Led by two-time Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Herve Renard, Morocco returned to the World Cup after an absence of 20 years.

Half of the players headed to Russia were born outside of Morocco, in either France, Spain, or the Netherlands. However, FIFA rules on nationality and citizenship allowed them to represent the north African country internationally.

They came up with a 23-man squad of:

GOALKEEPERS: Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia), Yassine Bounou (Girona), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger)

DEFENDERS: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Romain Saiss (Wolves), Manuel Da Costa (Basaksehir), Badr Benoun (Raja Casablanca), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (LOSC)

MIDFIELDERS: M’barek Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke 04)

FORWARDS: Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Aziz Bouhaddouz (Saint Pauli), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Mehdi Carcela (Standard de Liege), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax).

Renard’s side were grouped with the 2010 World Cup winners Spain, European Championship title holders Portugal and Asian powerhouse Iran in a tough Group B.

Morocco’s campaign was a little disappointing one, as they lost to Iran by 1-0 in their opening match and then lost to Portugal, but somehow they managed to play a draw against the former champion Spain.

In September 2018, they will play the qualifiers of African Club.