The exit from the “Qatar 2022” World Cup finals at the hands of Morocco was a great shock to the Spanish football street and the local newspapers, which came out with broad headlines criticizing “La Roja” in some of them, and praising the achievement of the “Atlas Lions” in others.
The Moroccan national team defeated its Spanish counterpart (3-0) on penalties after the end of the match that brought them together in the “Education City” stadium, with a goalless draw, to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in its history.
Marca headlined in bold: “Spain’s failure…Morocco sends us home.” Then this was followed by several statements by members of the Spanish national team, in which they talked about the impact of the loss and the painful exit from the World Cup.
Luis Enrique, coach of the Spanish national team, told the Spanish newspaper: “I congratulated the players on how they competed, and we are very sorry for not making the fans happy.”
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Enrique praised Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, saying: “Receiving the Man of the Match award means that he has a lot of quality. He deserves the award because I know he is a wonderful person.”
He concluded, “We lived a difficult night, and we have to go back and rise again, and we have the elements of the future youth in front of them in order to restore the prestige of Spanish football.”
The newspaper “Marca” also published an interview with the Spanish midfielder, Marcos Llorente, after the match, in which he said: “We played a great match without being able to score any goal. Everything can happen in a penalty shootout. It was a complicated situation.”
And to the same newspaper, Rodri Hernandez stated: “The Moroccan national team was very clear about its desire to reach the penalty shootout .. I have nothing to say, we will go home.”
The Spanish midfielder added, “The players gave everything, we deserved to qualify for the quarter-finals.. Morocco kept defending, we expected that, they do the same thing in almost every match.”
In turn, “Mundo Deportivo” wrote: “Spain bid farewell to a penalty shootout, and Morocco made history.”
And the newspaper highlighted the statements of the Spanish national team striker, Ferran Torres, in which he said: “We were hurt by the defeat, and I think we do not deserve it.”
He added, “We could not achieve our goal, but I am proud of the team, from the youngest player to the coach.”
For his part, “La Roja” captain Sergio Busquets told FIFA: “It was a difficult match. We tried to break through, but we faced a solid defense. They are playing with enthusiasm and strength, and we could not get past them.”
He added, “Yes, it is a severe loss, but we did not deserve to be eliminated. We dominated most of the match, but in the end the result was painful.”
In a related context, the pioneers of social networking sites circulated a picture of the former defender of the Spanish national team, Sergio Ramos, in which he appears with a gaunt movement, and behind him the final result of his country’s match with Morocco.