw at the end of two hours of energy-sapping action, now has a chance to become both the Arab world and Africa’s first-ever semi-finalists if it continues to use the overwhelming support that has backed it through an impressive array of results.
They will play on Saturday in the quarterfinal at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium against either Portugal or Switzerland, who are in action later on Tuesday.