Morocco prepare for end of Qatar journey in World Cup third place play-off - in pictures

Walid Regragui's team face Croatia on Saturday

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Emotions will be high in the Moroccan camp when they take on Croatia in the World Cup third place play-off on Saturday - a match their manager Walid Regragui said is one of the worst to play.

Morocco emerged as the story of Qatar 2022 as they defied expectation to reach the semi-finals, where they lost to Franceafter putting up a brave fight against the defending champions.

Regragui said he would not make too many changes to the squad as that would upset the team balance but admitted it was difficult for the teams being asked to play after the disappointment of losing their semi-final matches.

"I understand it's important to finish third rather than fourth, but my takeaway is we didn't reach the final... We wanted to play the final on Sunday, not play tomorrow," Regragui said.

"But I told my players this is our seventh World Cup game. If you told any Morocco fan we would be playing our seventh game on December 17, they would be proud.

"Morocco played six World Cup games in 20-odd years and now we've played six games in a month - this is priceless. It's as if we played two World Cups or even more, that's beautiful from an experience point of view."

The team received extra motivation for the play-off after it was announced that Morocco will host the next Club World Cup.

The tournament will take place from February 1 to 11, 2023, Fifa president Gianni Infantino announced in Doha, as the CWC returns to Morocco for the third time.

Updated: December 17, 2022, 6:30 AM