Morocco's Sofyan Amrabat's admits poor preparation for game against Spain: "I stayed up with the physio until 3am last night"

Sofyan Amrabat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Morocco's man of the match Sofyan Amrabat has admitted that he needed injections before the last-16 clash against Spain, staying up until the early hours of the morning to ensure he could play the game.

Amrabat has impressed for Morocco at World Cup 2022, but in no game more so than against Spain.  

Sitting in the centre of Morocco's midfield, the 26-year-old quelled attacks with his brilliant interceptions and expert reading of the game. His tenacity meant he didn't stop running throughout the entire 120 minutes of player either, Amrabat clearly determined to drag his nation to the quarter-finals. 

Eventually, his efforts came to fruition, winning the man of the match award as Morocco beat Spain 3-0 on penalties after a goalless draw after extra time. 

However, it wasn't all plain sailing for the Fiorentina midfielder. Speaking after the game, Amrabat admitted to an interviewer that his preparations for the fixture was less than ideal. 

“I stayed up with the physio until 3am last night," Amrabat said. "I had injections before the game. I couldn’t abandon the guys and my country.”

He certainly didn't abandon his nation with the performance he put in. With Spain enjoining 77 per cent of possession, Amrabat needed to be on top form to stop players such as Pedri, Gavi and Marco Asensio from running the game - and he fully succeeded. 

Morocco performed admirably throughout the 120-minute match, before the last-16 tie went to a penalty shootout. 

Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all missed their penalties for Spain, while Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and, nonchalantly, Achraf Hakimi all slotted for Morocco to send them through to the next round.

The African nation haven't played in the quarter-finals of a World Cup since 1986, and become the first from the continent to reach that round since Ghana in 2010. 

However, they are aiming to become the first African side ever to play a World Cup semi-final - though they will have to beat Portugal to do so.

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.